Packers vs. Lions – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 22 DET 9 All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Ndamukong Suh tripping Aaron Rodgers
Ndamukong Suh tripping Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions:  2013 Game 4

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.



The Packers have have had two weeks to stew and get sick of answering questions about play-calling,  injuries, MM-AR relationship and more. They can take the field today and make all of that go away by playing like the better team.

Some great injury news. Morgan Burnett and Clay Matthews are in, Calvin Johnson is out!

Today’s captains for the Packers: – WR James Jones (offense), DL Ryan Pickett (defense) and LS Brett Goode (special teams).


Inactives for today:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
29 CB Casey Hayward
44 RB James Starks
51 LB Nate Palmer
64 G/C Greg Van Roten
86 TE Brandon Bostick
93 DE Josh Boyd
98 DE C.J. Wilson

Detroit Lions
13 WR Nate Burleson
17 QB Kellen Moore
25 RB Mikel Leshoure
36 CB Jonte Green
64 G Leroy Harris
66 T LaAdrian Waddle
81 WR Calvin Johnson


Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Bye Week: Pretty much everybody that went into the bye week injured came back, with exception of Casey Hayward.   Our best week of practice.

Work during Bye Week: because of the rules, there isn’t much you can do with the players, so for them, it’s more a chance to go back home, spend time with family, etc. Gives us as a chance on the coaching staff to get ahead of the curve,

Burnett: Every unit has a key communicator. Morgan is the guy to make sure the front end is tied to the back end.  Safety position is like playing QB in a multi-scheme defense like ours.

Calvin Johnson: Big loss. He’someone you’re aware of in every formation. Thought they were doing a great job of playing him out of the slot position.

Reggie Bush: He’s a play maker running and catching the football. Perimeter screens, middle screens, they’re doing a great job with him. Stafford and Bush really compliment each other.

Stafford: Look at his numbers. People tend to overlook him a little. Schematically, he challenges defenses as much as anybody. Very well coached.

Detroit DL: Another area very well coached, by Gunther Cunningham. They’ve done a good job drafting.  The drafted players definitely fit the scheme.  The talent level of the defensive line is extraordinary.  Big part of how we gameplanned this week. We need to be more balanced . Important for us to play Packer offense because we can play with anybody.



Packers vs. Lions – First Impressions – First Half:

Packers win the toss and defer.

I want to see the Packers defense put some hits on the often fragile Reggie Bush today.

Cobb back to receive the Lions’ punt. Thought we might see Hyde handle punt returns.

Suh flagged for tripping – if there’s any dirty or under-handed action you can commit on a football field, Suh will have no problem finding his way to it.

Randall Cobb with the “circus” one-handed catch. Ball was a little high as Rodgers had to hurry the throw under pressure from a blitz stunt.

Penalty on the GB kickoff because of an illegal formation when MD Jennings came in to hold the ball for Mathsay. Mr. Slocum, coaches are not supposed to be learning the rules during the game.

This is a game where I’m definitely going to go back and key in on he Packers’ OL. it’s a war down there…

Packers seem determined to make Lions DL think run first. Keep them off Rodgers…

McCarthy aggressive early, going for it on 4th and four on the Detroit 40.

Cobb drops a 3rd down pass that was a bit short. I blame Cobb – I think he rounded off his route on that one…

Score at end of 1st quarter:   GB 3 Det 0

52 yard field goal. The difference with Crosby so far this season, his kicks are STRAIGHT. No slice, no hook. Let’s hope he can keep it up.

Packers must have seen something on film. Looks like they’ve got some punt block plans brewing…

uh-oh Johnathan Franklin. Had fumble issues earlier in his UCLA career. cleared it up as a senior.

When in doubt, throw it to Jordy. He’ll bring it down.

Lions all over the bubble screens and quick outs. Something is obviously tipping them off.. You might want to adjust, Mike…

I can’t help but think of all the abuse @KrisLBurke took for writing last week how the #Packers offense was predictable. Vindication.

I’m left to wonder if any team has been worse in 3rd and really long than the #Packers in the last 5 years. Stats people?

If Durham could catch, the Packers would probably be losing right now.

Score at end of 1st half:  GB 6 Det 3


Packers vs. Lions – First Impressions – Second Half:

The Lions’ DBs tackling has been really, really good today. Not much YAC for the Packers

Saw Brad Jones come up limping late in the first half. Now he’s out with… say it with me…  A HAMSTRING!

Randall Cobb sneaks in to the Packers backfield and rips off a 67 yard run.

Another third and one and the Packers try to pass – get nothing again.

Football can be simple. Send two receivers to each side of the safety. Cobb draws the safety inside, Jones all alone down the sideline.

Randall Cobb screwed up Jones’ Lambeau leap. Then tried to push him up. LOL

Jamari Lattimore in for Francios, who was in for Jones.  Packers down to 3rd string IL.

Score at end of 3rd quarter:  GB 16 Det 3 

Rodgers smartly slides  on a scramble to stay in bounds instead of running out. Eating up the clock…

Years from now, people will describe those toes in bounds, sideline catches as “doing a Jordy”

Amazing what a little competition did for Mason Crosby. Five for Five today.

It was over three yrs ago when I first wrote that the Packers were making a mistake by coddling Crosby and just handing him the job.

The changes AJ Hawk made in his off-season conditioning have REALLY paid off. Might be playing his best football.

It sure looks like Nick Perry is a lot more comfortable as a pass rusher on the right side.

Calvin Johnson or not, I think the Packers exposed the #Lions as pretenders today. We (including myself) can stop over-rating them now.

Final Score:  GB 22 Det 9



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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for


33 thoughts on “Packers vs. Lions – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 22 DET 9

  1. Noticed the same thing about Perry myself.

    Of course, I’m on “Crow watch ’13”, so you can figure I’m keeping an eye on him…lol. Sack + QB Strip = nice week 5 showing. I wish I would have made my wager for the 6th game of the season, as opposed to week 6. Oh well, that will teach me to not check when the bye week falls before making proclamations!

    On that front, Mike Neal is starting to come into his own, he’s getting to the point where he’s just pure aggression. Love it.

    Happy Lacy got a good number of touches. Shame that big run got cut short due to Boykin’s hold.

    1. I’m such a great sport Oppy…we’ll go with game 6 as the time frame as Like I’ve said…I’ll gladly eat crow if he comes to what was expected.Today was a nice glimmer of hope and I won’t cut that down over a word…game/week….But he doesn’t show up…..get your bib ready…fair..yes/no?

    2. Perry had his sacks playing Matthews spot. Its a lot different playing weak OLB than it is strong OLB. In the Packers/Pitts schemes the strong OLB doesn’t have nearly the freedom rushing the QB. He has to maintain rush lanes and gap integrity while rushing while the weak OLB gets to “freelance” a lot more. Look at Harrison/Woodley for an example. Woodley has a lot more responsibility rushing the QB than Harrison did. This is pretty basic 34 Defense stuff you guys should realize by now.

  2. For those of us who are forced to watch Philly against the pathetic Giants, please tell us how the O-Line did against Suh and the others on the Lions’ D-line. We know of Rodgers one sack, but was it Rodgers forced to scramble, throw it away often, etc? How did Burnett play?

    1. Larry McCarren classified Rodgers’ sack as “The classic coverage sack”, and said on that play, Bakhtiara and the OL gave Rodgers ample time to work.

      They were actively rolling Rodgers out frequently, and he was hurried occasionally. The young Tackles looked like young tackles vs. a good defensive front, they took their licks from time to time and made a few poor decisions, but they never looked overwhelmed (although Barclay certainly started off shaky but regained composure quickly.)

      Mind you, that’s all based on in-game perception.. I haven’t gone over the OL play with a fine toothed comb.

      I thought they played well. Most importantly, they really did commit to the run early and often, which probably helped the line Protect ROdgers the most.

    2. Thanks man. Any knuckle-headed play calls by MM? Did Matthews ever return after he left with a banged-up thumb?

      1. The two big ones for MM today was throwing on both the 3rd & 1 plays, as both were in plus territory (one on the 50 and other in the redzone). With Lacy running the way he did today, there was NO reason not to let him run up the gut and grind out a yard (hint hint 99 rushing yards!). Clay didn’t return but he left when the game was pretty much over.

        1. Thanks Mike.I (and I’m sure others who can’t see the game) really appreciate this information.

          1. It’s all good dude – I had to go super ghetto style to watch the game. We had the Seattle-Indy game here and since my girlfriend is still at Michigan, they always play Lions games on tv…so I watched the game through skype. Do what I have to to watch the Packers!

  3. I would have liked to see the Packers play better in the red zone but overall I thought the game was great. I hope that this is a sign of things to come for the defense.

  4. What is it with Crosby? He looks like a completely different kicker right now. Every kick is straight as an arrow. Even the EP’s. He was a big part of today’s win.

    Don’t know how severe C. Johnson’s injury is, but the Lions are nothing without him. At least on o.

    Good to see Perry with some pressure. If he wasn’t dragged down on his first sack – he would have obliterated Stafford.

    Good job containing Bush. He’s not really a traditional RB, and the Lions did us a favor running him between the tackles.

    O-line was good enough today. Rodgers helped them out by not holding the ball too long very often.

  5. Jim Schwartz a classless jerk, calling a timeout with less than 30 seconds left making the Packers punt the ball. Did he honestly think the Lions would be able to mount a comeback?I’am so glad that the Ford family has been able to find such incompetent coach’s and GM’s over the last twenty years=Matt Millen,Jim Schwartz.

    1. That was slightly irritating. I guess Gym Shorts figured there was a chance for a blocked punt, a bad snap, or a runback. What bugged me more was the kneel-down after getting the ball back. If you’re going to play to the last second, play to the last second.

      1. That’s why I wouldn’t have minded MM calling a Lacy run on the 4th down play instead of punting. But whatever, good win today

  6. Nick Perry’s performance today means A LOT. With the way he and the defense played, and if Datone Jones starts to break out (I’m holding onto that) and Casey Hayward becomes healthy, we’ve got a team that can run hard into the playoffs!!

  7. Good win, needed this bad, and the bears lose! The loins DBs had tight coverage today,…was it just me or did it seem like there was a lot of grabbing by the lions DBs on our WRs?

  8. Nice to see Perry have a break out performance. I honestly think it is the LOLB’s job to simply bullrush and collapse the pocket – Neal’s sack was from the left side but he got there on…wait for it…a bull rush and simply reached out to grab Stafford. Nice to see Perry take advantage of his opportunity and make plays though!
    Johnson or not, this was a big win. Would have been great if MM let Lacy get 100 – who didn’t think Schwartz would call a timeout at the end of the game? But overall, really good offensive balance and great job on defense. Just gotta get that redzone stuff figured out – Power-I *cough cough*
    Definitely agree on your point about Crosby though – he should have competition every offseason. I think his other best seasons were ones where he had competition in the offseason!

    1. Your point about the LOLB’s job duties affecting his production on the stat sheet (or, at least, the average fan’s perception of that player’s performance) is akin to what I’ve been saying about AJ Hawk’s duties in his position for years..

      Just snipped this from Wikipedia entry on 3-4 Defense, just replace “Mike” and “Ted” for “Buck” and “Mack” in Capers’ vernacular.. Here, the “mike” would be our Desmond Bishop in the past, and Brad Jones now; the “Ted” would be the stalwart AJ Hawk:

      “There are two types of ILB’s, the Mike and the Ted. The Mike typically is the more athletic linebacker, who can blitz, drop into coverage, play the run, and “spy” the quarterback.[11] NaVorro Bowman is a prototypical Mike linebacker in a 3–4 defense. The Ted is typically the stronger and larger of the two linebackers, and is used almost like a Fullback on the defense. He takes on and occupies blockers for the Mike, allowing the Mike to flow to the ball and make tackles.[12] Bart Scott is a prototypical Ted linebacker in a 3–4 defense.”

      Many people seem to miss the point that football is indeed the ultimate team sport and assignments and responsibilities, sacrifice, etc often trumps personal glory. Often the players are tasked with jobs that the average fan misses the value of because they don’t show up on the stat sheet or the highlight reel- guys like Ryan Pickett, AJ Hawk, Nick Perry 🙂 etc and so forth.

      1. Perfect example of the misconception by fans in the case of the ILB’s, AJ Hawk in particular:

        “Hawk can’t get off a block to save his life, he’s always getting blocked, he sucks.”

        When you watch the film, AJ Hawk isn’t helpless to get off blocks, he’s ENGAGING the lead blockers to free a lane up for the other LB to get a clean line on the ball.

        1. I’ve been preaching that about Hawk for a couple years. Hope people start to understand it now.

          Same goes for the OLB in the 34 D. Perry at the (what I’ll call) strong OLB has to rush the QB w/ discipline and maintain rush lanes and gap integrity. The weak OLB has a lot more freedom to “freelance” when rushing. If Matthews is out for a few weeks you’ll see Perry move to weak OLB and be able to rush w/ more freedom and not have to worry about rush lanes and gap integrity.

          We know a healthy Matthews will excel whichever side he plays. It might behoove the Packers to try Perry at weak OLB to free him up to get after the QB more. Would be interesting to see how he and Matthews would look on opposite sides. It might free Perry up to make a lot of plays. We know Matthews will make plays on either side. Just a thought going forward for the rest of the year especially if Matthews has a cast on one hand and is able to play w/ it, and for next year possibly.

          1. I actually agree with your thought on Perry and Clay switching sides at times, especially if Clay has to have the club. The club would hinder some of Clay’s pass rush moves as it would take away his ability to use his one hand. By switching sides, it would allow Clay to bull rush the QB and give Perry the freedom to rush more freely (for lack of a better term) as you noted Stroh. Everyone forgets Clay was our LOLB the Super Bowl season because Capers wanted Clay and Cullen Jenkins on opposite sides when rushing the passer.

            1. Exactly… If Matthews has to play w/ a cast I would definitely switch them. Matthews would be limited in his pass rush moves and like you said be unable to use his hands very well. Matthews did indeed play LOLB during the ’10 season. He wouldn’t have problems w/ the switch. I would also like to see how Perry plays w/ the freedom he would have. It might end up being the best thing if they switched sides permanently. Right now its more by necessity if they do it, but it could be the best way to get playmaking from both of them.

        2. True about him taking on blocks – I never liked people attacking him for simply doing what he’s supposed to on run downs. Even, to a lesser extent, that was Hawk’s job on blitzes – mainly that double ILB A-Gap twist blitz that’s a staple of both Capers’ and LeBeau’s 3-4 scheme. My issue with Hawk was always on pass defense. When he played in college, Hawk looked like one of the most instinctive, well-rounded impact players in the nation – he blew up screens, knocked down passes and even sacked Vince Young twice in a game. I do think it was a matter of him gaining too much weight to match the pro game. But at the same time, he’s looked tentative to almost hesitant at times the past 2 seasons. I think this season is the first in a while that we’re seeing him attack on plays, which is a great sight. I think one of his best plays this season was against Washington when he dropped into his zone under a deep cross and drove on the ball to break up the pass.

  9. Totally different topic: I really hope Green Bay is able to draft Trey Millard or JC Copeland in the draft next season. Both are impact run and pass blockers but also show the ability to catch and run with the ball (especially Millard).

  10. Is it just my bias, or are the refs consistently screwing calls against packers? Do they have some kind of bounty? I saw several missed pass-interferences not called, including against JJones late touchdown catch (ruled incomplete). I saw bogus offensive holding call. I don’t know. Seems every week there’s 2-3 screw-jobs. Intuitively, I just don’t get that the recalled JJOnes touchdown. In every way, that just looked like a touchdown. Its more deserving than when a ball carrier gets stuffed before the goal line, then quickly reaches the ball forward across the plane while rest of his body is still a yard short. JJones’s touchdown was so much more definitive of crossing the plane.

    1. I agree. When running through the plane with the ball is not considered breaking the plain, then I am not sure what to think. He wasn’t bobbling the ball, he had clear control and he crossed the goal line inside the pylon. Thank God, this wasn’t for the win.

    2. In order to be a TD catch, it must first be a catch. All rules of a catch still apply. Possession, two feet, maintain possession throughout, etc.
      Only way that’s a TD is if they say he had possession with his toe still on the ground.

  11. Due to my traveling I only got to see the 2nd half of this game for now. In any case, what I saw the Packers played pretty solid. Nice game for the defense, Crosby! And the O-line. Amazing to me that we managed to lose 3 LB’s in one game. I hope that Matthews can play with the broken thumb. Someday this team will catch a break from the injury bug. Go Pack Go! On to Baltimore. Thanks, Since ’61

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