Or maybe just like last time.
The Green Bay Packers beat the Detroit Lions 34-12, in a game reminiscent of the last time the two teams met in October. The game wasn’t really in doubt at any point, but the Packers hardly looked dominant against an opponent that was clearly overmatched.
That was less due to the play of the Lions, than it was to Packers’ miscues.
Jordy Nelson fumbled the opening kickoff and the Lions converted on a Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson touchdown, to make the score 7-0.
Both Stafford and Johnson gave the Lions a boost – neither was supposed to play and neither played the last time the Lions faced the Packers. However, the Packers picked Stafford off four times and the Lions were never really in the game after their opening score.
On the positive side, the Packers defense was solid in their first game without injured cornerback Al Harris and linebacker Aaron Kampman. The defense had two sacks and a forced fumble in addition to the four interceptions. Most of the disruption came from Charles Woodson, who recorded a sack, forced fumble and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Woodson also held Johnson to only two catches on the day.
Woodson has put himself in the conversation for defensive player of the year over the last few weeks.
On offense, Aaron Rodgers, who had decent protection for a change, had a nice day. He was 28-of-39 for 348 yards and three touchdowns. Donald Driver caught several long passes and tallied 142 yards and a touchdown on the day.
There were some negatives on the day, however. In addition to Nelson’s fumble, the Packers left something to be desired on special teams, as a whole. Nelson averaged only two yards on three punt returns, and Mason Crosby missed a field goal on the Packers’ opening drive of the game.
The Packers’ inability to score touchdowns in the red zone also continues to be a disturbing trend, especially considering the team was playing the 31st ranked defense today.
On defense – and this should come as a surprise to no one – Jarrett Bush continues to be a liability. Bush has been thrust into the nickel slot because of Harris’ injury and seems to have zero awareness. He dropped an easy interception and was usually responsible when the Lions completed a pass over the middle of the field.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy called a couple questionable runs when the Packers were backed up in their own end zone, leading to a Lions’ safety when Ryan Grant was tackled for a safety.
Still, a win is a win and the Packers did what they needed to do on Thanksgiving.
Now, let’s eat turkey and get drunk!