Packers Escape Detroit With Win

92 29

Randall Cobb is boss!

There was nothing pretty about it, but the Green Bay Packers escaped with a 24-20 win over the Detroit Lions to improve to 7-3.

On a day when the Packers offense was surprisingly inefficient and Mason Crosby missed two field goals, the defense played surprisingly well despite the absence of outside linebacker Clay Matthews.

Rookie Dezman Moses, who started in place of Matthews, recorded a sack and forced fumble. His counterpart, Erik Walden, had six tackles and two sacks.

Although cornerback Tramon Williams — or Optimus Prime if you like — was invisible, rookie Casey Hayward picked off his fifth pass of the season and M.D. Jennings snared his first, which he returned for a 72-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

On offense, the only two Packers who looked like they came to play were receiver Randall Cobb and — surprise! — tight end Jermichael Finley.

Cobb hauled in the game-winning touchdown with 2:30 left in the fourth and had a team-leading nine catches and 74 yards on the day. He added another 19 on the ground.

Finley, meanwhile, scored his first touchdown since week one on a 20-yard catch and run in the second. On the play, Finley looked like the Jermichael of old, plowing through several Lions to reach the end zone. He finished with three for 66.

The yardage represents his highest output of the season.

Overall, the Packers offense looked weak. Aaron Rodgers was sacked three times and was under pressure most of the day. You could argue that was a symptom of the play calling.

With both of their starting safeties out, Detroit’s game plan was to take away the vertical passing game. That left the underneath passes open, but much like he’s done all season, Mike McCarthy continued to try to go vertical. It didn’t work.

Frankly, Finley should have had a much bigger day than he did. If only the Packers would have worked the underneath routes…

One thing that wasn’t surprising was McCarthy relying almost exclusively on James Starks to carry the running game. Starks ran 25 times for 74 yards. Alex Green didn’t touch the ball.

Still, the Packers did enough to win. If it weren’t for Crosby’s continued struggles — he missed two of three attempts on the day — the game may have been over with a little bit earlier.

As it stands, the Packers maintained their one-game lead over Minnesota and are in position to take over the division lead if Chicago loses to San Francisco on Monday night. The Lions, who are now 4-6, can likely kiss their playoff changes goodbye.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

29 Comments on "Packers Escape Detroit With Win"

  1. opivymang

    Play calling was really, really bad

    Rodgers to Cobb TD was incredible

    D came through clutch with no CWood & Matthews. What a beautiful thing to say

    And yeah, Tramon talked some shit during the week… didn’t really put the team on his back doe

  2. nurseratchett

    I expressed worry about Crosby a few weeks ago. WTF???? With the chip shots he’s been missing, let Cobb kick. Hell, give Driver a shot at field goals; maybe you bitches will get off his back about wanting to retire a Packer if he can kick a 35 yarder in a dome…

    There are a few laws of football…Defense wins championships, QB’s sell tickets, and a win is a win. This W, although UGLY still isn’t as filthy as Seattle’s week 3 win; or Indy’s week 4 win, for that matter.

    GO PACK GO!!!!!!!

  3. armyguy872008

    Is it just me that thinks the Detroit Lions are a bunch of thugs and today they really showed it? As for the win, great teams find a way to win. The Texans struggled, and apparently because the Jets won M Sanchez is the greatest thing since cheese with holes in it, as did a few other good teams today. (Not the Pats) no doubt the Pack are missing some key personnel once those players return it will be a truly great team.

  4. Credible

    The Pack might have the second worst line in football (behind Philly). Say what you will about the 20+ runs a game strategy…they win every time they do it.

    Cut Crosby on the fucking ride home and throw him off the plane.

  5. SoTxPhil

    AGAIN MM refuses to use his potent short passing game instead uses his 2 runs for 5-6 yds a pass 30 yds downfield incomplete/or sack and a punt offense. This week they played a Lion team with nearly all PS players in the secondary and refused to test them with short passes into space. On top of that we had Ref Ron Winter from Mich(born and living there) to call a penalty to neutralize every GB gain in the first half to keep Det in the game. T. Aikmenkept commenting all thru the game, “why aren’t the Packers throwing over the wide-open middle” could see this was the way to go, but MM never sees it. SOOOO Frustrating ever week. The young guys played great.

  6. Shmoseph


    SoTxPhil:

    AGAIN MM refuses to use his potent short passing game instead uses his 2 runs for 5-6 yds a pass 30 yds downfield incomplete/or sack and a punt offense. This week they played a Lion team with nearly all PS players in the secondary and refused to test them with short passes into space. On top of that we had Ref Ron Winter from Mich(born and living there) to call a penalty to neutralize every GB gain in the first half to keep Det in the game. T. Aikmenkept commenting all thru the game, “why aren’t the Packers throwing over the wide-open middle” could see this was the way to go, but MM never sees it. SOOOO Frustrating ever week. The young guys played great.

    Totally agree, our run game struggles, so why not try dink and dunk passes for 5-8 yard gains?? Dont know if its MM or Rodgers with this horrible play calling, but it gets frustrating to watch. Thankful for the victory tho; we should be in first place by Monday night after the bears loose!! :)

    • geopack

      Actually, it’s better if the bears win tonight. We’ll pass them anyway when we beat them in December, but we to pass the niners tonight so we get the bye position.

  7. SoTxPhil

    Also, today did anyone else notice that Rodgers appeared to be down in the dumps with a sour look on his face the whole game? He never took any real hard hits, but his expression looked like Crosbys’. I wonder how the NFL can assign a ref from a home state of one of the teams that are playing in the game he is officiating. If Winter lived his whole life in Mich, he’s bound to be a Lions fan. I figured he was a Bear fan the way he always shows up to ref our games with them and ALWAYS makes some contraversial call to let them win or at least help them stay in the game, ala today with the Lions. Cobb wouldn’t let it happen today.

  8. Shawn Iltarion

    This win means more for the Packers than a 55-10 blowout would.

    I’ve been watching the Lions and Bears, among others, win games all year where they stink it up for most of 4 quarters and then somehow pull it out in the end. It was awesome to do to the Lions what they normally do to everyone else.

    After being putrid for the whole game, it was HUGE for A-Rodge and the offense to get that gotta have it TD to take the lead, and then a monster for the defense to pull a 2010 and not even allow a first down when all D-troi needed was a FG to win.

    Ridiculous penalties, piss-poor OL play, poor decisions, and one missed chippy, and the Packers STILL get the win at Detroit to practically knock them from the playoff picture.

    You can call it ugly.

    I call it BEAUTIFUL.

    Everyone thought the defense would fall apart without CM3, but Dezman Moses, Erik Walden, Casey Hayward, Davon House, Mike Daniels and MD Jennings had other ideas. Mad props all around to the young players on defense who should get nothing but better.

    • Kozak

      Agree. 4th quarter come back win was a thing of beauty, and should inspire some confidence in both the O and the D down the stretch…

  9. Cheese

    Crosby’s stats only say that he missed two field goals but he totally biffed that free practice kick when Schwartz called a time out, and he still couldn’t make the next one! Plus on one of the Packers first drives it was fourth and four and it would have been a 49 yard field goal but McCarthy decided to go for it, probably because he didn’t trust his idiot kicker, and they didn’t get the first down. This was before Crosby shanked three fucking kicks! So with the failed fourth down that could have been an easy three points (with an average kicker), and the two missed kicks that counted, that’s a whole 9 point swing. How do they not get a second kicker to at least challenge this guy?

    • Shawn Iltarion

      Regardless of our confidence in our kicker, we still probably go for a 4th an 4 from the 32. As would NE and the Saints and any other team with a halfway decent offense.

  10. Kristofer from Oshkosh

    I got to wonder how much of the non-stop long passing calls are to blame on MM or is it Aaron Rodgers who is making the decision. Either way, every NFL team analyze the game as it happens to see where the weak spots are possibly opening up (you know the pictures of the defense the quarterbacks are always looking at). If it is Rodgers, then MM should know to communicate to Rodgers whats going on and how wide open the middle of the field is if Rodgers isn’t seeing it, which I dont know how he could miss it. If it’s MM calling those type of plays so often, then maybe it has a purpose- Like in 2010, the packers didn’t really start to light it up until the last few weeks of the season- maybe that is the plan, to practice the harder plays against these type of teams and then really start to call a good game and get everyone on fire starting 2 or 3 weeks before the playoffs to make a better push and not show as much of the offense for other teams to study. Because it almost looks like they are completely avoiding the short passing game all together. The few times this season, except the first game of the season against SF, the Packers have faced a supposed top team like the Texans with how great everyone thinks thier secondary is- Rodgers throws 5 touchdowns and has, arguably, his best game of the season. Against the Bears, easily won that game. It has just made me wonder why there has been such a difference between games and against less harder foe. Obviously the O-line has got to play better and up to thier capability, there is no way that is planned. The Packers and Aaron Rodgers don’t want to get as disappointed as last season when the Pack lost the first game in the playoffs with 1 loss on the regular season. I say why not focus on the long passing game in these type of games and make it more like a practice session than playing all out and putting your whole playbook on the table. Maybe I am the only one who thinks this might possibly be the reasons for the recent play calling. Almost every year Rodgers has been the quarterback, they have had no running game and the short passing game turned into thier running game. What do you guys think? Is there that possibility this kind of game plan is put together on purpose?

    • Shawn Iltarion

      No idea what you or Monty are talking about. I can’t remember the Packers throwing a fly route or a deep post all game.

      This isn’t baseball or basketball where a team like the Lakers can take the first two weeks of the season off and be fine. In the NFL you play to win every week because one game can make the difference between making the playoffs and not making it.

      So, in other words, the Packers aren’t holding anything back. They are running the plays that they think gives them the best chance to win each week.

      • DevilDon

        At least someone gets it. So tired of people complaining about play calling. As though you know… the run didn’t work there – MM should have passed it.
        Not how the game works folks.

  11. john

    yes, great game. Running game is adequate. Long passes? Were you guys watching a different game??

    Not a great game but what column is it in???

    Crosby had a super year last year, remember? Funk now, yes replace him yet, nah

  12. Abe Frohman

    MM is generally regarded as one of the BEST play callers in the NFL. That’s not me saying it, either. So many things happen on any given play that I don’t think there’s a one of us that can tell what play was called in the huddle vs. the play actually run. And even if it was the perfect play for the defense, if someone doesn’t execute their assignments, the play will not be successful.

    Tramon Williams looked hurt to me. He did not play a physical game. On that 53 yarder to Johnson, the ball was in the air for 2 or 3 seconds and he didn’t close on it, at all? WTF?

    Jones, Hawk, Walden, Hayward, Burnett, and House all had good games on D.

  13. ay hombre

    I had no problem with them going for the 4th and 4 but I believe it was a decision directly related to Crosby’s struggles. McCarthy likely assessed that it was close enough to a 50-50 kick for Crosby (at the moment in time) and so going for it provided more upside. You have to earn your reps on the Packers and Crosby didn’t earn the right to kick a very makeable 49-yard field goal. If Crosby was kicking well, I think MM takes the points there 90% of the time.

  14. Jonathan

    “and M.D. Jennings snared his first*, which he returned for a 72-yard touchdown in the third quarter.”

  15. AZ Pack

    We have a great crop of young DB’s! They are going to pave the way for the future and enable us to replace older players such as CWOOD. I hate that we have so many injuries, however it enables our younger guys to get valuable playing experience during the middle of the regular season. Several times you heard both Joe Buck and Ain’tman say that few teams in the NFL have solid back ups that are ready to play up to the level of many starters throughout the league. This is a true testament to both TT and MM for finding and getting players coached up and ready to perform in game action.

    GO PACK GO!!

  16. SoTxPhil

    I had no problem with them going for the 4th and 4 but I believe it was a decision directly related to Crosby’s struggles. McCarthy likely assessed that it was close enough to a 50-50 kick for Crosby (at the moment in time) and so going for it provided more upside. You have to earn your reps on the Packers and Crosby didn’t earn the right to kick a very makeable 49-yard field goal. If Crosby was kicking well, I think MM takes the points there 90% of the time.

    I have no problem with MM not going for the FG on 4th down, but I do have a problem with them throwing a 30 yd pass into double coverage rather than calling a play to pick up 5 yds for the first down and keep the sticks moving. Every time Cobb runs the ball from the backfield he has made 5+ yds. Whatever happened to the post pattern that GB teams have run successfully for yrs, are they afraid of getting someone injured?

  17. PackerBoB

    Escaped with a win, eh. What does that mean? Did the best team NOT win on Sunday? If this was a playoff game would we still say they “escaped with a win”? Or are the expectations so high that anything other than a blowout is a unacceptable.

    Winning in the NFL is hard. Despite injuries to some of our top player and Crosby missing multiple file goals we still got the W. The Packers are as good as any team in the NFL and I’ll gladly sit back and watch the them “escape” a few more wins this season.

    • DevilDon

      No question Bob. If fans were honest I’d bet 90% would say they were nervous about this game without Matthews. Still… they win and the bitches come out.
      It’s obvious people just get a kick out of finding fault with others.

  18. Doug


    geopack:

    Actually, it’s better if the bears win tonight. We’ll pass them anyway when we beat them in December, but we to pass the niners tonight so we get the bye position.

    Say what? Any breathing room we can get is important. So we want the Bears to lose any and all games they can. A loss by a divisional rival is much more beneficial than a loss by another NFC team. And we’re already ahead of San Fran because of their tie last week.

    Win the division and the home game is a done deal. No need to worry about anyone else.

  19. rich

    Exactly. Crosby makes those 2 field goals and we have a nice 10 pt win and nobody is saying anything. Tough divisional opp.
    Nelson looked rusty as expected. What’s the word on Jennings?
    Going to game next week against the Giants. Hopefully both the team & myself get out in one piece. lol.

  20. Ryan

    I have long defended MM on this blog, but I was a little frustrated with some of the play calling on Sunday. McCarthy admitted it wasn’t his best called game. My biggest frustration was the consistent running plays on 1st down late in the game that gained nothing. It forced to play “from behind” almost every down.

    That being said, the defense was really impressive. Just think if Burnett (I think) would have intercepted that pass to Calvin Johnson (which I still don’t quite understand how he didn’t)… A lot of credit has to go TT for having a very talented group of young guys. Also, some credit to Capers who has really turned things around from last year. There are still times when I question how people get so wide open, but the frequency has greatly declined.

    Divisional road wins are never easy. This was exactly what the Pack needed. Aaron needs to get back on track, we need to get healthy, and Mason needs to get back to old form. If those 3 things happen this team will be fine.

    And hey, we are now in 1st place in the division!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *