THE FIRST HALF
And when the headline says, “fall”, we are talking about a steep cliff. The Packers had a chance to walk out of Lambeau Field as sole leaders of their division. Instead, they handed the baton to the NFC North to Detroit in an embarrassing first half home effort.
The offensive line could not win the line of scrimmage. Love, pressured constantly for the first time, could not make accurate passes consistently. The lowlights included an interception that was tipped, but he was throwing to a covered receiver. A left-handed throw out of the end zone to save a sack.
Not counting the final drive that ended the first half with a sack of Love and no points, the best drive was 5 plays with the Packers only first down, coming off a neutral zone infraction penalty by Detroit. A total offensive first half output of 22 yards on 20 offensive plays. That includes 17 yards on the final drive of the half.
These are the Packer drives of the first half:
Four plays- zero yards. Field goal gift by the defensive interception
Three plays- negative 11 yards. Punt
Three plays- seven yards. Punt
One play- interception
Three plays- three yards. Punt
Five plays- fifteen yards. Punt
Four plays- seventeen yards. End of half -last play sack of Love
The defense, gashed by the run for 121 yards at the half, were also touched by big pass plays. Rasul Douglass gave the Lions two huge plays, the Lions first touchdown and another big pass.
He also seemed to be watching on other plays. The difference in effort level from Detroit’s secondary and the Packers secondary was obvious and disappointing.
After praising Quay Walker on opening night, his slow reads and inability to take on and shed any lineman’s block led to long runs and a Detroit touchdown allowing David Montgomery to waltz into the end zone untouched after Walker vacated his gap.
Last year Green Bay’s defense was unable to stop the run with De’Vondre Campbell sidelined and Walker running the defense. The first half Thursday was a repeat performance. And then there was the boneheaded play on the 4th quarter field goal by Detroit.
THE SECOND HALF
Give it to Jordan Love. He didn’t quit. He made some plays in the third quarter and the Packers anemic offense showed signs of life. Two good drives, capped off by Love’s first accurately thrown deep ball connecting with Jayden Reed for 44 yards brought some fan noise back into Lambeau.
The defense stopped Detroit on their first possession of the third quarter. They held the Lions to a field goal on their second drive until Quay Walker pulled the boneheaded card out of his arse …again. Jumping over the center on the attempt, giving Detroit a first and goal.
Walker ended the drive meeting Detroit’s running back one yard in the end zone on the touchdown. That was the end of the game. Love’s subsequent pick just started the Lion’s celebration early.
This was an ugly loss sprinkled with a few plays that gives you hope for the future. We knew this young team would struggle. Few teams lose two All Pro lineman and protect their quarterback.
Royce Newman and Wallace struggled. Center Josh Meyers still seems passive, easily knocked around. Zach Tom played on an injured knee. The best you can say is the team did not quit. They now have 10 days to heal from this. Let’s see how they come out against the Raiders on Monday night.