Detroit Lions At Green Bay Packers: An In Depth Game Review

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The Lions Defeated The Packers 30-17 On Monday Night Football. Here’s How It Happened.


1st Quarter

Green Bay opened the game with a long 15 play, 58 yard drive that ended with a Mason Crosby field goal attempt though. However, a bad long snap caused Crosby to kick the ball at a low trajectory, and Lions defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson was able to block the kick.

Detroit answered with a lengthy possession of their own, going 71 yards in nine plays. The Lions were able to get the ball in the end zone though, as Matthew Stafford found receiver Marvin Jones for a 25 yard touchdown.

Score: Lions lead 7-0

2nd Quarter

Detroit had another very long drive in the second quarter, going 91 yard in 13 plays. Running back Ameer Abdullah capped it off with his second touchdown of the season from four yards out.

Green Bay was able to answer that score with a field goal drive as the half ended. Their quarterback, Brett Hundley, looked good running the no huddle offense and put them in position for their first points of the game.

Score: Lions lead 14-3

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3rd Quarter

The only scoring in the third quarter came on the Lions opening possession when Matt Prater kicked a 44 yard field goal.

Ameer Abdullah fumbled for the first time this season mid way through the third quarter, but the Lions defense was able to hold Green Bay to no points off of the turnover.

Score: Lions lead 17-3

4th Quarter

The Lions started out the third quarter with a field goal drive. They got down to the Packer one yard line, but were unable to get into the end zone and had to settle for a 19 yard field goal.

Green Bay answered with their best offensive drive of the night, as Hundley led them on a 78 yard possession that ended with him scoring on a quarterback keeper.

The Lions offense did not falter though, as Marvin Jones scored another touchdown reception (this time from 11 yards out) and Prater added another field goal.

On the final possession of the game, Green Bay running back Jamaal Williams scored a meaningless one yard touchdown.

Score: Lions win 30-17

Key Stats

The Lions did not punt in this game

This game was the first time in 46 years that the Lions did not punt. Detroit’s offense did a fantastic job of sustaining drives and scored points on all but two of their possessions.

The Lions outgained Green Bay 417 to 311 yards

Detroit had outgained Green Bay by more than 100 yards in this game. The Lions offense moved the ball all night, while Green Bay didn’t rack up many of these yards until the game was well out of hand.

The Lions converted 8 of 13 third downs

The Lions offense rarely left the field on Monday night, and this was a big reason why. Converting well over 50% of your third downs goes a long way towards winning in the NFL.

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The Lions had possession of the ball for 36:55, Green Bay just 23:05 

Detroit had the ball for almost 2/3 of this game. They tired Green Bay’s defense out, while giving their own defense a lot of time to rest.

The Lions only scored two touchdowns on four trips inside the red zone

The Lions offense struggled in the red zone again, scoring only two touchdowns on four trips inside the opponent’s 20 yard line. There is blame for both the play calling and execution by the players.

The Lions only had 64 rushing yard at 1.9 yards per rushing attempt

Detroit again struggled to have any kind of reliable running game. They had an abysmal 1.9 yard per carry, and were just completely shut down on the ground on Monday night. Both the offensive line and running backs had bad games when it came to moving the ball on the ground.

Positives

Matthew Stafford played like the highest paid quarterback in the NFL

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford played his best game of the season, and one of the best games of his career on Monday night. He completed 26 of 33 passing attempts for 361 yards and had two touchdown passes. He did not turn the ball over once. He was pinpoint accurate throughout the game and could seemingly do whatever he wanted to Green Bay’s defense.

Golden Tate and Marvin Jones both were fantastic

Detroit receivers Marvin Jones and Golden Tate each had a 100 yard receiving game against the Packers, with the former catching seven passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns and the latter making seven receptions for 113 yards. Both of these guys seemed to get open all night, and when they didn’t, they made tough, contested catches in coverage. Here are a few catches from each of them.

Marvin Jones’ first touchdown of the game was a simple go route where he out ran the Green Bay cornerback. Stafford placed the pass perfectly over Jones’ shoulder, and Detroit scored their first touchdown since week six.

Marvin Jones’ second touchdown came on a trick play. Stafford faked the screen pass to Golden Tate, then found Marvin Jones in the end zone. Jones made a difficult leaping catch over Packer’s cornerback Damarious Randall.

This toe-tapping catch from Golden Tate displayed featured good route running, a great catch, and a fantastic back shoulder throw from Stafford. Tate beat Damarious Randall on a wheel route, and Stafford placed the ball perfectly where Randall had no shot at it. Tate reeled in the pass, and did an incredible job to get his feet down in bounds.

On this play, Tate showed off his yards after the catch ability. He ran an in route and caught the pass at the Lions 40 yard line. He was able to pick up another 16 yards after the catch, bringing it up to the Green Bay 44 yard line. This is just one of very many examples of Tate’s dangerousness with the ball in his hands.

Jim Bob Cooter opened up the playbook

Over the last two games we have seen offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter gradually open up his play book more and more. After a very conservative offensive approach over the first six games of the season, we have seen much more of an emphasis on the downfield passing game against Pittsburgh last week and Green Bay earlier this week.

We have also seen more creative play calling, as rookie cornerback and punt return Jamal Agnew has seen offensive snaps in the last two games. He was on the field for three offensive plays against the Packers, carrying the ball once for four yards. Cooter also called a flea flicker play on Monday night, however, Green Bay blitzed and Stafford couldn’t get the throw off before he was sacked.

Cooter’s play calling was just generally much better against the Packers than it has been all season. On this screen pass to Theo Riddick, Cooter made the perfect play call. Up by 10 points in the fourth quarter, Cooter knew that the Packers defense had to be aggressive. He took advantage of that, and countered their blitz by calling a screen pass, which worked perfectly and went for 63 yards.

Negatives

The Lions run game is seriously bad

The Lions offense had a miserable game when it came to their rushing attack. They had just 64 rushing yards as a team at an awful 1.9 yards per carry. They now rank 29th in the NFL with only 79.9 rushing yards per game. The Lions offensive line is simply not doing their job in the running game, and the backs have been unable to make plays when they need to.

The redzone struggles continued

After scoring no touchdowns on five trips to the red zone against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, Detroit only scored two touchdowns on four red zone trips this week against Green Bay. If Detroit has any intention of winning the NFC North, or a playoff game, they need to figure out how to get the ball into the end zone.

Player Of The Game

Matthew Stafford was clearly the player of the game this week. He played one of the best games of his career, and certainly his best game at Lambeau Field as he completed 26 of 33 passes for 361 yards with two touchdowns and no turnovers.

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Since coming out of the bye week, Matthew Stafford has been on fire. He has completed 68% of his passes and thrown for 784 yards at just over 10 yards per attempts with no turnovers in the last two games. After a relatively shaky start to the season, Stafford is finally starting to look like the highest paid quarterback in the NFL.

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