Kickoff was scheduled for noon in Green Bay, but the game between the Packers and Detroit Lions got underway mid-morning with the surprising news that Calvin Johnson was inactive.
Johnson, regarded as the best receiver in football, may be as important to the Lions offense as any non-quarterback is to his team around the league. And although the Lions added Reggie Bush this offseason to give them a more complete offense, it’s Johnson that makes the wheels go round.
With Johnson out, the Lions were unable to get anything going against the Packers defense.
Coming into the game, Bush—whom the Lions move all over the formation and utilize him in the passing game—looked like a tough matchup for a Packers defense that struggles in the middle of the field, but Detroit’s new offensive weapon managed just 69 total yards on 17 touches.
It’s hard to say what might have been had the Lions’ offense been at full strength, as the high-flying Packers offense only posted 22 points themselves. But in the end, five Mason Crosby field goals and a James Jones touchdown was all the Packers needed to get their second win of the season.
And as things currently stand, the Packers (2-2) trail the Lions and Bears (3-2) by only one game atop the NFC North standings.