It was ugly but when it comes to winning division games, the Green Bay Packers will take any kind of victory.
In their 24-20 win over the Detroit Lions, the Packers made enough plays on defense plus one spectacular Randall Cobb catch late in the fourth quarter to come out on top to go to 7-3 on the season and 2-0 in the NFC North.
The Packers had their issues on offense but the defense was spectacular. Matthew Stafford was sacked five times and intercepted twice, including one that was returned for a touchdown. Even without linebacker Clay Matthews, the defense was aggressive and the young players in the secondary came up big when a play needed to be made.
The offense, on the other hand, was another story. With Bryan Bulaga now out for the year, TJ Lang was moved to right tackle and Evan Dietrich-Smith got the start at left guard. Their inexperience at their respective positions was evident thanks to multiple holding penalties and quarterback Rodgers often running for his life.
Let’s take a look at the good and the not-so-good from Sunday’s game. There were many standouts, but here are three that played well and three that left room for improvement.
TE Jermichael Finley
We have all been pretty tough on the Packers starting tight end, but to finally be able to put him in the Game Ball part of this column is an absolute thrill.
Finley came up big against the Lions during a game in which the Packers struggled to get in any kind of tempo on offense. Finley finished the game with three catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. His 20 yard catch and run gave the Packers their first lead of the game and he had a clutch 40 yard catch late in the fourth quarter that helped set up the go ahead touchdown catch by Randall Cobb.
Finley’s issues with his hands and his mouth are well documented. He was feeling the heat from many fans especially with the big play emergence of Tom Crabtree in the passing game. Hopefully this game can serve as a springboard to bigger and better things for Finley which would add just one more explosive element to an offense that is not short on weapons.