12

December

Packers 27, Lions 20: Game Balls and Lame Calls (with Podcast)

Aaron Rodgers

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers celebrates his 27 yard touchdown run, the longest of his career

It started out ugly but the Green Bay Packers pulled out yet another early victory and swept the season series against the Detroit Lions with a 27-20 victory at Lambeau Field.

It was a rather unusual win for the Packers.  They gained nearly as many yards on the ground as they did through the air and after 35 consecutive games, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers did not throw a touchdown pass at Lambeau Field.

The emergence of the running game was the story of this contest, as well as the Packers not panicking after spotting Detroit an early 14-0 lead.  They showed once again that no team handles adversity better than they do and that will serve them well going into the playoffs.  If the running game can continue to grow, then Rodgers will go from being deadly to unstoppable.   A solid Packers rushing attack is the last thing many opponents want to see.

Here are the good and not-so-good performances from the game against the Lions.

Note: Want to hear our “experts” expand on their selections as well as discuss the game and give you the “Packers Stock Report?” Check out the podcast to hear more reasons for their picks. Listen in using the player below or download the podcast from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.

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Game Balls


WR Randall Cobb

What else can be said about Randall Cobb that has not already been said?

On a night where the Packers pretty much ran the ball better than they threw it, Cobb was the game’s leading receiver with six catches for 107 yards including another incredible one handed grab that has gone from stunning to borderline ho-hum for the budding superstar out of Kentucky.

Once Jordy Nelson returns to health, the Packers will once again be at full strength at the receiver position and with a decent running game possibly now in tow, the Packers very well could be hitting their stride offensively at the perfect time.  If the running game takes some pressure off of Cobb, then look out.

RB Alex Green

19

November

Game Balls and Lame Calls: Packers 24, Lions 20

Aaron Rodgers

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers looks down the field against the Lions on Sunday

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.

Game Balls

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.

18

November

Packers vs Lions: Gameday First Impressions Unfiltered

jermichael Finley

Packers TE Jermichael Finley came up big with two clutch catches in the Packers’ 24-20 win over the Lions.

Pregame notes

Big test for the Packers on the offensive line as Evan Dietrich-Smith gets the start at left guard with Bryan Bulaga on IR.  T.J. Lang moves from left guard to right tackle.

Will we see Suh Stomp II: Electric Bugaloo today?

Packers inactives:

WR Jarrett Boykin, S Charles Woodson, CB Sam Shields, LB Clay Matthews , LB Terrell Manning , TE Andrew Quarless, WR Greg Jennings

Lions inactives:

S Louis Delmas, DT Corey Williams, DE Ronnell Lewis, WR Brian Robiskie, T Jason Fox, T Corey Hilliard, QB Kellen Moore.

Mike McCarthy on WTMJ pregame:

On benefits of the bye: Bye weeks always beneficial. Team is healthier and has more energy, had extra day of practice.

On Offensive Line injuries: TJ Lang from LG to RT, EDS playing LG.

On cross training: Ability to know multiple positions benefits team, confident in lineup.  Battle against Lions D line key to win.

On Missing Matthews: utilizing personnel, get some production out of Dezman Moses.  Using any and all healthy linebackers.

On First down defense:  Playing with favorable sticks helps control the game.

On playing well in domes under Rodgers: Credit to the players and personnel acquisition.

On Stafford: Can make all the throws, big numbers for a reason.  Going to stretch them schematically.

On Tramon vs. Megatron matchup:  Both special athletes, won’t resemble last December’s game.

Packers vs Lions—First Half Impressions

Lions get the ball first.  Ron Winter the official today.

Two drops by Pettigrew and the Packers get the ball after a three and out.

Starks gets the first carry and makes a good effort to get the first down.  He needs to do that more.

Dietrich Smith with a penalty on first drive.  Settle down.

Masthay with a perfect punt and it was perfectly played by Jarrett Bush.  Pins the Lions at their own 2.

Lions go three and out as their first quarter struggles continue.

Where has this James Starks been? Decisive, making cuts and plowing ahead.

Holding penalties killing Green Bay. One on Sitton and one on Dietrich-Smith (his second penalty of the game).