Drive-By-Drive Breakdown of Packers' 26-0 Win Over Lions

Here is a drive-by-drive look at how the Packers beat the Lions by a score of 26-0.

1st Quarter

  • The Packers took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown, but a holding penalty brought it back to the GB 20-yard line.  That didn't stop the Packers from eventually scoring a touchdown, though.  After a couple more penalties on both teams, it eventually was 3rd and 7.  Aaron Rodgers had Greg Jennings wide open in the middle of the field, and Jennings made an outstanding catch to pick up 26 yards.  After Ryan Grant picked up 4 and 0 yards, the Packers were again faced with third down, and they again made a play.  Rodgers hit a wide open James Jones downfield, and he made a couple defenders miss to score a touchdown on the 47-yard play.
  • The Lions' start went from bad to worse when Daunte Culpepper was intercepted on a screen.  It was 3rd and 15, and I don't know what Culpepper was thinking, but the awful pass was intercepted by Cullen Jenkins, giving the Packers the ball at the Lions' 17-yard line.
  • Green Bay did its best to make scoring a touchdown as tough as possible by getting an unnecessary roughness penalty after the second play of the drive, but it just delayed the inevitable.  Rodgers completed a couple 8-yard passes to Jermichael Finley, and Ryan Grant ran for 4 yards in between.  After the second 8-yard pass, Rodgers found fullback John Kuhn wide open in the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown.  Only halfway through the first quarter, Green Bay led Detroit 14-0.
  • The Lions went three and out, and it looked like the Packers were going to take a 21-0 lead after moving the ball well at the start of their next drive.  They shot themselves in the foot with more penalties, however, and Cliff Avril sacked Aaron Rodgers on 2nd and 19.  That made it 3rd and 28, and the Lions were able to hold Green Bay to force a punt.
  • The Lions started to get something going by picking up back-to-back first downs.  First Aaron Brown ran for 14 yards on the outside, and then Dennis Northcutt made a catch for a gain of 18.  Following an incompletion, Kevin Smith ran for 9 yards, making it 3rd and 1 on the GB 21.  Culpepper threw toward the end zone, but it went out of bounds, making it 4th and 1.  I was hoping the Lions would simply take the points, but Jim Schwartz kept the offense out there to go for it.  Culpepper faked a handoff to Jerome Felton and pitched it outside to Smith, who had nowhere to go and was tackled for a loss of a yard.  This play has worked before on 4th and short this season, but it looked like the Packers were ready for it.

2nd Quarter

  • The Packers went three and out after picking up a first down on an 18-yard pass to Donald Lee.  The Lions did their best to move Green Bay closer to a first down when DeAndre Levy went offside, but the defense held tough and forced a punt.  Even then the Lions tried to give it to Green Bay, as Dennis Northcutt muffed the punt, but he managed to fall on it.
  • Another drive, another penalty, and another three and out for the Lions.
  • The Packers could have had the ball on the Lions' 36-yard line after a terrible 22-yard punt, but a holding call while the ball was in the air backed them up near midfield.  That didn't matter for long, though, as Aaron Rodgers quickly moved the Packers down the field on a 17-yard pass to Greg Jennings.  They couldn't do much after that, though.  Part of that was because Chad Clifton got yet another illegal formation penalty, which sort of killed the drive.  Even so, Mason Crosby nailed a 46-yard kick to put the Packers on top 17-0.
  • Kevin Smith finally found a hole and ran for 19 yards on 2nd and 10, but that was really about the only good play on the drive.  A punt came after Culpepper was sacked on 3rd and 7, and the Packers once again started in Lions territory, this time at the 29-yard line thanks to a 45-yard return.
  • The good field position again only produced a field goal, as the Lions defense held tough after Green Bay picked up one first down.  Crosby's kick was from 28 yards out this time.
  • The Lions appeared to have something brewing after a 7-yard pass to Derrick Williams and a 10-yard pass to Dennis Northcutt.  After an incompletion and a 1-yard pass to Northcutt, it was 3rd and 9 for the Lions.  Bryant Johnson made a catch for a gain of 6, making it 4th and 3.  The Lions came out to punt, but Nick Harris ran under center.  A few seconds later he snapped the ball and tossed it to Aaron Brown, who had nowhere to go and was tackled for a loss on the play.  The Lions stacked the left side and had Brown go to the right, but the Packers weren't fooled at all.  The play was poorly executed, as it took the Lions too much time to snap the ball.  By then GB had adjusted and was ready for the run.  This was an awful coaching decision not only because of the play, but also because there was less than a minute left in the half.  Punting it deep would have made it much more likely that the Lions only trailed by 20 at halftime, but instead Green Bay had the ball on the Lions' 43.  In that situation, if the Lions are going to go for it, then I would much rather have them simply go for it, not try a play where Harris is the quarterback.
  • Aaron Rodgers found Jermichael Finley for gains of 5 and 30 yards, moving the Packers into field goal position.  After Green Bay failed to get into the end zone on three tries, thanks in part to a sack by Turk McBride, the Packers once again settled for a Mason Crosby field goal.  This kick was from 31 yards out and made the score 23-0 at halftime.

3rd Quarter

  • On the second play of the second half, Daunte Culpepper scrambled to the right and took off.  It appeared he had lots of room to run, but he pulled up lame after 5 or so yards.  He tweaked his hamstring, and after handing the ball off to Kevin Smith, who gained a yard on the next play, Drew Stanton came in to relieve Culpepper for what would turn out to be the rest of the game.  Stanton threw a pair of incompletions on the rest of this drive, and the Lions proceeded punted the ball away.
  • The Packers were moving the ball already, but it was a 27-yard pass to Donald Driver on 3rd and 1 that put them into Lions territory.  Just like the last few good Packers drives, though, Green Bay was unable to get into the end zone.  The Lions defense stood tough and held the Packers to another Mason Crosby field goal.  Green Bay now led 26-0.
  • Stanton made a pretty nice throw on an out to Brandon Pettigrew, who dove for the ball, but it went through and off of his hands and right to Al Harris, who made the interception.
  • Another long pass to Driver moved the Packers into Lions territory.  This time, despite being interfered with by Demarcus Faggins, Driver brought the ball in with one hand for what was a pretty amazing grab.  The Packers got close to the end zone again shortly thereafter, moving all the way down to the 3-yard line.  That is when Julian Peterson knocked the ball out of Aaron Rodgers' hands, and after it rolled around, Larry Foote fell on it for the recovery.  The Lions' red zone defense kept up its great play that began after the second GB drive of the game by not only keeping the Packers out of the end zone, but by also forcing a turnover.
  • Drew Stanton completed three straight passes to start the Lions' next drive.  They went for 21, 4, and 22 yards and put the Lions in Packers territory.  Two sacks with a 4-yard gain sandwiched in between led to a punt, however, and the Packers got the ball back at their 9-yard line about 40 seconds into the fourth quarter.

4th Quarter

  • The Lions forced another turnover to get the ball back after Ryan Grant ran for 9, 3, and 7 yards and Cliff Avril was called for another offside penalty.  Rodgers threw it low enough over the middle that DeAndre Levy was able to go up and snag it.  Levy fumbled on the short return, but he quickly got it back.
  • The Lions rode that momentum and moved the ball down the field thanks in part to a 20-yard run by Kevin Smith and a face mask penalty by Nick Barnett, which came on a sack.  After John Standeford picked up a first down on a 5-yard pass a couple plays later, the Lions had 1st and goal at the 9.  Following an incompletion and a run by Kevin Smith that went for a loss, Stanton threw the ball into the end zone on 3rd and goal and was picked off by Atari Bigby.  He did not make a smart throw and paid the price in the form of another interception.
  • The Packers ran the final 7:52 off the clock by just handing the ball off to Ryan Grant, John Kuhn, and Brandon Jackson.  Aaron Rodgers ran the ball once as well, and at the end of the game he got to take a knee to run the final seconds off the clock, sealing the Packers' 26-0 victory.

As stated in yesterday's recap of the game, the Lions were really just bad in all facets of the game.  Injuries obviously contributed to many of those issues, so a bye week is very welcoming at this point in the season.  The Lions don't have another game for two weeks, and in the meantime they can recover and get ready to play the currently-winless Rams.  That game will start at 1 p.m. on FOX, but I would be shocked if it wasn't blacked out locally.  Another blackout would suck, but hey, the Lions did win the first and only time they were blacked out so far this season.  Hopefully they can win again regardless of whether or not the game is a sellout.

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