Here is a drive-by-drive look at how the Packers beat the Lions by a score of 34-12 on Sunday.
- This game couldn't have gotten off to a better start for the Lions. Green Bay's Jordy Nelson fumbled the opening kickoff and Jordon Dizon recovered to give the Lions the ball at the 20-yard line. A 12-yard pass to Brandon Pettigrew after a 2-yard run by Kevin Smith moved the Lions down to the 6, and a penalty for roughing the passer moved Detroit down to the 3. (Pettigrew was injured on the roughing the passer play and didn't return, by the way.) Smith picked up a couple yards on the next play, setting up a 1-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson. It was just a simple out pattern and the timing couldn't have been better, as it was a perfect play that put the Lions up 7-0.
- The Packers' offense finally got on the field and just as we all expected, it moved the ball quite well. Green Bay was faced with third down on three different occasions, and each time it moved the chains. The Lions' defense finally did get a stop on the fourth third down of the drive, and the 8-minute or so long possession came to an end on a missed field goal. Mason Crosby booted the 43-yard attempt wide right, and Green Bay's lengthy drive was all for naught.
- With a chance to extend its lead to two possessions, the Lions moved down the field initially thanks to Kevin Smith and Casey FitzSimmons. The drive came to a disappointing end, however, after Detroit got down to Green Bay's 37-yard line and faced 3rd and 3. Stafford was under heavy pressure and made a bad pass that was intercepted by Nick Collins at the 26.
- The Packers quickly had 3rd and 11, and on the final play of the opening quarter Aaron Rodgers heaved a bomb downfield for an open Donald Driver, who made the catch for a gain of 68 yards. Rodgers had so much time to throw that Driver managed to get behind the coverage, so this big play happened because of a terrible pass rush and the defensive backs only being able to stay on their guys for so long.
- Donald Lee scored on a tight end screen from 7 yards out to start the second quarter, tying the game up at 7.
- The Lions moved the chains once before having to punt because Dennis Northcutt dropped a pass on 3rd and 6.
- The Packers again moved the ball down the field thanks to third-down conversions before Lions penalties took over. Louis Delmas made a terrible play and drilled Jermichael Finley despite the pass sailing over both of them, resulting in a personal foul penalty. Then, on the very next play, Marvin White was flagged for a horse collar tackle, moving the Packers down to the 8. Detroit's defense did a good job in the red zone yet again, however, keeping the Packers out of the end zone and holding them to a 20-yard field goal.
- An unnecessary roughness penalty on the Packers on the proceeding kickoff gave Detroit great field position, but that didn't mean much since Matthew Stafford was picked off again just three plays into the drive. He threw a bad pass off of his back foot and gave the Packers the ball near midfield.
- Green Bay moved the ball quite effectively once again until they reached the red zone, which is when the Lions made a stop and Mason Crosby had to kick another field goal. This one was from 25 yards out and put Green Bay up 13-7.
- The Lions had about a minute left in the half to do something, and a face mask penalty moved Detroit into GB territory. Detroit didn't move the ball after that, though, and Stafford was sacked twice in the next four plays as the half came to an end.
- Trailing by only 6 points, the Lions got the ball to start the second half and had a chance to cut the lead in half or possibly take the lead. Well, any hopes of that happening quickly came to an end when Matthew Stafford was picked off by Charles Woodson on the second play of the drive. Woodson made a great catch for the interception, and Green Bay took over on the Detroit 38.
- The Lions' defense bailed out Stafford, because it held Green Bay to fourth down and the Packers decided to go for it. Julian Peterson smoked Aaron Rodgers from behind to force a fumble that was recovered by Jason Hunter at the 37. Just like that the Lions took over and again had a chance to put some points on the board.
- Detroit's offensive woes continued on the next drive, and although it didn't turn the ball over this time, a three and out led to a punt.
- Aaron Rodgers opened Green Bay's next drive with a 45-yard pass to Donald Driver, and after that he threw the ball on five straight plays. A scramble for 5 yards ended the streak of passes, but he went back to the air on the very next play and found Driver in the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown.
- The Lions got a couple big plays to put Jason Hanson in position to kick a field goal after the drive stalled. Unlike last year, where Hanson was automatic from beyond 50 yards, he kicked the 54-yarder wide right.
- Green Bay quickly capitalized on the missed kick by going down the field and scoring a touchdown in only 5 plays. Aaron Rodgers completed a 21-yard pass to James Jones for the score to put Green Bay up 27-7.
- Both teams went three and out to start the final quarter of the game, but the Lions' offense woke up on their next drive. A 47-yard pass to Dennis Northcutt was the spark the Lions needed, and after that they quickly moved down to the 1-yard line. Sadly that was as far as they got. Despite having three shots at the end zone from the 1, the Lions failed to score and turned the ball over on downs.
- Detroit did pin Green Bay deep in their own territory because of the failed fourth down attempt, and that allowed Louis Delmas to tackle Ryan Grant in the end zone for a safety. The ball came loose and was recovered by Jordon Dizon for a touchdown, but the Packers challenged and Grant was ruled down. Even so, Detroit now trailed 27-9 and had momentum on its side.
- A good return by Northcutt sparked another good big drive and again the Lions got down near the goal line. This time they failed to score from the 4, and rather than go for the touchdown, Jason Hanson came in and kicked a 22-yard field goal. The field goal made this a two-possession game, but not for long.
- The Packers went three and out, and it looked like the Lions were on the verge of making things interesting. Well, Matthew Stafford did make one play interesting, but that was because Charles Woodson jumped a route and returned an interception to the house for a touchdown. The Lions now trailed 34-12, and this game was as good as over.
- Woodson forced another turnover on the Lions' next drive, stripping Casey FitzSimmons of the ball and recovering it. The Packers were now able to run out the clock, sealing their 34-12 victory.
This was a case of the Lions taking a couple steps forward last week and a step back this week against Green Bay. The offense was basically missing for most of the game, and the defense, just like the first meeting at Lambeau Field, gave up a ton of big plays but kept the Packers' offense under 30 by holding them to a bunch of field goals.
Going forward, the Lions need to hope that Matthew Stafford gets healthy and stops making so many bad passes under pressure. That's tough for any quarterback to do, but Stafford has to learn to just take the sack or throw the ball away rather than try to make something happen. Let's just hope that he bounces back after this rough game with another great performance next week in Cincinnati.