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Lions vs Packers: What Just Happened?

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A collection of thoughts on the Lions’ Week 9 matchup.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Is everyone having fun? I know I am. After three weeks of ugly football, the Lions went out and got a big and much needed win on the road. Not just a simple win. The Lions win in a place that they’ve only won twice in since 1991. Frankly, I don’t care that Rodgers wasn’t there. A win is a win. And again, it wasn’t a simple win. The Lions straight molly-whopped the Packers by a score of 30-17.

As always, I have thoughts on this game. Here are those thoughts.

Matthew Stafford was money all night

This has to be one of those signature performances from Matthew. This game is why Stafford makes the kind of money he makes. Stafford rocked the Packers all night by going 26-33 for 361 yards and two touchdowns. He completed 78.8 percent of his passes and had a quarterback rating of 132.5. It was so good. How good was it?

Marvin Jones is also really good

We’ve focused a lot of energy on how Marvin Jones has had trouble separating from cornerbacks. But we don’t talk enough about how he just manages to make catches anyway. Jones finished his night with seven receptions for 107 yards and two touchdowns. That goes nicely with the other 408 yards and three touchdowns he’s put up this year. Jones is not looking like like the poor signing so much of us thought he was earlier in the season.

How did Golden Tate do this?

I honestly can’t put into words how much of a treat it is to have Golden Tate on this team. He didn’t touch the end zone on Monday night, but he didn’t have to. He still carved up the Packers’ defense for seven catches and 113 yards. He was even Jon “What the hell is a turkey hole?” Gruden’s Grinder in this game.

Defense came to play

The Lions played against a Packers quarterback that’s only had a couple starts in his career, but this is also the same Lions team that fed Matt Flynn’s family for years and have a history—outside of Flynn—of getting beaten up by backups. Not to mention, this is Lambeau Field.

Having said that, the Lions saw through the Packers’ early scripted plays and they were able to get to the quarterback multiple times. The Lions didn’t allow Green Bay to get into the end zone until it was garbage time. They must keep this up.

Red Zone woes continue

Not everything was good. The Lions had another red zone moment late in the game. They were up big so it didn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but this is the kind of thing the Lions can ill afford if they have to keep running the table to stay with the Vikings.

Once again, the Lions got to the one-yard line and were blanked on three straight run plays. They were even blanked on the plays that we all spent so much time complaining about throughout last week. Something has to give here at some point. I personally think the Lions need to trust their quarterback in these moments instead of a run game that doesn’t work.

Don’t start doing that stuff again, Ameer

Ameer Abdullah had appeared to have fixed his fumbling issues. Coming into Monday night’s matchup, it had been a while since Abdullah coughed up the football. On Monday night, he did it twice. Not just anywhere though, but in the red zone. The place you don’t want to fumble when you’re trying to score.

Sure, it may be an anomaly. Abdullah hadn’t fumbled at all until Monday night. So for now, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, but that’s gotta be the end of it right there.

Can we talk about Slay for a second?

He held Jordy Nelson. That was pass interference. But it was an elite pass interference. The kind that doesn’t get called. Then two plays later, he blanked Jordy the right way. Slay was all over Nelson for much of the night. Perhaps that’s why he only had four catches for 34 yards. Slay is elite. I wasn’t 100 percent sure earlier in the year. I’m sure now.

Ebron wasn’t bad, guys

The guy everyone wanted traded on Tuesday actually had a decent little game. He was targeted four times and caught three of them. The fourth target sailed over his head as he was hit in the back. He only had 35 yards on the night, but the plays he made were worth mentioning in my opinion, especially a third-down conversion in the second half that he reached for. He’s not Jimmy Graham or Kellen Winslow Sr., but he’s trying. And that’s sort of alright with me.


Brian Mihalik made a big catch in the fourth quarter—probably the only catch he’ll ever make in his career. Look for that on Sportscenter tonight. What you won’t see, though, is that Mihalik has had two “okay” games in the last two weeks.

I fully expect Decker to be back next Sunday, which will send Mihalik back to the bench. I just want it to be noticed that Mihalik has recovered nicely from Cam Jordan throwing him around like a rag doll a few weeks back.

Everyone just calm down, alright?

Yeah, Monday was fun, but this doesn’t mean everything is solved and the Lions are cured and ready to go to the Super Bowl three years in a row. This team has to keep winning before anyone can get excited about anything.

As for right now, the Lions won with a lot of boom. And we like the cars that go boom.