The Green Bay Packers were simply outmatched today by the Detroit Lions … on both sides of the ball … and on special teams.
As the game moved through the third quarter, no doubt Packers fans ran in droves from the living room to the dining room to enjoy, as best they could, their Thanksgiving dinners as the Lions manhandled the Packers. Through three quarters and into the early fourth quarter, the Lions poured it on … they tackled Matt Flynn for a safety just prior to the end of the quarter and then moved the ball in for a touchdown on four quick plays to take a 33-10 lead at the 13-minute mark of the fourth.
On top of it, Tramon Williams pushed an official and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the TD … pushing the Packers to the lowest point of this season, if not the lowest in years … on national television.
It was clear that this game was deteriorating from bad to horrible.
While Matt Flynn was having possibly the worst outing of a Packers quarterback in memory, head coach Mike McCarthy stuck with him. McCarthy continued to run the ball in the fourth quarter, but to no avail. The Lions defense was swarming and unrelenting all day long.
Even Aaron Rodgers, who was holding the clipboard all day, threw that clipboard to the ground after a Packers punt was returned by former Packer Jeremy Ross deep into Packers territory. Luckily for the Packers, the Lions were called for holding, but the insults added to injuries in this one didn’t stop as they tacked on yet another touchdown with under 4 minutes remaining to go up 40-10.
Watching Matt Flynn throw a 56-yard pass to James Jones inside of two minutes, where Jones made a spectacular catch and run, was a thing of beauty, but was overshadowed on the next play when Flynn fumbled the snap and the Lions recovered. All we could do was shake our heads.
The Packers, who gave up more than 500 yards, including nearly 250 on the ground, will hold their heads low, as they should, this was a butt whacking – but if they are to regain any kind of respect in the NFL, they need to come back from this thrashing.
Questions about coaching, about effort, about scheme will be raised loud and clear over the coming weeks as Green Bay heads into the final month of the season falling deep into the standings of the NFC North.
Will heads roll after this? Will the Packers just simply ride out the season and then make changes at the end of the year? While anything is possible in the NFL, the Packers are not mathematically eliminated, but with a performance like this we can probably count them out of any kind of playoff possibility.
With 18 free agents ready to hit the street possibly looking for a new home and more money, the Packers will have to look closely at who they keep and who they let go. A game like this one will go a long way in helping make that determination.
Game final stats courtesy of SI.com
First half notes
The Green Bay Packers defense scored on a strip of Matthew Stafford and recovery by Morgan Burnett, they got Reggie Bush to fumble inside the five, and Tramon Williams picked off Stafford, but it was the Detroit Lions domination on offense that gave them a 17-10 halftime lead in their NFC North Division Thanksgiving Day matchup in Detroit.
Here are just some of the numbers from the first half:
Packers 3 first downs; Lions 17 first downs
Matt Flynn: 3-of-8 for 45 yards;
Matthew Stafford: 14-of-20, 202 yards, 1 TD
Eddie Lacy: 7-13 yards
Reggie Bush: 13 for 84 yards
Lions: 340 net yards of offense
Packers: 43 net yards of offense
A thorn in the side of the Packers has been the play of former Packer Jeremy Ross who has one touchdown catch, a big punt return, and a rush for 24 yards. But it’s been the sustained drives by the Lions that have led to the Packers’ inability of their offense to mount any kind of momentum of their own – heck, they can’t get on the field and when they do can’t mount any kind of offense.
Tim Masthay has punted four times in the first half.
On another note, Lions kicker David Akers missed a chip shot at the end of the first half that would have give the Lions a two possession lead.
It’s simply amazing the Green Bay Packers are only one touchdown out of this game.
The good news is that the Packers get the ball at the start of the second half.
Tags: Green Bay Packers