Dec 28, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is taken off the field on a cart after an injury in the second quarter during the game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions have gone head-to-head in the first half of their battle today at Lambeau Field – an arena where the Packers have gone undefeated at 7-0.
The story of today’s first half is a couple of missed opportunities to score; Aaron Rodgers going down with an injury and Brad Jones’s ridiculous personal foul penalty that gave the Lions another shot at the end zone – converting on a Matthew Stafford-to-Calvin Johnson TD to bring them within a touchdown at 14-7.
The Packers scored on a Micah Hyde 55-yard punt return for a touchdown and a pass from Rodgers to Randall Cobb with just over 2 minutes left in the half.
The outcome of today’s game would determine the NFC North Division champion and solidify seeding for the both teams.
Some notes of interest from throughout the day …
• The announcement of the inactive players raised many eyebrows – DuJuan Harris, used for the first 15 games as the Packers primary kick returner was inactive and on the opposite side of the spectrum, quarterback Scott Tolzien, who had never been activated for a single game this season, found himself in uniform today.
Coach Mike McCarthy said he wanted improvement out of the kickoff team, thus the move to deactivate Harris and move both Micah Hyde and Randall Cobb into the punt and kickoff return units.
As for Tolzien, the promotion to the active roster raised questions about whether Aaron Rodgers’ injured calf was worse than most thought – though the Packers said all week there was no concern. The move of Tolzien could have been done simply as an insurance policy.
• Packers come out running the ball with Lacy and Starks, but get stuffed on six straight tries from inside the five yard line. Punt to Lions who proceed to go three and out.
• Micah Hyde ignites Lambeau Field with a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown.
• Packers defense gives up just one first down on first two drives to the Lions; Clay Matthews very active with one sack and a run stuff for a loss.
• Good to see the Packers special teams coming up with big plays in the early going.
• Packers lead at the end of the first quarter 7-0, despite the fact that Aaron Rodgers was 0-2.
• Matthew Stafford 5-of-7 for 52 yards in the first quarter.
• Packers have 61 first quarter rushing yards; Lacy with 38 of them
• Packers with another big stop on Lions’ third drive forcing a punt.
• From the 11, the Packers move from the 11 with two first downs; pass to Jordy Nelson and Richard Rodgers; drive ends when Eddie fumbles for the second time this year at the Lions’ 20. Only the second time he has fumbled this year – both against the Lions.
• Detroit uses run game in the second quarter to move the ball to the Packers 30, but fail to convert when Stafford overthrows Golden Tate and the Packers take over with decent field position.
• With 6 minutes left, Lacy pounds out a first down. On three straight runs Lacy moves ball to midfield.
• After starting 0-3, Rodgers up to 5-of-8 for 93 yards … he also rushed for a first down.
• Aaron Rodgers leads Green Bay to a touchdown inside of two minutes, but crumbled in a heap on the TD pass to Randall Cobb … taken off the field on a cart.
• The Detroit Lions score on a Stafford to Calvin Johnson 20-yard touchdown pass. The score came after a personal foul roughing the quarterback penalty on Packers LB Brad Jones who was flagged for a slap to the head of Stafford. The TD pass came on the next play after Jones’s penalty.
• Halftime score Packers 14 Lions 7
First half stats:
GREEN BAY PACKERS