Why They Won: Green Bay Packers defeat Detroit Lions at Lambeau … again

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Dec 28, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers safety

Micah Hyde

(33) runs between Detroit Lions linebacker

Julian Stanford

(49) and linebacker

Josh Bynes

(57) to score a touchdown on a 55-yard punt return in the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Quick Hitters

We’ll start with some areas that made a strong impact on the outcome of the contest, but most likely aren’t being given their due.

Offensive Line

As per usual, these guys continued to step up and help the offense roll.

They were a huge factor in clearing the way for a running game that accumulated 152 yards – the most allowed by Detroit all season. They also played a major role in protecting their quarterback, barely allowing him to be touched all day beyond one sack

They may not get the recognition of offensive line units that the one in Dallas gets, but the blockers for Green Bay are a really strong unit that deserves at least some semblance of that respect.

Red-Zone Capitulations

The game didn’t start off so great here, with Green Bay unable to score on their opening drive despite having six different plays in goal-to-go situations. As the game went on, however, things improved dramatically.

Green Bay finished the game by capitalizing on their final three red-zone attempts. Not even aggravating his calf prevented Aaron Rodgers from making sure his offense made it into the end-zone – one of his TD passes came right when the leg injury kicked in.

Finishing drives has been a problem for the offense in previous weeks, so it was good to see them complete most of them with points this time around.

Mr. Hyde

Overall special teams have had some pretty ugly  missteps for Green Bay most of this season, but there have been some bright spots as well.

Micah Hyde definitely ranks as one, and he proved it again by returning an early punt for a 55-yard TD that began the scoring. It was at a crucial time in the game, when the offense looked like it may have a difficult time finishing drives again.

Even more emphatic was that without his score, Green Bay would’ve been down 14-7 at halftime, allowing the Lions to work with a lead and potentially focus more on teeing off on an injured Aaron Rodgers.

Without his huge play, we may be sitting here lamenting the bad luck of the Packers and hoping against the odds that Rodgers could heal up in a week’s time to lead an improbable #6 seed run through a gauntlet of opponents on the road just to reach the Super Bowl.

Instead, Aaron gets two weeks to heal up before the next game and has at least one game in the confines of Lambeau Field (where the Packers are 8-0 this season).

The Other Rodgers

His production has been scattered this season, but tight end Richard Rodgers showed that he has the ability to be a reliable option for Aaron Rodgers.

He caught all five of the passes Aaron threw his way for 40 yards, and those plays included a few key moments that helped keep Green Bay on top.

While the TE position hasn’t been what many may have hoped this year (me included), there is plenty of hope for the future there. Richard Rodgers is at the head of that.