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 defensive end

Mike Daniels

(76) and running back Eddie Lacy (27) celebrate after the Packers beat the Detroit Lions 30-20 at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Contributions

The defense continued with its impressive recent play. They slipped up some along the way to allow the Lions back into the game for a bit, but overall they continued to mostly shut things down on an opposing offense.

Dec 28, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback

Matthew Stafford

(9) is sacked by Green Bay Packers linebacker

Clay Matthews

(52) with help from linebacker

Julius Peppers

(56) in the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

There isn’t any one player you can point to for the success; so many are out there making major contributions. Clay Matthews’ work at ILB is undoubtedly major, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

Matthews put in two tackles for loss, a QB hit, a pass defensed, and a terrifying open-field sack early on against Stafford.

Mike Daniels routinely blew up blocks along the line while also breaking through for a sack, a tackle for loss and a two QB hits.

Casey Hayward nearly grabbed an interception while also garnering a tackle for loss with a couple of passes defensed.

Morgan Burnett tied the team lead for tackles (7) while also grabbing a pass defensed.

In all, we saw the defense manage to hold the Lions to 20 total points on the night. They forced a turnover by Joique Bell, had 7 passes defensed, forced a safety.

Matthew Stafford was held under 50 percent in completions for the game.

Perhaps biggest of all, the Lions were stonewalled on a 2-point conversion attempt in a late comeback attempt, causing what could have been a unlikely-but-manageable one-score game into an impossible two-score contest with barely any time left.

This side of the ball has seen tons of grief from fans at many points this year, but the way they are playing these days, they seem to be more of a strength than a weakness.

That’s amazing; not just from how far away they were from that before, but the fact that they can be what positively decides a game for the Packers now.

I wouldn’t want to need to rely on them to win a game for Green Bay, but it is reassuring to know that if they had to the Packers would still have a pretty decent shot at the least.

We may no longer be in the time of ‘Defense Wins Championships’, but they still play a major part and this one has been proving to be more than capable of holding their own.

Next: Concerns To Watch