Grind Out The Clock
I’ve talked a ton about the successful start to the offense and the big lead they brought about, but this game surprisingly came down towards the end behind a flurry of big plays by Detroit’s offense.
As Green Bay’s group had slowed down offensively (a field goal plus two punts in first three 2nd half drives), Detroit got the score all the way to 34-27 with 3:34 remaining and all their timeouts; all they needed was a stop and they would have plenty of time to tie things up.
Here, the Packers did what was necessary to preserve the win.
It didn’t look good at first, with Green Bay ending up almost immediately in a 3rd-&-8, but Aaron Rodgers was able to convert a first down with an 11-yard scramble.
This part of the series saw Detroit use up two of their timeouts; they could still technically get the stop and have a workable amount of time left for a game-tying drive (one timeout and the two-minute warning, with 2:30 total left on the clock), but this undoubtedly helped lessen their odds.
After the first down Rodgers found Adams for 9 yards, leading Detoit to use their final timeout.
Then we got to see Lacy finally put an end to their chances, running for 9 more yards to start a new set of downs going into the two-minute warning; from there, all the Lions could do as watch as Rodgers kneeled out the rest of the clock to seal the win.
The offense may still have kinks to work out, but it is a good sign that after basically an entire half of producing next to nothing — though it was at least in part due to taking their foot off the gas after building that large lead in the first half — the unit was able to convert key plays when it mattered most and run the clock out on their opponent pretty effectively.