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Reviews & Grades: Packer Rout Lions

 Guest senior writer jclombardi @
Jclombardi reviews & grades Packers victory over Lions.

Summary: After an erratic start, QB Rodgers settled down throwing for 348 yards and three touchdowns while the Packers scored 27 unanswered points in explosive big plays to rout the toothless Lions 34-12. In the big 3rd quarter, QB Rodgers threw 2 TD passes including 7 yards pass to Driver and 21 yards pass to WR Jones to give the Packers a 27-7 lead. The Lions tried to comeback scoring twice on a safety and 22 yards field goal and putting the score at 27-12. In the Lions next two series, CB Woodson had an interception returning it 38 yards for a touchdown and a forced fumble recovery to ice the game 34-12 with 4 minutes left in the game.

Video Highlights: CBS.

Game Reviews: Packers Defeat Lions, 34-12. Rants & Raves. Crosby Contributes to Special Teams’ Woes. Filling Their Shoes: Harris, Kampman Subs Step Up. Tampa Just A Memory: Improvement In Several Phases Has Team Looking Forward. Not So Special—Again. Packers CB Woodson’s Holiday Display Builds On Standout Season. Oates grades the Packers. Notebook: Packers Offense Sputters In Red Zone. Lineman Lang & Young Contributors. Packers’ Playoff drive Alive.

Game Balls: 1. CB Woodson 2. QB Rodgers 3. WR Driver 4. CB Williams.

Turning Point: After spotting the Lions that early touchdown and watching Crosby miss a very makeable indoor kick, Rodgers took Nick Collins’ interception, the first of four by the defense on the day, and loaded up a 68-yard bomb to Donald Driver to set up his 7 yards touchdown strike to Donald Lee on the first play of the second quarter to tie the game at 7-7.

Big Stat: Beyond the Lions touchdown to open the game and a field goal in the fourth quarter, the rest of their drives ended with three punts, four interceptions, a missed field goal, and a fumble.


1. Coach McCarthy: I like where our football team is right now. We’ll have that opportunity now), so to win this game, we knew we were going to have the opportunity to have two bye weeks. We’re treating this exactly like our first bye week and our No. 1 priority is to get healthy.”

2. CB Williams: I know what people are going to say, the Detroit Lions, expecting us to win. But we’ll see down the road. We got the win today, we got a break, and we’ll be back to face Baltimore.”

3. Coach Capers:I thought [rookie LB] Jones did his job. I don’t know if he did any more than that or not until I look at the tape.”

4. QB Rodgers:Are we getting closer? Yeah, we are. We know what we have in front of us. We have a tough stretch. We have a very good team coming a week from Monday. We can get guys healthy and get ready for a big time game on national TV.”

5. LB Matthews:That rotation definitely kept us fresh. It’s obviously tough when you lose two Pro Bowl-caliber players, but we’ve had guys who have been waiting for the opportunity to make their presence felt. I thought we had great production at the outside linebacker spot in Aaron’s absence with Brad, Brady, Jeremy and me, and in the secondary with Jarrett and Tramon. It’s really time for the young guys to step up and really showcase their skills.”

Report Card–Good, Bad, & Ugly: LA vs SE.

Pass Offense—B+ vs A-. Although erratic in the first half, QB Rodgers had a good day completing 28 of 39 passes for 348 yards, 3 passing touchdowns, no interceptions, and 124.7 passer rating. WR Driver had 7 receptions for 142 and 1 touchdown. WR Jennings had 4 receptions for 53 yards. RB Grant had 3 receptions for 42 yards. WR Jones had 4 receptions for 35 yards and 1 touchdown. TE Finley had 3 receptions for 25 yards, but he dropped a touchdown pass. TE Lee had 4 receptions for 22 yards, but he dropped two passes. Rodgers was sacked only once, but LT Clifton’s failure to pick up blitzing LB Peterson off the edge resulted in an open blindside hit on and fumble by Rodgers on a fourth-and-3 play in Lions territory.

Rush Offense—C vs C-.  The Packers had only 27 carries for 80 averaging a poor 3 yards.  RB Grant had 20 carries for 61 yards averaging just 3.1 yards.   The explosive-challenged Grant and stretch plays aren’t a good match. He was dropped in the end zone for a safety on a fourth-quarter run to the outsideDon’t blame Grant for the ugly backed-up sequence that led to a safety. The Packers ran zone right twice, with Grant taking long handoffs from 7 yards deep in the end zone, and the frontside action was atrocious.

Pass Defense—B+ vs B+. The “ball hawks” Packers 3-4 defense stopped the Lions with big plays, especially in the red zone defense. They had 5 turnovers, 4 interceptions, two sacks, and 1 forced fumble. Lions QB Stafford completed 20 of 43 passes for only 213 yards, 4 interceptions, 1 touchdown, 2 sacks, and a poor 30.5 rating. CB Woodson had another stellar performance with 2 interceptions including 1 returned for touchdown, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, and 7 tackles. Without Harris, CB Williams started getting an interception. CB Bush took Williams’ spot in the nickel. DC Capers used a straightforward a game plan…as the Packers played 60 of 77 snaps in nickel against Linehan’s three-wide offense and the rest was base and a single snap of prevent with no dime, no “corner Okie,” no “big Okie” avoiding the use of rookie CB Underwood. Replacement NB Bush was victimized in pass coverage getting beat on a 47-yard completion to WR Northcutt and missing sure interceptions. The linebackers struggled in one-on-one matchups with the Lions trio of tight ends who combined for nine catches

However, all the replacements did okay considering the “practice scrimmage”: replacements held up adequately, albeit against a beat-up, talent-lean offense.  OLBs Jones, Poppinga, and Thompson weren’t liabilities in Kampman’s place, but none of them had a solo tackle. Williams had tight coverage on the only catch he gave up, a 17-yard cross to WR Johnson. Bush lost vision on WR Northcutt a couple of times and paid for it on a 47-yard completion in the fourth quarter, but for the most part he was OK.

Rush defense—A- vs B. The short-yardage defense continued their stout performance against the rush. The Lions had 23 carries for only 73 averaging only 3.2 yards and RB Smith rushed 18 times for 43 yards averaging a terrible 2.4 yards. LB Hawk and LB Barnett had 10 tackles apiece.

Special teams—D vs D-. The coverage team had an awful day allowing 169 return yards. The return team had a very poor day getting only 68 yards. On the first kickoff, WR Nelson fumbled the ball away leading to a Lions score on a 1 yard touchdown pass. Next, K Crosby missed a 43 yards field goal. Also, if not for saving tackles by K Crosby and TE Havner on kickoffs….P Kapinos had 3 punts averaging 44 gross and  a poor 32.7 net.

Coaching—B vs B. For the good news, the Packers had 20 first downs and 422 total yards using a short and big plays passing game under excellent protection.  The rushing game struggled to get tough yardage against an inferior team. Also, the play calling and awful execution had its baffling moments, especially in the red zone (only 2 for 4) and on the safety series.  Further, those two key fumbles can be game killers. Also, you cannot afford to execute a 15 plays and 64 yards drive that consumed 8 and one-half minutes leading to zero points as K Crosby missing a 43 yards field goal. Special teams follies included turnovers, penalties and poor kick coverages that put the Packers in poor field positions. In 3rd down efficiency, they were a decent 9 for 16. Finally, they had 7 unnecessary penalties for 57 yards.

Overall Game—B+.  In a holiday prime time away game against an inspired awful team, the Packers breezed after a slow start to win it.

CHTV Good, Bad, & Ugly: Good–Woodson, Rodgers, & Driver; Bad—Bush, Kick Coverage, & Nelson; Ugly—Crosby.

Rodgers vs Favre series: week 12. “Silver Fox” Vikings 10-1.  Packers 7-4.

Commentary: After 3 straight wins, the Packers have solidified their playoff hopes.

Preview: On Monday night football, the Packers face a tough Ravens in a home game to test their mettle. The Packers’ closing stretch: home vs. Baltimore (6-5), at Chicago (4-7), at Pittsburgh (6-5), home vs. Seattle (4-7) and at Arizona (7-4).

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2 Responses to “Reviews & Grades: Packer Rout Lions”

  1. Duff Gray says:

    1st time to view Packers Gab, very info friendly and I
    will look for future issues. Go Pack!!

  2. NorthStarr says:

    (Apparently, a one-word comment isn’t allowed, though.)

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