The Detroit Lions got off to a nice start to the season. They began the year with a 3-1 record, and they came into this week's game atop the NFC North. Now, they faced their toughest challenge so far. The Lions had to go on the road to Green Bay to play the Packers coming off a bye. Detroit has not won at Lambeau since 1991, and the Packers are healthy after their week off. Speaking of which, the Lions got some good news in the fact Chris Houston was able to go for this game. Then, we found out Calvin Johnson wouldn't be able to play. After I found this out, I checked this game off as a loss. A win was not going to happen. It was just a matter of getting through the week. Then again, perhaps I would be wrong. Perhaps the Lions would pull off an upset.
The game stayed scoreless until late in the first quarter when Green Bay kicked a field goal. In the second, they added another to make it 6-0. Just before halftime, David Akers added a field goal of his own. And so, it was 6-3 in favor of Green Bay at halftime. That's not too shabby for the Lions. They were still in the game. I wasn't surprised the Lions only had three points at this point, but it was a credit to their defense they had kept Green Bay to six.
The Packers added yet another field goal in the third quarter. Then, finally somebody found the end zone, but it wasn't the Lions unfortunately. Aaron Rodgers hit James Jones for an 83-yard reception and suddenly it was 16-3 and a loss seemed inevitable. A Lions team without Megatron wasn't going to overcome this deficit. In the fourth, the Packers added two more field goals. Finally, Detroit scored, with Matthew Stafford hitting Kris Durham for a 13-yard touchdown. They tried for a two-point conversion, but failed. There was no more scoring, and the game slowly ticked away until the final whistle. The Packers won 22-9.
Well that was an ugly performance for Detroit, especially on offense. Without Johnson or Nate Burleson, the passing game really struggled. Without any weapons at receiver, the Packers could focus on stopping Reggie Bush. The Lions were held to 286 total yards, which is a mediocre day passing for Stafford usually. Speaking of Stafford, he went 25-for-40 for 262 yards and a touchdown. He was also sacked five times. So much for that strong pass blocking. Bush rushed 13 times for 44 yards, and Joique Bell rushed for 21 yards on five carries. Bell had 30 yards receiving, while Bush had 25. Brandon Pettigrew actually had the best day receiving, catching for passes for 59 yards.
On defense, the Lions at least managed to keep the Packers out of the end zone save for one big play. They did what they could, but the offense brought nothing to the table. Ziggy Ansah got a sack, and the Lions had six tackles for loss.
Sure, the Lions lost, and it was disappointing, but it was also expected. When I was tallying up Detroit's record, I considered this a loss, and it was. If Johnson was going to miss a game, this wasn't a bad one to miss. They were likely going to lose either way. Detroit is still 3-2, and they still are atop the NFC North. This was the toughest game on the schedule, and now they have gotten past it. The playoffs are still a possibility. The rest of the schedule looks easier than it did once. So, Detroit had a bad performance at Lambeau, again, but in the grand scheme of things there isn't anything to worry about.