The Green Bay Packers snatched a victory from the Detroit Lions Sunday afternoon.
Aaron Rodgers’ touchdown pass to Randall Cobb with just less than two minutes to go in the game was the game winner and improved the Packers to 7-3 and increased their winning streak to five games.
Green Bay’s defense was the star of the game, as they made key plays and created four turnovers, turning one of those into a touchdown. M.D. Jennings interception returned for a touchdown, which happened in the earlier parts of the third quarter, really gave the Packers the boost they needed. It gave them a 14-10 lead at the time.
The Lions stormed back and took a 20-14 lead late into the fourth quarter, but Rodgers hit Randall Cobb, who was double covered, for the go-ahead touchdown. The Packers made a key defensive stop, kicked a field goal for good measure and sealed the victory by stopping the Lions final play.
It was going to be a tough task to stop the Lions top-rated passing attack but the Packers did a great job of slowing them down. Matthew Stafford threw for only 266 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed fewer than fifty percent of his passes and even though the Packers were without Clay Matthews, they sacked Stafford five times.
The defense kept the Packers in the game and really helped out the offense, which struggled most of the game.
Rodgers played well but was nothing extraordinary. The Packers running game was somewhat there, with James Starks doing almost all of the work.
Randall Cobb has fully become Rodgers’ number one target. He had nine catches for 74 yards and the key touchdown at the end of the game. He was also targeted 12 times by Rodgers, seven more targets than the next leading receiver.
It should also be noted that Jermichael Finley caught all three passes thrown his way and turned one of them into a 20-yard touchdown. Hopefully he has more games like this and it will improve his confidence.
The big downside to this game was the performance by Mason Crosby. He went one for three on field goals and really looks to have his confidence shaken. Crosby has missed seven of his last twelve field goal attempts. He made one at the end of the game, which will hopefully send him on the right path.
This was a key win for the Packers because if the Bears lose on Monday night, the Packers will have the tiebreak and will lead the division. It was also important to start this tough stretch of games with a win. The Packers will head to New York to play the Giants next Sunday night.
Five things we learned from this game
- James Starks has become the lead running back…for now – It seems that James Starks will take over the role of lead running back, at least until Cedric Benson returns from injury. Starks was basically the only back to play today and he looked solid.
- Mason Crosby has some big issues – Everybody knows that kickers are a special bread of player and once their confidence is shaken, they can really struggle. Crosby was hoping that the bye week would give him time to straighten out all his problems but that clearly didn’t work. If he isn’t able to figure out his issues fast, the Packers will have to look elsewhere for a kicker.
- Detroit’s not completely one-sided offensively – The Lions had a solid running game going against the Packers to go along with their strong passing game. It wasn’t mind blowing but Mikel Leshoure ran for 84 yards and touchdown. If the Lions can get that running game going, they will be very dangerous.
- Jermichael Finley could be heading in the right direction – Finley has been dealing with his problem of dropping passes since he came into the league but it has been particularly bad this season. Today he caught all three passes thrown his way and turned one into a touchdown. The Packers need Finley to be confident because he is such a key weapon for this offense.
- An interception for a touchdown is one of the most exciting plays in football – M.D Jennings interception returned for a touchdown was one of the most exciting plays of the game. Anytime you get an interception it is an exciting play, but when your team returns it for a touchdown you can’t help but be ecstatic, you stop the other team and score right away, the best double whammy.