Green Bay Packers defense kept them in game vs. Detroit Lions

Dec. 12, 2010
Postgame analysis: Lions 7, Packers 3
Postgame analysis: Lions 7, Packers 3: Kareem Copeland surveys the damage of Sunday's loss, including Aaron Rodgers' injury, Detroit's domination of the offensive line and a suddenly tenuous playoff picture.
Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews sacks Detroit Lions quarterback Drew Stanton in the second quarter of Sunday's game at Ford Field in Detroit Julian H. Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press


Rants and raves from Sunday's game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit. The Lions won 7-3.

Rant: The Packersí offense was woefully unproductive in the first half with just two first downs and 68 total yards, and that was with Aaron Rodgers playing quarterback for all but one series. The Packers were successful on just two of 12 third-down conversions.

Rave: Packers special teams did nothing to win the game, but they didnít lose it, either. The Packers kept dangerous Lions returner Stefan Logan in check.

Rant: After committing just one turnover in their previous five games, the Packers coughed up the ball twice in the first quarter and three times in the game. Andrew Quarless, Greg Jennings and Matt Flynn were guilty of glaring, costly errors that played a major role in the loss.

Rave: Although he barely missed a sack, Frank Zombo pressured Drew Stanton out of the pocket and forced the Lions quarterback to throw an interception in the end zone to Tramon Williams. The unsung Zombo continues to make plays.

Rant: The offensive line couldnít handle the Lionsí front four. Never was it more obvious than when two holding penalties were called on the same running play, against Chad Clifton and Scott Wells.

Rave: The Packers defense forced eight punts, gave up just seven points and allowed the Lions to convert only three of 15 third-downs. Although the Lions racked up a lot of rushing yards, no one should blame the defense for this loss.

Rave: Clay Matthews pushed his sack total to 12.5 for the season with an impressive 19-yard tackle for loss of Stanton that killed a Lionsí second-quarter drive.

Rant: There are benefits to Rodgers being the third-leading rusher among quarterbacks in the NFL. But thereís a down side. Rodgers got greedy in the second quarter and instead of sliding out of harmís way, he decided to pick up an extra 10 yards or so and got blasted by Lions linebacker Landon Johnson. The resulting concussion forced him out of the game in the second half.

Rave: It was Mason Crosby vs. Dave Rayner in a rematch of their kicking duel from training camp in 2007. Crosby again was the winner. He connected on a 42-yard third-quarter attempt, while Rayner, the former Packer, missed wide left from 48 yards in the third quarter. The kickers staged a terrific battle in 2007 with both converting around 90 percent of their field goals in practice.

Rant: Tight end Tom Crabtree got burned badly in giving up a 13-yard sack loss to Andrew Fluellen in the second quarter. Fluellen bowled over Crabtree on his way to tackling Rodgers and wrecking yet another Packers offensive series.

Rave: Lions go-to receiver Calvin Johnson had just one catch for 13 yards, a credit to a Packers secondary spearheaded by Charles Woodson.

Rant: On the Packersí final play of their last-gasp drive in the fourth quarter, Flynn attempted a low-percentage deep pass to Jennings that wasnít close to the mark. Sure, the Lions were playing tight coverage, but with the game on the line, the Packers could have given themselves a better chance to pick up a first down and keep the chains moving.

Rave: Tim Masthay took advantage of his last warm-weather game of the regular season with a 50.5-ayrd gross average and a 43.4-yard net on eight punts. Now he must prove himself in cold weather over the final three weeks of the season.

Rant: Football in December is supposed to be played in the elements. It was snowing in Detroit, which would have made for a picture perfect backdrop for the game. But they stopped playing outdoors decades ago in the Motor City. Players looked a little too cozy inside the 68-degree dome.

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

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