Recap: Green Bay Packers Shutout Lions 26-0

I understand how a 26-0 blowout might seem depressing. The offensive line had a lot of trouble pass blocking and there were some huge penalties. A 99 yard kick return was negated by a penalty. There were 5 personal fouls. And it looked like LT Chad Clifton reinjured the same ankle he hurt in week 2 against the Bengals.

But this was a dominant effort. Yards: 435 to 149. TOP: 40:48 to 19:12. The Lions are no playoff team, but their offense had been somewhat productive this season. And they hadn't been shut out since 2001. The Lions were 0-10 on 3rd down, and 0-2 on 4th down. QB Aaron Rodgers had another great game, although it was expected since the Lions pass defense has been bad. 

After 5 games, the defense is starting to put it together. The only bad defensive game was against the Bengals. They struggled, at times, in pass defense against the Rams and Vikings, but a lot of that had to do with the absence of SS Atari Bigby and the lack of a competent backup safety. QB Drew Stanton and QB Daunte Culpepper combined for a QB rating under 23 in this game. Although they allowed 4.3 yards/carry, the running game never posed a problem, and they were constantly in the Lions backfield making tackles.

I mentioned Clifton's injury above, and it looked serious to me. There were a couple other injuries: WR Jordy Nelson suffered a knee bruise and DT B.J. Raji reinjured his ankle, but neither seems serious

The Packers are one of the best teams in the NFC, with a potent pass offense and an improving defense. They just dominated an inferior team, something you should expect from a playoff team, and look really good heading into the rest of the season. 

Lions vs Packers coverageLions vs Packers recapLions vs Packers boxscorePride Of Detroit (Lions Blog)

The play-by-play from NFL.com:

First Quarter:

4-J.Hanson kicks 69 yards from DET 30 to GB 1. 87-J.Nelson for 99 yards, TOUCHDOWN NULLIFIED by Penalty. PENALTY on GB-62-E.Dietrich-Smith, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at GB 30.

Let the penalties...begin! On the replay it looked like LB Clay Matthews grabbed a little too much jersey, and it wasn't Dietrich-Smith on the penalty. Obviously it could have been a huge call in a close game, but it was almost a clean play. Unlike some of the other penalties...

(11:36) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass deep right to 89-J.Jones for 47 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Penalty on DET-94-C.Bryan, Defensive Offside, declined.

WR James Jones has been a disappointment this season, with only 5 receptions. But on a couple plays, it's helped that teams seem to be forgetting all about him. He had a 34 yard catch against the Vikings, and then this 47 yard TD pass on a blown coverage. Though he did make a nice move to make the defender miss him at the 20 yard line.

(10:14) (Shotgun) 11-D.Culpepper pass short left intended for 34-K.Smith INTERCEPTED by 77-C.Jenkins [74-A.Kampman] at DET 21. 77-C.Jenkins to DET 17 for 4 yards (76-J.Backus).

Mitchell complemented the play by DE Cullen Jenkins in an early post, and it was a heck of a play. He had a great game overall, getting into the backfield often to put pressure on the QB.

(9:28) 12-A.Rodgers pass short left to 80-D.Driver to DET 6 for 5 yards (26-L.Delmas). PENALTY on GB-73-D.Colledge, Unnecessary Roughness, 15 yards, enforced between downs.

Here's the reception that established WR Donald Driver as the Packers' career leader in receptions, and then LG Daryn Colledge commits a dumb late hit. No excuse for it.

(7:25) 12-A.Rodgers pass short left to 30-J.Kuhn for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.

At this point, the rout was on. QB Aaron Rodgers rolled to his left, felt no pressure, and had his choice of receivers. The Lions made the choice easy by double covering the deep receiver, and left FB John Kuhn all alone near the goal line.

(7:16) 11-D.Culpepper sacked at DET 25 for -9 yards (52-C.Matthews).

After the penalty on the opening kickoff, Matthews spent the rest of the game kicking butt. He abused LT Jeff Backus in pass protection and run blocking. For the game, he had 2 sacks, 3 tackles for losses, and 1 pass defense. 

(6:07) 2-N.Harris punts 48 yards to GB 22, Center-48-D.Muhlbach. 87-J.Nelson MUFFS catch, and recovers at GB 22. 87-J.Nelson to GB 23 for 1 yard (25-M.White).

Add injury to insult: WR Jordy Nelson fumbles his second punt return in two games, and suffers a knee bruise for his troubles. The X-rays were negative, so hopefully he has a quick recovery. 

(2:44) 12-A.Rodgers sacked at GB 31 for -9 yards (92-C.Avril). DET-94-C.Bryan was injured during the play.

Ugh. This was the play when RT Allen Barbre let DE Cliff Avril run right past him, untouched for the sack. Barbre is solid most of the time, but then has at least one dumb play/game. As soon as RT Mark Tauscher is back in playing shape, I expect he'll replace him.

(:15) 34-K.Smith left end to GB 22 for -1 yards (90-B.Raji, 52-C.Matthews).

I still can't believe they went for it on 4th down. Yes, it wasn't looking good for their defense and they were down 14-0 already. Even if it's a shootout, you have to get points wherever you can. Still, it did nothing but help the Packers. Another great play by Matthews. 

Second Quarter:

(14:20) 25-R.Grant left tackle to GB 41 for 1 yard (90-G.Jackson).

It's not a good sign that they struggled to run the ball against a poor run defense, until late in the 4th quarter. 

(10:35) 2-N.Harris punts 22 yards to DET 36, Center-48-D.Muhlbach, downed by DET-40-M.Manuel. PENALTY on GB-96-M.Montgomery, Defensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at DET 36.

How can you commit a penalty on a punt return that was downed?

(5:31) 2-N.Harris punts 37 yards to GB 26, Center-48-D.Muhlbach. 38-T.Williams pushed ob at DET 29 for 45 yards (2-N.Harris). DET-92-C.Avril was injured during the play.

Great punt return by CB Tramon Williams! He broke about 4 tackles on the run back. And then he never returned another punt? CB Charles Woodson replaced him the rest of the game because...the wind picked up? Just an odd decision given Williams 1st return, and that he's done this in the past.

(3:17) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers sacked at DET 18 for -9 yards (59-J.Peterson).

Was the sack by Avril the worst unblocked sack? Or was this the worst unblocked sack? Somehow LT Chad Clifton and Colledge managed to open a giant hole up the middle for LB Julian Peterson to run unblocked through. 

(1:04) (Run formation) 21-A.Brown right end to DET 44 for -1 yards (41-S.Havner). Yard marker changed due to change of possession.

A fake punt attempt, with the punter going under center in a three man offensive line, just to pitch it to a running back? The Packers special teams unit hasn't been great this season, but they've had no trouble with fake punt attempts. This might have been a dumber idea for the Lions then going for it on 4th and short in the 1st quarter.

(:38) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass deep middle to 88-J.Finley to DET 8 for 30 yards (40-M.Manuel).

TE Donald Lee had one drop, but TE Jermichael Finley caught everything his way. Overall: 9 catches for 102 yards by the tight ends.

Third Quarter:

(14:57) 34-K.Smith right tackle to DET 20 for -3 yards (36-N.Collins).

The first play of the new half is a running play that is completely blown up by FS Nick Collins.

(13:23) 5-D.Stanton pass incomplete short right to 80-B.Johnson. DET-80-B.Johnson was injured during the play.

Just an awful first drive for the Lions. Culpepper tweaks his hamstring on a scramble. QB Drew Stanton leads WR Bryant Johnson on his 1st pass right into a giant hit by Collins. Although, if Collins had been playing the ball, he probably would have had an INT.

(13:00) PENALTY on GB-76-C.Clifton, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at GB 22 - No Play.

That was Clifton's 2nd false start of the game. Some rust after a couple games off.

2-M.Crosby kicks 59 yards from GB 30 to DET 11. 12-D.Williams to DET 27 for 16 yards (41-S.Havner). PENALTY on GB-51-B.Poppinga, Personal Foul, 15 yards, enforced at DET 27.

I'm not the biggest fan of LB Brady Poppinga, but it looked like he slipped, slid into a Lion below his knees, and was called for an illegal chop block. It hardly looked intentional. 

(7:00) 5-D.Stanton pass deep left intended for 84-B.Pettigrew INTERCEPTED by 31-A.Harris at GB 29. 31-A.Harris ran ob at GB 29 for no gain.

Just the right place, at the right time, for CB Al Harris. He was trailing the play and TE Brandon Pettigrew tipped the ball up, and right to Harris. 

(4:42) 12-A.Rodgers pass deep left to 80-D.Driver to DET 21 for 37 yards (38-D.Faggins). Penalty on DET-38-D.Faggins, Defensive Pass Interference, declined.

Another sick, one-handed catch by Driver. He had one earlier this season in St. Louis. 

(2:56) 12-A.Rodgers sacked at DET 3 for 0 yards (59-J.Peterson). FUMBLES (59-J.Peterson), touched at DET 10, RECOVERED by DET-55-L.Foote at DET 15. 55-L.Foote to DET 15 for no gain (32-B.Jackson).

Ugh. It was a team effort by the offensive line to blow that much in pass protection.

(1:03) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 5-D.Stanton sacked at GB 42 for -4 yards (74-A.Kampman).

A good game for LB Aaron Kampman, who looked like his old self with 5 QB hits. He really owned RT Gosder Cherlius.

Fourth Quarter:

(15:00) (Shotgun) 5-D.Stanton sacked at GB 46 for -8 yards (31-A.Harris).

A sack on a cornerback blitz. I don't know if it was the Lions awful pass blocking, but this was what I expected from Dom Capers defense: a pass rush that can come from anywhere. 

(14:21) 25-R.Grant right guard to GB 18 for 9 yards (26-L.Delmas, 40-M.Manuel).

McCarthy was happy with the running game because it got yards when the defense knew they had to stop the run. 

(11:41) 12-A.Rodgers pass short middle intended for 89-J.Jones INTERCEPTED by 54-D.Levy at DET 40. 54-D.Levy to DET 45 for 5 yards (89-J.Jones). FUMBLES (89-J.Jones), and recovers at DET 45. 54-D.Levy to DET 45 for no gain (70-T.Lang).

Rodgers underthrew it, but it looked like a great play by rookie (and ex-Badger) LB DeAndre Levy, who dropped back and went up to grab the INT. 

(9:56) (Shotgun) 5-D.Stanton sacked at GB 35 for -9 yards (sack split by 96-M.Montgomery and 56-N.Barnett). PENALTY on GB-56-N.Barnett, Face Mask (15 Yards), 15 yards, enforced at GB 35.

This was a dumb penalty, but overall, this was the best game of the season for LB Nick Barnett. 

(7:57) (Shotgun) 5-D.Stanton pass short middle intended for 16-J.Standeford INTERCEPTED by 20-A.Bigby at GB -5. Touchback.

The return of SS Atari Bigby wasn't the reason for the shutout, but the pass defense sure looked better with him back there. Great play to cut the receiver off for the INT in the end zone.

(5:00) 32-B.Jackson up the middle to GB 32 for 5 yards (59-J.Peterson). FUMBLES (59-J.Peterson), recovered by GB-88-J.Finley at GB 31. 88-J.Finley to GB 33 for 2 yards (92-C.Avril).

It was good to see RB Brandon Jackson return. He had a nice 12 yard catch for a 3rd down conversion earlier in the game. But it was bad to see a fumble, although Finley was in the right place to recover it.

(4:15) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers left end to GB 43 for 10 yards (38-D.Faggins). PENALTY on GB-80-D.Driver, Unnecessary Roughness, 15 yards, enforced between downs.

A personal foul on Driver? OK, I'm willing to count the five personal fouls as just a fluke game if Driver is committing them too. 

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