As the Green Bay Packers continue their early-season slate against NFC North divisional opponents, they welcomed the Detroit Lions to town for their home opener at Lambeau Field. Coming off a dominant showing against the Minnesota Vikings for their first victory do the season, GB was looking to continue their early-season slate of winning and did that, winning 42-21.
The start of the game looked to be quite one-sided, as the Lions jumped out to an early lead on the back of a Kerryon Johnson rushing touchdown and a Marvin Jones Jr. receiving score.
With fellow WR Kenny Golladay out for the second consecutive week with a leg injury, the onus falls to Jones Jr., as well as Danny Amendola and former Wisconsin rookie Quintez Cephus, to pick up the slack.
Sandwiched in between those two scores was a GB field goal, which kicked off their scoring for the day.
But after that fast start, that would be all the scoring that DET would produce in the first half, as the Packers took over from there and managed to get a lead going into halftime.
Just a bit north of the 10-minute Mark is when Green Bay finally found the end zone, as Aaron Rodgers connected with Aaron Jones for a 7-yard score. With the extra point from Mason Crosby, the Packers only trailed 14-10.
To round out the first half, Green Bay went down the field and found the end zone yet again. Rodgers found tight end Robert Tonyan over the middle for an 11-yard TD with less than 30 seconds left, pushing GB in front heading into the half, 17-14.
This last-minute drive happened with no timeouts and with exactly one minute left on the clock after the GB defense held tough and forced a DET punt. After starting the drive out at the 38 of Green Bay, Rodgers was aided by an unnecessary roughness and a horse collar penalty to help get the team down the field.
Of the 12 second-half drives that both the Lions and Packers combined for, six were of the Packers on offense, resulting in two touchdowns and a field goal produced by the offense. But, for the first time in this season, Green Bay managed to score on defense as well.
After opening up the second half with the ball, Green Bay made quick work of their first drive, as Jones took the first carry of the drive 75 yards to the house, pushing the Pack out to a ten-point advantage.
The two teams traded punts on each of their next respective possessions, and the next scoring came on the back of a Chandon Sullivan pick-six deep in Detroit territory. On a quick pass out to the left side, Matthew Stafford telegraphed a pass into the flat that Sullivan jumped, stumbling into the end zone for a small seven-yard return.
The Lions punted when they got the ball back after the INT, the Packers put up a field goal and a TD on their next two possessions (with a DET touchdown sandwiched in between), and the final four drives of the game ended in either a punt, turnover on downs, or a kneel-out.
Not needing Rodgers to throw the ball more than 30 times in this game is exactly what played into the strengths and depth of this roster, especially with Jones putting up 276 total yards (168 rushing) and three total scores, leading the team in both rushing and receiving.
The first big-time test of the 2020 season for the Packers comes in the form of the New Orleans Saints, as Green Bay travels down south for the Sunday night affair. The Saints, who defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their opening-week game, face off against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football.
Star receiver Michael Thomas may be down for this game as well, as his ankle injury is looking to be one that may take a month roughly to heal, giving Jaire Alexander the role of following Emmanuel Sanders around as he would become the WR1 for the Saints.
The Saints are a huge threat that can help Matt LaFleur showcase his offensive chops on a big stage, something that could help push this team over the edge and move them from NFC pretender to contender in more people’s eyes.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23