Downed in Detroit - Packers: 7 Lions: 19
All good things must come to an end, unfortunately. Aaron Rodgers' dominance of the Detroit Lions since taking over the reins of the Packers offense has been virtually flawless.
In fact, the only times the Packers have lost to the Lions during that time frame is when Rodgers was injured.
But Sunday was a different story. The Packers struggled to contain the Detroit pass rush and failed to get anything going offensively as Rodgers finished 16-for-27 passing for 162 yards and a single touchdown while getting sacked twice. On the day, the Packers only managed 223 yards of offense, despite three takeaways by the defense.
A first-drive fumble by Eddie Lacy resulted in an immediate touchdown return for the Lions' defense, putting the Packers in an early 7-0 hole. After the first career interception by rookie safety Ha Ha Clinton Dox, the Packers marched down the field and evened the score on their last drive of the first quarter as Rodgers connected with tight end Andrew Quarless on a 10-yard touchdown pass.
After a second Matthew Stafford interception by Davon House at the goal line, the Detroit defense once again took no time making a big play as they dropped Lacy in the endzone for a safety. A 26-yard rushing touchdown by Reggie Bush in the fourth quarter capped off the scoring, putting the Lions up 19-7.
While the offense wasn't able to get the job done today, the Packers defense looked better than expected against the explosive Lions offense. Stafford was held without a touchdown for the first time this season, and Calvin Johnson was held to only 82 yards receiving. Mike Neal and Julius Peppers both notched sacks on Stafford, and Peppers added a forced fumble and recovery to his stat line as well.
In the end, it was the offensive line's inability to keep Rodgers comfortable that determined this game. The Lions front four constantly pushed Rodgers off his spot and collapsed the pocket, frustrating him and causing him to miss throws he routinely makes. Bryan Bulaga's return to the lineup can't come soon enough.
Now the Packers turn their attention to next week's contest at Chicago - a game that already has a "must-win" feeling surrounding it.