Week 3: Big First Half Carries Packers Over Lions

Jon: The Packers go back to Lambeau Field for their first home game of the season. Green Bay is 2-3, though, against the Lions in their last five games. They would be 1-4 if not for the Richard Rodgers’ Hail Mary at the tail end of the 2015 season. 

The Lions are missing Calvin Johnson, and they’ll be missing him forever because he retired in the offseason. But thanks to a rejuvenated Matthew Stafford, their offense is humming along. The Lions average 6.3 yards per play during their 1-1 start to the season. The Packers open the game as 8.5 point favorites. And after the first half, you’re feeling pretty good if you took the Packers and the points.

Huge halftime lead for Green Bay holds up

Gary: If you swallowed the points, you’re feeling pretty good at halftime. Aaron Rodgers tossed four touchdown passes and Green Bay leads 31-10 after two quarters.

Detroit was without their top 2 defensive players, defensive end Ziggy Ansah and linebacker DeAndre Levy. It felt like the Packers could score at will. Jared Cook is making plays over the middle, and Aaron Rodgers looks like Aaron Rodgers again. 

All of the fears and worries about the Packers are all better, and it’s thanks to that good ol’ fashioned Lambeau game against the Lions. It cures all ailes. 

In the second half, the Lions finish the drives that they couldn’t in the first half. For the second-consecutive week an opposing wide receiver has an absolutely bonkers game. Marvin Jones has six catches for 205 yards and two touchdowns, primarily matched up against Damarious Randall. 

The Packers squeak out a 31-27 win, and head into an early season bye week. 

After three games, what kind of impact did a bye week have on the Packers?

Jon: Okay, coach speak time for a second. Picture how Mike McCarthy talks in your head and hear him saying, “Look, our team doesn’t look past anybody. We’re not worried about the bye week showing up after the game.” You got that sort of McCarthy cadence in your head? 

Now take what he said and disregard it entirely, because the last time I checked he coaches a team of 53 human beings. Of course if you’re up 31-10 at the half you’re starting to think about the bye week plans. What do I gotta get out of my locker after the game? What do I need to pick up before I get out of town? They probably thought the game was over at that point, and it absolutely wasn’t. 

I didn’t know who Marvin Jones was at 11 o’clock on Sunday morning, but by the middle of the afternoon I sure did. I watched him run by Damarious Randall all afternoon. I was very concerned about the Packers defense after this game because it didn’t look like they were going to be able to stop anybody. 

I thought, maybe after the bye they’d get some things straightened out. The secondary comes back together, they take on the Giants and shut down Eli Manning back at home and we’ll be on our way to another NFC North title. 

This conversation first appeared in Episode 17 of our weekly podcast. Blue 58, powered by WTMJ Mobile, goes beyond the headlines to help you become a smarter fan of the Green Bay Packers. Hosted by former WTMJ newscaster Jon Meerdink and his friend Gary Zilavy, Blue 58 brings you a unique, upbeat perspective on your favorite NFL team, as long as that team is the Packers.