Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
I think we get special dispensation in attaching meaning to Green Bay’s shutout of Detroit. The Lions were without two of their best offensive players this season, quarterback Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, and then lost quarterback Daunte Culpepper in the third quarter.
I’ll give the Packers' defense some credit for holding the Lions to 149 total yards and stopping all 10 of their third-down conversion attempts. Their pressure forced three interceptions and resulted in five sacks. But let’s remember they were playing against an already-middling team that was missing most of its offensive playmakers.
I saw more examples of the Packers’ ability to get downfield, including five pass plays of 26 or more yards. But quarterback Aaron Rodgers took another five sacks during an otherwise sparkling 358-yard performance, another reason to be concerned about the Packers’ long-term viability.
That brings their season total to 25 sacks in five games. You won’t beat most teams when you get sacked five times a game.
The bottom line? An ugly, short-handed loss for the Lions and a caveat-filled victory for the Packers. My Disney cousin Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee will have a fuller report here. But in case you think I've taken too harsh a stance, here's a sneak preview of my pal Wilde's story:
"They committed 13 penalties for an astronomical 130 yards. They got the ball into the red zone five times and came away with only one touchdown. They turned the ball over twice, including once on a first-and-goal play. Their quarterback got sacked five times, continuing a season-long trend. Their starting running back managed just 32 yards on his first 15 carries. No, no, no, we’re not talking about the hapless Detroit Lions, the team that lost Sunday’s game at Lambeau Field. No, all those items of ineptitude were the handiwork of the Green Bay Packers, the team that won, 26-0."