Sunday, November 18, 2012
Halftime: Lions 10, Packers 7
By Kevin Seifert
DETROIT -- A few thoughts at halftime from Ford Field:
- One of the reasons the Green Bay Packers have only seven points at halftime is that their reconfigured offensive line is struggling against the Detroit Lions' defensive front. Right tackle T.J. Lang has been called for two holding penalties, one of which was declined. Left guard Evan Dietrich-Smith has one holding penalty and has been crushed twice by Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley in pass protection. Fairley also beat guard Josh Sitton for a sack just before halftime.
- Here's another reason: The Packers don't have a great field goal situation at the moment. Mason Crosby has now missed six of his past 11 attempts after missing -- twice -- from 50 yards just before halftime. His second attempt came courtesy of an attempt to ice him by Lions coach Jim Schwartz. In the first quarter, the Packers passed up a 49-yard field goal attempt to go for it on fourth-and-4 at the Lions' 31-yard line.
- The teams exchanged turnovers on three consecutive possessions in the second quarter, two by quarterback Matthew Stafford after linebacker Dezman Moses brought him down by his knee after a throw. Stafford threw a poor interception to Packers cornerback Casey Hayward to end one possession and then fumbled on a scramble, caused by Moses, on the other.
- With that said, Stafford found receiver Calvin Johnson on big pass plays to set up their scores. Passes of 53 yards and 21 yards put the Lions in scoring position on both occasions.
- The Lions finished the half with rookie Riley Reiff playing left tackle because starter Jeff Backus suffered a hamstring injury midway through the second quarter. Backus tried to play with a wrap on the leg, but he limped off the field during the Lions' second-to-last possession of the half. His return is listed officially as questionable, but he sure didn't look mobile while trying to work through the injury on the sideline. Remember, Backus hasn't missed a game since his career began in 2001, and he has started 185 games since then.
- The Packers have gone exclusively with James Starks as their everydown running back, to no surprise. Starks has only 44 yards on 13 carries, but mixed in there were some hard runs and forward-falls that we didn't see from Alex Green earlier this month.