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Sunday, October 6, 2013
Three halftime thoughts for Detroit Lions

By Michael Rothstein

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Here are three quick halftime thoughts from Green Bay-Detroit, where the Packers lead 6-3:

Penalties crushing Detroit: For the past two weeks, the Lions have done fine when it comes to avoiding drive-crushing penalties. That long-time problem returned again in the first half Sunday. Two third-down penalties on defense (one a defensive holding on Bill Bentley, another a tripping call on Ndamukong Suh) extended both Green Bay drives that ended up in field goals. On offense, a hold on Riley Reiff on the Lions’ final drive of the half negated a first-down run by Matthew Stafford and forced the Lions to kick a field goal.

Not crisp without Calvin: Prior to the final drive of the half, the Lions looked completely out of sorts without star wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Green Bay was focusing on the box, keeping Reggie Bush completely contained. The running back had nine yards rushing and 19 total yards in the first half. They also couldn’t find a reliable receiver to target. No Detroit receiver has more than two receptions. As a result, Stafford is 9 of 17 for 99 yards.

Defense holding up: Considering the lack of offensive, well, anything and a couple of bad penalties, the Lions' defense has done well. Other than the defensive holding penalty, Bentley has been good in coverage (he essentially broke up a touchdown reception) and has come up to help in the run. The defensive line has gotten some pressure on Aaron Rodgers, but not a ton. Then there's DeAndre Levy, who has two pass breakups and also read a Rodgers screen to Eddie Lacy perfectly.

Injuries: So far, not too much for Detroit. Special teamer Theo Riddick left the game with a possible head injury and linebacker Ashlee Palmer with a potential arm injury, but the Lions have been fortunate here.