Sunday, October 6, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Detroit Lions
By Michael Rothstein
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A few thoughts on the Detroit Lions' 22-9 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
What it means: Another year, another loss at Green Bay for Detroit, although this one had the makings of another Lions loss before the game started. Once Detroit learned it would be without Calvin Johnson, its chances of winning on the road diminished greatly.
Once the Lions started playing, that looked like even more of a possibility. Detroit’s offense couldn’t find any rhythm without Johnson and for the first time this season, an opposing defense could focus solely on Reggie Bush and it showed. Bush was largely ineffective Sunday, rushing for 44 yards and catching a team-high four passes for 25 yards. Still, without Johnson that isn’t going to be good enough. With the loss dropping the Lions to 3-2, they remain in first place in the NFC North by a tiebreaker over Chicago and a half-game over Green Bay.
Stock watch: Rising -- TE Brandon Pettigrew. He had a drop, but Pettigrew also made some big catches for Detroit on Sunday, including one where he caught the ball, trucked over one Green Bay defender and then hurdled another. Falling -- CB Chris Houston. Rough outing for Houston, who was beat deep on James Jones’ 83-yard touchdown and didn’t look completely healthy with his injured hamstring. Lions' wide receivers. They couldn’t get much separation as a group and couldn’t make any plays at all without Johnson and Nate Burleson. The Lions’ receivers caught a combined nine passes for 93 yards and a touchdown, or in other words, an average Johnson game on his own. Lions' offensive line. Detroit had allowed three sacks in its first four games. Quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked five times Sunday. Left tackle Riley Reiff, in particular, struggled with the Green Bay rush.
Levy having a season: Detroit linebacker DeAndre Levy had another strong game for the Lions. The linebacker seemingly was everywhere for Detroit. He led Detroit with 13 tackles, but his real value was shown in his bigger plays. He had three tackles for loss and broke up a pass in the first half. While the Detroit defensive line and secondary receive most of the attention and praise, Levy has been putting together perhaps the best season of his career.
What’s next: Detroit stays on the road for the second straight week, heading to Cleveland in a bid to stay over .500 for the season.