NFC North: 2013 Week 5 DET at GNB Rapid Reaction
October, 6, 2013
By Rob Demovsky | ESPN.com
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A few thoughts on the Green Bay Packers' 22-9 victory over the Detroit Lions.
What it means: The Packers caught a major break not having to face Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, who was inactive because of a knee injury. It would have been interesting to see what kind of game it would have been if Johnson had played. But without him, the Lions were punchless on offense -- not that the Packers were overly impressive in their inability to finish drives with touchdowns. But Green Bay made enough big plays -- a 61-yard run by Randall Cobb and an 83-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to James Jones -- to secure a much-needed victory coming out of their bye week. In improving to 2-2, they got themselves right back into the thick of the NFC North, just one-half game behind the Lions and Chicago Bears, both 3-2.
Stock watch: Mason Crosby’s struggles from last season appear to be well behind him. The Packers' kicker, who made an NFL-low 63.6 percent of his field goals in 2012, converted five field goals against the Lions, including a season-long 52-yarder, and improved to 9-for-9 on the season. Dating back to last season and including this preseason, he has 21 straight field goals.
23 and counting: The story of the Packers’ long home winning streak over the Lions will live for another year. It was their 23rd straight victory (including playoffs) over the Lions in the state of Wisconsin, including games at Lambeau Field and Milwaukee County Stadium. The 22 straight regular-season home wins over the Lions is the longest home winning streak over one team in NFL history.
What’s next: The Packers play the second of their four games against the AFC North next Sunday, when they are on the road to face the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens at 1 p.m. ET. The Packers are 0-1 against the AFC North this season, having lost at the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3.
October, 6, 2013
By Michael Rothstein | ESPN.com
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.
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