Thursday, November 28, 2013
Three halftime thoughts from Lions-Packers
By Michael Rothstein
DETROIT -- Three halftime thoughts from Ford Field, where the Detroit Lions lead the Green Bay Packers, 17-10.
Dominating defense: Josh Sitton called the Detroit Lions' defense scumbags and dirtbags on Tuesday. On Thursday, the Lions' defensive line -- who the comments were really directed at -- walked out of the tunnel during introductions together.
Then they shut down the Green Bay offense completely. The Lions' front four gave Eddie Lacy no room to run, holding him to 13 yards on seven carries. They pressured Matt Flynn, sacking him thrice and hitting him five times. Rookie Ziggy Ansah had two of those sacks. Flynn didn’t have much success throwing, either, completing 3 of 8 passes for 45 yards. Even when he did throw, he made poor decisions.
Good Stafford, Bad Stafford: Matthew Stafford did not have a good first half. The Lions had three turnovers on their first four possessions, two by Stafford. He fumbled the ball on his 12-yard line and it was recovered for a Green Bay touchdown. Yes, Riley Reiff blew his blocking assignment, but it will still be credited to Stafford as a fumble.
The second turnover was all Stafford, though. He threw the ball essentially right to Green Bay cornerback Tramon Williams, who stepped inside of Kris Durham. Williams caught the ball and if not for a rough tackle by Durham, could have been an interception returned for a touchdown as well.
Of course, right after that, Stafford leads an 85-yard drive for a touchdown. It’s part of the deal with Stafford. With the good comes the bad. Stafford finished the first half 14 of 20 for 202 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Return of Ross: Earlier this season, Jeremy Ross was cut by the Packers after fumbling the ball on a return. The Lions picked him up and stashed him on the practice squad before promoting him on Oct. 19. Since then he’s seen a smattering of snaps -- less since Nate Burleson returned from injury -- but against his old team he went off in the first half on both special teams and on offense.
Ross returned two punts for 36 yards, two kicks for 57 yards, gained 24 yards on a reverse and also caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Stafford. When Ross was signed, he said he understood why he was released and that he still had friends on the Packers. So far, he looks like he’s trying to prove a point to his old team.