Scary To Start, Then Nothing To Fear
Pregame: Happy Thanksgiving everyone! For you Packers fans, I think it will be a happy one...but a nervous one. 30-20 Packers.
Oh no. I thought Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson would play. Both come out of the tunnel to that giant Lion roar/toilet flushing sound effect. Never underestimate the power of injured warriors answering the bell. Just ask the Bears in 1995. Brett Favre wasn't supposed to play, came out of the tunnel to a thunderous roar on a severely sprained ankle...and merely threw 5 TD's.
First Quarter: Cue up Carl Lewis. Oh oh. The normally sure handed Jordy Nelson fumbles the kickoff.
Not much of a roughing the passer penalty on Clay Matthews. But he did hit Stafford's facemask, Clay's a rookie, and they'll call that every time. New life for the Lions.
The Lions losing Brandon Pettigrew is a big plus for the Pack...almost like when the Packers lost Jermichael Finley.
Charles Woodson shadows TE Vernon Davis one week, 6-5 Calvin Johnson the next week. That shows the strength of Woodson...but Johnson gets the best of the first round of the matchup...TD Lions 7-0.
Quinn Johnson, block in the back on the opening kickoff. Those special teams, still not very special.
Daunte Culpepper and Lions GM Martin Mayhew with a nice, heated, one way discussion on the sideline. Seems old "I am the team" Daunte still hasn't gotten it since the Loveboat fiasco. Man, it's a good thing the Packers never signed him as a backup a couple years back. He's mad that Matthew Stafford manned up and played despite a very bad left shoulder. Oh, poor Daunte...you went to bed thinking you'd start on national TV. Well, everyone now saw what you're really made of....
The Packers 3 for 3 on 3rd downs, with a 12+ play drive. Then Mason Crosby misses a 43 yard FG. He has a strong leg, but does anyone really have any faith in him making a big kick when it counts?
Nick Collins just made Greg Jennings and Donald Driver envious with that pick. Both feet inbounds, drags them...INT.
Mark Tauscher's addition to the offensive line, paying big dividends. Aaron Rodgers all day, throws the deep ball as good if not better than anyone in the NFL....68 yards to Donald Driver. How did Rodgers recognize him, and how did Driver slip that far behind the defense? Thank you Marvin White for making your first NFL start and releasing the Pro Bowl receiver deep. What a way to end the first quarter...
Second Quarter: It's amazing when the Packers go back to what works...the screen game. Rodgers screen pass to Donald Lee, Lee somersaults into the end zone...we're tied at 7.
Brandon Underwood block in the back. Again, where's the special in the special teams? Drive starts on the 4.
3rd and 8 from the 6, very impressive...Aaron Rodgers from the end zone, unloads just in time...James Jones great catch for the first.
Rodgers to Jennings, 30 plus yards on another 3rd down. The third down conversion rate very impressive so far.
Jermichael Finley lit up by Louis Delmas. Totally unnecessary when the ball went 5 yards over Finley's head. You hope he's ok. Impressive that the big man stays in the game, and gets the next pass. The Lions give the Packers 15 yards.
Once again, red zone issues. Instead of going 96 yards with a statement drive, the Lions have to be happy as the Packers only go 94 yards. Milwaukee native DeAndre Levy stops Driver on the 2. Packers have to settle for a FG. 10-7.
Brady Poppinga hands to the face. Boy, the special teams really making special things happen.
B.J. Raji just destroyed Kevin Smith. I guess that ankle's back to normal.
Matthew Stafford off his back foot. Tramon Williams says thank you very much with his 2nd pick of the year.
Levy is showing up on tape, as they say. Makes a saving tackle on what would have been a Ryan Grant TD.
Another red zone failure. This will come back to bite them at some point. Crosby's field goal makes it 13-7.
That's the amazing thing about Charles Woodson. Even one of the few times he does something stupid, like the facemask penalty...he follows it up with a sack and near strip.
Tramon Williams is limping. Left foot. Anything that might put Jarrett Bush and Brandon Underwood in more prominent roles, scares me.
And how about Clay Matthews at the end of the half? Relentless. 13-7 Pack at the half.
Third Quarter: Charles Woodson loves playing near home. How about that pick, but more impressive to me...how about that $2million donation to the University of Michigan hospital?
Clearly showing that Mike McCarthy feels the same way about Mason Crosby as I do (can you trust him to make a significant kick?), he goes for it on 4th and 2 on the 31...Rodgers gets drilled by Julian Peterson...fumble recovered by former Packer Jason Hunter. I still don't have a problem with this. The defense is playing well, and why would you think Crosby would make the FG?
Again, the faith the head coach puts in the defense pays off. Matthews pressure forces a 3 and out.
Chad Clifton out, T.J. Lang in at left tackle.
Finally on 3rd down, Aaron Rodgers gets drilled...and barely threads the neddle. But Driver catches, a score in the red zone! 20-7 Pack.
Since when did Jason Hanson actually miss field goals against the Pack? Mason Crosby must have shaken hands with him in the pregame.
As bad as the Packers have been in the red zone, third downs have been money. Third and 2, Rodgers to Jones, yards after catch...James does the rest. 27-7. Rodgers limps off after a hit by DeAndre Levy.
Fourth Quarter: The Packers defense has been outstanding. Keeping the Lions out of the end zone at the 1, nothing short of amazing. Although Detroit helped out a little with 3 straight passes after 2nd and goal at the 1.
Oh no. Ryan Grant fumbles in the end zone, touchdown. Replay shows his elbow was down...so it's reversed but still a safety.
Here's more special....teams play. Dennis Northcutt gives the Lions great field position after the safety with a big return. It looks to me like Tramon Williams loses outside contain a lot.
Thank goodness they'll still the Lions. Drive bogs down, field goal, 27-12.
Did I mention Charles Woodson loves playing near home? Second pick, this one to the house. Can someone say NFL Defensive MVP?
Charles, the game is over...you don't have to force another fumble. 34-12 Pack. I guess they're still the Lions, and this wasn't such a scary game after all. Accuscore said 31-17. And although they had 3 wrong predictions in a row, they're back on track with a 2 game winning streak.
I'd like to inform them though that the Pack would go 3-0 over this 3 game stretch in 12 days...to bounce up to 7-4. I've got scoreboard on Accuscore!
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