Matthew Silka, Staff Writer
Aidan Hutchinson intercepts the pass in the endzone. Photo//David Reginek/USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has had a long history of tormenting the Detroit Lions, but Sunday told a different story.
The Lions started off strong on offense, as quarterback Jared Goff was able to connect on a number of passes. This was until Detroit was forced to make a decision on fourth-and-one. Head coach Dan Campbell elected to go for it, but failed, allowing the Packers to take over.
Rodgers drove down the field extremely efficiently. Green Bay got to the 5-yard line, but Lions linebacker Derrick Barnes deflected a Rodgers pass up into the air, coming down in the arms of safety Kerby Joseph. The endzone interception and the first for the rookie could not have come at a better time.
Detroit quickly went three-and-out, giving the ball back to Rodgers. Rodgers was able to pick apart the Lions defense again, advancing into the red zone and eventually to the goal line. The Lions defensive front held up strong, setting up a fourth-and-goal situation.
Instead of running the ball, Green Bay tried to get fancy. However, Rodgers underthrew the pass right to rookie defensive end Aidan Hutchinson for the interception, the first of his career.
Detroit was able to get into Green Bay territory, but the Lions were eventually forced to punt. Punter Jack Fox kicked a beautiful ball that was downed at the Green Bay one-yard line by special teamer Anthony Pittman.
The Packers managed to get away from their own end zone and back into Lions territory, but they were forced to make another key decision on fourth-and-three. Head coach Matt LaFleur elected to go for it, but Rodgers’ pass attempt to receiver Allen Lazard was incomplete. While it was ruled a completion on the field, Dan Campbell smartly challenged the call, which led to the overturn.
Goff and the Lions marched down the field on the ensuing drive. Goff later found a wide open Shane Zylstra in the endzone to put the Lions up 6-0. After a running into the kicker penalty by Green Bay, Detroit decided to go for two at the one-yard line. The Lions converted, giving them the 8-0 going into halftime.
After halftime, Green Bay was unable to get much going with their first drive. They were forced to punt for the first time of the contest despite having no points to show for it.
Detroit got bailed out by a roughing the passer penalty to extend their opening drive. The very next play, Goff telegraphed his pass which allowed Jaire Alexander to jump the route for the interception.
However, Rodgers continued his horrid play. The Lions defense came up with yet another interception. Joseph made a nice read down the field to snatch his second interception of the game.
After a quick three-and-out, Rodgers finally found Lazard in the end zone to make it 8-6. Green Bay went for the two-point conversion to attempt to tie the game, but they were unsuccessful.
The Lions did a great job on their next drive, advancing the ball to the Packers’ five-yard line. After two failed attempts, Goff found his other tight end, rookie James Mitchell for the touchdown. Detroit extended their lead 15-6.
As the clock started to wind down, Rodgers had to do something to amend for his performance. Doing just that, he led the Packers into field goal range. Mason Crosby nailed the 25-yard field goal, cutting Detroit’s lead to just one score, 15-9.
Green Bay had one final chance to score after getting a crucial fourth-down stop on defense. The Packers were able to get into Detroit territory, but Rodgers could not connect on a fourth-and-10, sealing the 15-9 victory for the Lions.
Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after a loss to Detroit. Photo//Lon Horwedel/USA Today Sports.
In what has seemed like an eternity since a Week 2 win against the Washington Commanders, the Detroit Lions have once again found themselves on the winning side of the ball.
The defense had a stellar performance against Rodgers and Green Bay, holding them to nine points and forcing three turnovers.
Although the defense did allow 389 yards, they held tight when they needed to, coming up with huge sacks and making big plays time and time again.
Sunday was the day of the rookie, as rookies Joseph and Hutchinson had three combined interceptions. Rookie tight end Mitchell contributed with a touchdown.
While the offense was not great, they did just enough to stay in the game, allowing the defense to do the heavy lifting this time around.
With the win, the Lions record now stands at 2-6 while Green Bay falls to 3-6, their worst start to a season since 2005. The NFC North has not proved to be that competitive, especially for the 7-1 Minnesota Vikings, who now find themselves running away with the division.
The Detroit Lions (2-6) look to continue their momentum next week with another divisional matchup on tap against QB Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears (3-6). The Lions are still in search of their first road win under head coach Dan Campbell.