In a one-sided affair, the Lions drop their second game in a row to start 2020 and lose their third straight game against the Green Bay Packers in a 42-21 contest.
While the Lions did not blow another fourth-quarter lead, their only lead this game came in the first quarter when they started out hot with a 14-3 lead.
Being without their number one wideout Kenny Golladay for the second straight game, they seemed to overcome that loss early on by opening up the game with a touchdown on their first drive: a one-yard run by Kerryon Johnson. Johnson had a little fun by doing the famous Lambeau Leap, even without fans in attendance.
Detroit’s defense held firm on Green Bay’s first drive, only allowing a field goal. Matthew Stafford and the Lions then extended their lead with a touchdown pass to Marvin Jones Jr.
Their 14-3 lead would not last long, however, as the Packers and Aaron Rodgers returned the favor with two touchdowns of their own in the second quarter: a seven-yard pass to Aaron Jones early in the second and an 11-yard pass to Robert Tonyan with under two minutes left in the half. Detroit’s defense was starting to truly struggle and showed no signs of improvement from last week.
One player that had all eyes on them was rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah, who made his NFL debut after sitting out last week. With corner Desmond Trufant out for this game, Okudah drew the tough task of lining up against Pro Bowl wide receiver Davante Adams.
While Adams had his way with the rookie early on, Okudah did not look bad for his first game and led the team in tackles with seven. After a promising debut, the Ohio State product has given Lions fans plenty to look forward to.
Adams ended up leaving the game with a hamstring injury, finishing with a measly three receptions for 36 yards.
The Lions had the last drive before half and, despite running their two-minute drill well, could not come away with any points as Matt Prater shanked a 57-yard field goal wide right into the wind. The Lions went into halftime trailing 17-14, but it only got worse from there.
The Packers got the ball to open the second half and started off with a bang in the form of a 75-yard touchdown run by Jones. He went almost untouched in what was quite an embarrassing play for the Lions defense.
Green Bay’s defense stepped up a couple drives later when Chandon Sullivan jumped a route and intercepted a Stafford pass, taking it seven-yards for a touchdown to put the Packers up 31-14.
Stafford did not look like himself the whole game, making some mistakes a veteran should not be making. Taking unnecessary sacks, throwing an interception, and making some bad reads, it just was not what Detroit fans would expect out of their franchise quarterback. He also seemed to be hampering a mild injury he sustained mid-game, but he stuck it out until the end.
After the Packers tacked on more points with a Mason Crosby 35-yard field goal, the Lions opened up the fourth quarter with a nice drive ending with a Stafford 24-yard score to Marvin Hall.
That was all the scoring for Detroit this game, and the Packers ultimately put the game away the next drive with another Jones touchdown run. Jones finished the game with 236 total yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns.
It was quite an embarrassing performance for this Lions defense. They could only manage one sack and three QB hits on Rodgers, compared to the Packers’ four sacks and seven QB hits on Stafford. Detroit’s defense also shot themselves in the foot plenty of times with their inability to tackle and their bad decision making that led to many frustrating penalties.
Compared to his performance in week one, Rodgers was relatively kept in check, completing 18/30 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns. Stafford went 20/33 for 244 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Besides the touchdown by Kerryon at the beginning of the game, nothing much went right for the Lions backfield. Adrian Peterson was their leading rusher with just 41 yards on seven attempts. T.J. Hockenson led the team in receiving with 62 yards on four receptions. Stafford distributed the ball quite a bit this game, targeting nine different players.
The Lions desperately need Golladay to return and fortunately, head coach Matt Patricia noted that the wideout should be able to go next week when they travel to Arizona to take on the 2-0 Cardinals.
It wasn’t the positive turning point for Lions fans, but this ugly loss should make them think otherwise about the capabilities of Patricia’s coaching. Many have called for him to be fired dating back to last season. The defense and the team as a whole has gotten worse during his tenure, having a 9-24-1 record to show for it after consistently having winning records under former coach Jim Caldwell. Nothing has gone right for this defense, and, for all Lions fans, it has been a tough three years.
This season was a make or break year for the Quinn/Patricia regime, and, if the team keeps going on this trajectory, they should be gone by the end of the season, maybe earlier. Hopefully, for both their sakes, Detroit can rebound against Arizona next week.