No Theatrics Needed This Time as Packers Rout Lions
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Last week at Minnesota, the Vikings couldn’t stop Davante Adams. On Sunday against Detroit, the Lions couldn’t stop Aaron Jones. In both games, nobody could stop Aaron Rodgers.
Jones blew past his career highs in rushing yards and total yards to lead the Green Bay Packers to another convincing victory, this time 42-21 in an eerily empty Lambeau Field. With that, the Packers are 2-0 on the season and coach Matt LaFleur is 8-0 against NFC North foes.
Jones set the records in style. Tied for his career high of 154 rushing yards set at Minnesota in Week 16 of last season, Jones took a handoff at the 14, ran through a tackle attempt and sprinted the rest of the way for the clinching touchdown. That gave him 168 rushing yards and 236 total yards, which beat his previous best mark of 226 yards last year at Kansas City.
Rodgers had another strong day, going 18-of-30 for 240 yards, and Chandon Sullivan had a pick-six as Green Bay dusted itself off after a poor start. Rodgers has six touchdowns vs. zero interceptions and a 119.4 passer rating through two games.
The Packers beat Minnesota 43-34 to open the season last week, giving them back-to-back 40-point games for the first time since scoring 55 vs. Chicago and 53 vs. Philadelphia in 2014. Green Bay has no turnovers through two games.
The competition will be much more challenging next week: a Sunday night clash at the New Orleans Saints.
Two lightning-strike touchdowns turned a competitive game into Green Bay’s second convincing NFC North victory in as many weeks to start the season.
On the first play of the second half, Jones shot through a gap, ran through a pair of tackle attempts near the 35 and was off to the races for a career-long 75-yard touchdown to give Green Bay a 24-14 lead. It was Green Bay’s longest rushing touchdown since Ahman Green’s 90-yarder vs. Dallas on Oct. 24, 2003. Green had three touchdowns of 75-plus yards from 2001 through 2004.
Then, midway through the third quarter, Rashan Gary pressured Matthew Stafford into a quick pass to the outside. Sullivan read it perfectly, jumping in front of the pass to Danny Amendola for an interception and 7-yard return for the score. Just like that, after trailing 14-3, the Packers led 31-14 with 8:32 remaining.
A field goal by Mason Crosby gave Green Bay a run of 31 consecutive points and a 34-14 lead.
The Packers didn’t lead for a single second in last year’s sweep of Detroit. That made Green Bay’s 17-14 lead at halftime especially noteworthy. Green Bay’s defense could hardly have played worse to start the game as it spotted Detroit a quick 14-3 lead.
The Lions struck on a 1-yard touchdown run by Kerryon Johnson and a 4-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones, those scores sandwiching a 43-yard field goal by Green Bay’s Mason Crosby. The Lions didn’t even face a third down on the opening touchdown drive, and Adrian Peterson’s 25-yard run around Montravius Adams set up the second score.
At that point, Green Bay had allowed touchdowns on five consecutive drives dating to last week at Minnesota.
But Detroit’s undermanned defense, which was missing starting corners Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman, was no match for Rodgers once he got rolling. A 22-yard completion to Aaron Jones set up a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jones that made it 14-10. The Packers took the lead with 14 seconds left until halftime on Rodgers’ 11-yard touchdown to Robert Tonyan. Green Bay took possession at its 38 with 1 minute remaining and gained 30 yards on a pair of personal fouls on safety Will Harris. On the touchdown, Tracy Walker had outside leverage on Tonyan so Rodgers threw the ball inside for the score.
Both quarterbacks were 12-of-18 passing – Rodgers for 127 yards and Stafford for 129. Rodgers, benefitting from exceptional pass protection with Rick Wagner at right tackle and Lucas Patrick at right guard, had two touchdowns.