Matthew Stafford, Lions surge previous struggling Packers

The Detroit Lions (Four-Four) and the Green Bay Packers (Four-Four) are two divisional foes pbading within the evening, as Detroit’s prime-time 30-17 victory at Lambeau Field in Week 9 made abundantly clear. Here’s what we discovered:

1. Matthew Stafford is feeling it. The Lions quarterback was zoned within the second consecutive week in opposition to Green Bay, throwing with superior anticipation and contact for 361 yards at 11.Four yards per try. Unlike within the Lions’ loss to Pittsburgh, Stafford hit pay dust at Lambeau, tossing two dimes to Marvin Jones (7 rec, 107 yards). His psychic timing with Jones and Golden Tate (7 receptions, 113 yards) was Aaron Rodgers-esque within the injured QB’s personal constructing. Behind Stafford’s deft play, Detroit didn’t try a punt on the night.

The Lions held the ball for over 36 minutes Monday evening, irritating and tiring the Packers’ protection, which surrendered over 400 complete yards for the third time in 4 video games. “We simply sh—ed the mattress. Point clean. Period,” Green Bay nook Damarious Randall instructed the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It was just a lack of coverage, a lack of pbad rush, a lack of everything. They just flat out played better tonight. Period.”

When Stafford is rolling, his offense appears invincible — till it enters the crimson zone, however we’ll get to that quickly. His return to MVP type comes on the excellent time for a Lions group that had misplaced three straight earlier than Monday night. Sitting at .500, Detroit has video games in opposition to Cleveland, Chicago and Minnesota arising. A clear sweep, a possible final result if this offense continues to churn, might put the Lions forward within the NFC North by the daybreak of December.

2. Stafford’s stellar night highlighted all of the extra his lack of competitors on the opposite aspect of the ball. In his third recreation filling in for Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley (245 yards, 6.Four yards per try) improved solely marginally upon his previous restricted performances. Early on, the Packers requested Hundley to maneuver the pocket and get the ball into the fingers of their quicker playmakers (Randall Cobb, Trevor Davis) near or behind the road of scrimmage, however Green Bay struggled to realize productive yardage. When requested to face in, the younger QB was antsy, selecting to roll again and out of as a substitute of stepping up into the pocket. Those counter-productive performs set Green Bay again all evening lengthy. Hundley performed finest when working the no-huddle, however Green Bay did not put it to use till it had fallen behind three scores in the course of the second half.

Coach Mike McCarthy, for one, was inspired by his quarterback’s efficiency. “Brett Hundley played better tonight. I have great faith in Brett. Brett Hundley is not the issue right now,” he defined to reporters following the sport. “There’s some very lopsided statistics. Look close at those … on third down, they owned it. You can’t have that variance in production and win football games. … I thought he threw the heck out of the football tonight.”

These are uncharted waters for the Packers, who’re with out a constant deep-ball factor and an id on offense for the primary time in practically three many years. McCarthy and Co. haven’t but found out how you can transfer the ball in a post-Rodgers world, and it will not get simpler for Hundley’s bunch in opposition to a equally fierce entrance seven in Chicago subsequent week.

three. Aaron Jones was a no-show on the largest stage of his younger profession. Green Bay tried to experience him in opposition to Detroit’s top-tier run protection, however the rookie (5 carries, 12 yards) was repeatedly stuffed early when he wasn’t used as a decoy on designed choice performs for Hundley. Jones barely noticed the sphere within the second half. Ty Montgomery, the higher pbad-catching again, stuffed in for 5 rushes and 33 yards, whereas rookie again Jamaal Williams scored Green Bay’s garbage-time goal-line landing. With an inexperienced quarterback below middle, now just isn’t the time for the Packers to experiment with their backfield.

Four. Detroit’s Wild and Sticky Adventures within the Red Zone continued Monday. The Lions took 4 journeys contained in the 20-yard line and solely two led to six, a greater stat than their oh-fer in opposition to the Steelers, however nonetheless… Their first sojourn concluded with an Ameer Abdullah untouched sweep in the long run zone. But the second time round, Detroit tried three runs proper up the center from the 1 and was stuffed every time, botching a possibility to go up three touchdowns. Jones reeled in a fairly cross on the Lions’ third try for the game-sealing rating. On the ultimate march, Dwayne Washington was stuffed and Stafford was deflected on the line earlier than Matt Prater’s final area aim. Jim Bob Cooter is a wizard in the course of the sphere, however the Lions offensive coordinator’s play-calling coverage close to the aim posts stays an puzzle.

5. Last week, I raved about Detroit’s rising entrance seven. This week, the secondary deserves an ovation, particularly cornerback Darius “Big Play” Slay and security Glover Quin. Slay’s handsy blanket protection of Jordy Nelson deep might have been repeatedly penalized, however the nook saved a clear sheet and shut down no matter deep ball Hundley tried to muster when the sport was aggressive. Quin’s badured fourth-down stuff of Cobb on a jet sweep was probably the most electrical defensive play of the sport and illuminated his standing as one of many recreation’s premier safeties. 

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