GREEN BAY – The Packers got down big in the first half couldn’t rally all the way back this time, falling to the Lions 34-20 on Thursday night at Lambeau Field.
After Green Bay got an interception from S Rudy Ford on the game’s opening series and turned it into a field goal, the Lions scored 27 straight points to take a 27-3 halftime lead. Power running, crisp passing and an interception deep in Green Bay territory all contributed to the dominant run as the Packers’ offense sputtered.
The Packers rallied to get within 27-17 early in the fourth quarter, scoring two touchdowns, but the Lions answered with a game-clinching TD drive that included an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on LB Quay Walker for jumping all the way over the line of scrimmage on a field-goal try. The Lions took the field goal off the board, accepted the free first down, and finished the drive with a TD run by RB David Montgomery, his third rushing score on the night.
Jordan Love threw his second INT after driving the Packers to the red zone with just over four minutes left, and that was the ballgame. Rookie K Anders Carlson made a 50-yard field goal with 2:52 left for the game’s final points.
Green Bay fell to 2-2 while Detroit improved to 3-1 to grab sole possession of first place in the NFC North.
For the game, QB Jordan Love was 23-of-36 for 246 yards with one TD and two INTs for a 69.9 rating. WR Romeo Doubs caught nine passes for 95 yards, and rookie WR Jayden Reed added three catches for 55 yards. TE Josiah Deguara had four catches for 34 yards, and RBs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon combined for just 29 yards rushing on 10 attempts.
Lions QB Jared Goff was 19-of-28 for 210 yards with one TD, one INT and an 86.2 rating. Montgomery had 121 yards on 32 attempts. RB Jahmyr Gibbs added 40 yards on eight rushes, and WR Kalif Raymond had 40 rushing yards on a reverse.
WR Josh Reynolds led the Lions with 69 receiving yards on three catches, TE Sam LaPorta had 56 yards on four grabs, and WR Amon-Ra St. Brown had 56 yards on five catches, including a TD.
Here’s a recap of all the action:
Lions lead Packers 14-3 after first quarter
The Packers won the opening coin toss and deferred. Green Bay’s defense got off to a fast start, with Preston Smith tackling David Montgomery for no gain on first down, Rasul Douglas dropping Kalif Raymond for a 2-yard loss on second down and safety Rudy Ford intercepting Lions quarterback Jared Goff and returning it 21 yards to the Detroit 16.
Christian Watson and Aaron Jones started for Green Bay. Quarterback Jordan Love was sacked for a 9-yard loss on second down but got the yards back on an underneath pass to Romeo Doubs, setting up an Anders Carlson 34-yard field goal to put the Packers up 3-0 with 11 minutes, 59 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Lions answered back with a seven-play, 75-yard drive that included a pivotal 35-yard pass to Sam LaPorta on third-and-5. Rasul Douglas slid in coverage on the next play, creating an opening for Goff to hit Amon-Ra St. Brown on a 24-yard touchdown to put Detroit ahead 7-3 with 8:16 left in the first quarter.
Green Bay went three-and-out on its next possession after Love was sacked for a 6-yard loss on first down. The Lions took over after a Daniel Whelan 57-yard punt that Raymond turned 11 yards to the Detroit 45.
On third-and-3, Goff connected on a slant with Josh Reynolds for 22 yards to the Green Bay 25. Goff scrambled for 11 yards to set up first-and-goal at the Packers’ 4. Two plays later, Montgomery ran a stretch play for a 3-yard touchdown to extend Detroit’s lead to 13-3 with 2:54 left in the first quarter.
The Packers gained seven yards behind AJ Dillon but Love’s third-and-3 pass for Doubs sailed high and incomplete, resulting in another three-and-out.
The Lions kept the offensive momentum going with Goff lofting a 26-yard completion to Reynolds to move across midfield. Raymond then gained 40 yards on an end-around, setting up another first-and-goal at the Green Bay 9.
Lions lead Packers 27-3 at halftime
On third-and-goal, Rashan Gary forced an incompletion and drew a holding penalty to move the Lions back to the Green Bay 14. After a third-down incompletion, Riley Patterson made a 33-yard field goal to extend Detroit’s lead to 17-3 with 14:07 left in the first half.
The Packers tried to run play action on first down, but Love’s pass was tipped by Alex Anzalone and intercepted by Jerry Jacobs. After starting at the Green Bay 7, Montgomery punched in a 5-yard TD run up the middle to put the Lions ahead 24-3 with 13:19 left in the half.
Aaron Jones received a 5-yard handoff but was tackled for a 2-yard loss on a read-option on the next play. Love’s third-and-7 pass for Watson fell incomplete and the Packers were again forced to punt.
The defense forced a stop on the Lions’ next possession after a holding penalty and Isaiah McDuffie’s quarterback hit on second-and-18. Green Bay got its initial first down after a neutral-zone infraction on third-and-4.
Dillon was tackled for a 3-yard loss on first down and Love was sacked on second for an 8-yard loss. Doubs gained 16 yards on third-and-21 but Green Bay was forced to punt.
T.J. Slaton tipped a Goff pass at the line of scrimmage and Gary forced an incompletion with a knockdown but Detroit converted with a 14-yard pass to St. Brown on a third-and-10 slant. The Lions reached the two-minute warning after an 11-yard pass to Sam LaPorta.
Gary pressured Goff into an incompletion, leading to a 37-yard Patterson field goal that made it 27-3 at halftime.
Love completed a 6-yard pass to tight end Josiah Deguara, who also converted on third-and-4 with a 13-yard completion. Jacobs was called for a defensive pass interference penalty against Doubs moving the ball to the Detroit 47 with 3 seconds left in the half. The half ended with Lions sending a five-man pressure and Love getting sacked.
Lions lead Packers 27-11 after three
The Packers received the ball to start the second half. Rookie tight end Tucker Kraft caught his first pass for six yards and Love converted the initial first down with a 5-yard pass to Doubs on third-and-1. Christian Watson then caught his first pass of the year for 24 yards to the Lions’ 48.
Aaron Jones ran for nine yards on a stretch left and the officials tacked on another 15 yards after an unnecessary roughness penalty by Anzalone, moving the ball to the Detroit 18. After a 6-yard pass to Deguara, the Packers chose to go for it on fourth-and-9. Love hit Doubs on a 15-yard post to set up first-and-goal at the Lions’ 2.
The Packers completed the 12-play, 86-yard scoring drive with a quick fade from Love to Watson on second-and-goal from the 1. Green Bay converted the two-point play with a pass to Jayden Reed in the back of the end zone to cut Detroit’s lead to 27-11 with 8:17 left in the third quarter.
Lions safety Brian Branch (ankle) and linebacker Derrick Barnes (cramping) both left the game on the series.
The Packers’ defense forced a three-and-out, keyed by Quay Walker tackling Jahmyr Gibbs for a 5-yard loss on second down.
Love threw a backwards pass that missed Doubs and went out of bounds for an 11-yard loss. Love got 15 yards back on a third-down pass to Doubs, but Green Bay was forced to punt.
Karl Brooks recorded his second sack of the year for a loss of 10 yards on second-and-5 from the Green Bay 28. Detroit ran a halfback draw to Gibbs on third-and-15 and opted to punt with a minute left in the quarter.
The third quarter ended with a 44-yard deep ball to Reed, who was tackled at the Detroit 9.
Lions hold off Packers for 34-20 win
The fourth quarter began with Love rushing up the middle for a 9-yard TD on second-and goal. Love was tackled a yard short of the end zone on the two-point conversion, as Detroit preserved a 27-17 lead with 14:52 left in the fourth quarter.
The Lions picked up a first down on their next possession with a 13-yard pass to David Montgomery to the Green Bay 47. The Packers got Detroit in third-and-2, but Gibbs snuck through for six yards. Throwing against his body on play action, Goff connected with Reynolds for 20 yards to enter back into Green Bay’s red zone.
On fourth-and-3, the Lions originally opted to kick a 30-yard Patterson field goal but Quay Walker was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for jumping over the Lions’ field goal protection after lining up more than a yard off the line of scrimmage.
Detroit ended up scoring on a 1-yard TD run by Montgomery to move ahead 34-17 with 6 minutes remaining.
Quick passes from Love to Reed and Doubs earned Green Bay its initial first down. After a 6-yard Dillon run on third-and-1, Love completed a 35-yard pass to Samori Toure at the Detroit 19. On second-and-5, Love was picked off for a second time by Jacobs who returned the interception to the Lions’ 18.
Devonte Wyatt sacked Goff on third-and-9 to force the punt with 3:46 remaining. Keisean Nixon returned Jack Fox’s punt 34 yards to the Lions’ 35.
Doubs caught a 12-yard pass on second-and-19, which led to Anders Carlson making a 50-yard field goal to cut the Lions’ lead to 34-20 with 2:52 remaining. Carlson’s onside kick went out of bounds and the Lions were able to run out the clock on the win.
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