4 Takeaways from Lions’ 15-9 Victory against Packers

The Detroit Lions came into their Week 9 matchup against the Green Bay Packers having a lot of noise to deal with. 

The team moved on from defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant, and then decided to trade tight end T.J. Hockenson to the Minnesota Vikings at the deadline. 

After five straight losses, the defense played one of its best games, forcing multiple turnovers from a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. 

Green Bay was kept off of the scoreboard until midway through the third quarter. 

After a lull offensively to start the second half, Detroit was able to score its first points in the second half since Week 4, pulling away from its division rival in the process. 

Here are four takeaways from the Lions’ 15-9 victory at Ford Field. 

Offensive penalties derail first-half drives

The Lions simply struggled to get out of their own way offensively in the first half.

After dealing with a multitude of penalties in the second half a week ago against the Dolphins, the Lions struggled again with multiple infractions Sunday against the Packers.

A holding call on the Lions’ second dive, committed by Taylor Decker, derailed the team’s second offensive possession.

Another holding penalty on wideout Tom Kennedy, combined with a Decker false start, stalled Detroit’s third offensive drive.

Detroit finally got on the scoreboard on its fourth offensive possession. Jared Goff led the offense on an eight-play, 61-yard drive that was capped off by a short toss to a wide-open Shane Zylstra for a 1-yard touchdown.

Jamaal Williams successfully converted a two-point conversion, to give the Lions an 8-0 halftime lead.

Detroit earned possession after Dan Campbell successfully challenged a completed Packers pass to Allen Lazard on fourth down. 

Lack of explosive plays limit offensive productivity

Not having DJ Chark and Josh Reynolds available made the Lions’ offense reliant on the run. 

The lack of explosiveness kept the Packers in the game, as Detroit was forced to rely on Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jamaal Williams to keep the football moving. 

Unfortunately, quarterback Jared Goff proved to be prone once again to a momentum-changing turnover. He tossed a third-quarter interception to Jaire Alexander, who read the play from the moment the veteran signal-caller stepped up in the pocket. 

Goff was able to rebound, though, and led the team late in the third quarter on a scoring drive that extended the Lions’ lead to nine, 15-6. 

Tight end James Mitchell scored his first career touchdown, as he capped off a 13-play, 70-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown. 

Lions’ defense steps up, safety Kerby Joseph shines

Coming into the game, quarterback Aaron Rodgers recorded 40 career touchdowns, against only one interception, against NFC North opponents.

Both of the Packers’ first offensive drives, however, ended in interceptions. 

Rookie safety Kerby Joseph continues to be a factor for Aaron Glenn’s defense, as he has now forced a turnover in three consecutive games. 

With the Packers in the red zone and having moved the football all the way down the field, Rodgers’ pass was tipped by linebacker Derrick Barnes, and intercepted by the first-year safety. 

Rodgers again tossed an interception on the Packers’ next drive, as Aidan Hutchinson earned his first career interception on fourth down to start the second quarter. 

After a Goff interception, Joseph jumped in front of tight end Robert Tonyan, securing his second interception of the game. 

Joseph is the first Lions rookie with a two-interception game since safety Devon Mitchell accomplished the feat back in 1986.

Early in the fourth quarter, Detroit’s rookie safety was shaken up, and taken off the field after colliding with Jeff Okudah. 

Both immediately left the game and were taken to the locker room. Okudah was able to return, but Joseph was evaluated for a concussion after the collision. 

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© Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
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David Reginek, USA TODAY Sports

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