The game last Sunday at Lambeau Field was the definition of a game in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The snow was falling, the weather was dropping and football was to be had on the Frozen Tundra. The Green Bay Packers took advantage of the home field and beat the Detroit Lions 27-20.
The Lions offense early and often ran the ball and controlled the clock in the first half. They took an early two touchdown lead but after a Mason Crosby field goal things started to turn around for the Packers and once again it came from an unexpected player.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford lost his grip on the ball and rookie defensive lineman Mike Daniels make a risky play to pick up the ball rather then pouncing on it, but in the end it worked out. Daniels scooped the ball up and ran 43 yards for the score bringing the Packers within four before half.
Injuries have been a theme for this team so seeing a guy like Daniels making plays is nothing out of the ordinary for the Packers this season. With these players being injured others have had to step up until the Packers get healthy.
One of the players who returned from injury was defensive back Sam Shields and it did not take him long to earn his starting spot back from Davon House as he had two passes defensed as well as a timely interception before half.
In the second half the Packers used the legs, not the arm, of quarterback Aaron Rodgers to help take the lead against the Lions. Rodgers 27 yard touchdown scamper put the Packers up 17-14. The run by Rodgers was the longest touchdown run by a Packers quarterback since a guy named Brett Favre had one in 1998.
After a Jason Hanson field goal for the Lions they tied the game up at 17. Putting the ball back in the hands of the Packers. The two teams exchanged possessions a couple of times before the Packers would take control of the game.
After Hanson missed a 51 yard field goal attempt the Packers took to the field.
As stated before injuries have forced players to step up and make plays for the Packers and two players who did just that against the Lions were running back DuJuan Harris and offensive lineman Don Barclay; both helping produce one of the most impressive drives of the season for the Packers.
The Packers would go on a seven play, all of which were running plays, drive and capitalize on a 14 yard touchdown run by Harris. Harris did not shoulder the load alone on the drive, in fact, he was the finisher. Fellow running backs Alex Green and Ryan Grant, who saw his first action since signing on the previous Monday, started the drive.
Green had four straight carries before Grant came in for his only carry, which was an impressive run to the left for 13 yards, before Harris came in to finish the drive with two carries.
The Packers ended up giving up a late field goal to have the final be 27-20.
The win was ugly as Rodgers posted his lowest season total of yards passing and did not find the endzone through the air, but the way the Packers won may have helped them for the future.
If the Packers can consistently run the ball like they did against the Lions, it is not out of the question to see the passing game start to take off. Add in the fact the Packers expect and hope to get defensive back Charles Woodson, linebacker Clay Matthews and wide receiver Jordy Nelson back this week against the Chicago Bears with a chance to clinch the division for the second straight year. Things could be looking up for the Packers postseason run.
About the Author
Written by Noah Hanstedt
Born and raised in the small town of Neenah, WI. Grew up watching Green Bay Packers football with my late father. Been writing about sports for 5 years now and hope to continue becoming a stronger writer and an even better man.