Green Bay entered their week 2 game against Detroit, with the knowledge that these were the same Detroit Lions that gave up over 300 Yards rushing to the Atlanta Falcons, a week previous. Thus, they were ready to rush all over the Lions' defense, right? They elected to pass, and Aaron Rodgers threw 3 touchdowns in the first half. The game became interesting following halftime...
Late in the 1st Quarter, Rodgers rolled towards his right, out of the pocket, and hit James Jones for a TD in the endzone. Rodgers then led the Packers to two more Touchdowns on their next 2 possessions, to Lead 21-3 at halftime.
After a quiet 3rd Quarter (3 Field Goals, 2 by Detroit, 1 by Green Bay), the score was 24-9; Then came the 4th Quarter.
The game became quite interesting in the 4th Quarter. Just over a minute in, Jon Kitna threw a pass that was bobbled and caught by Calvin Johnson, and he was able to take it to the house for a score.
Now, with the score 24-16, Detroit's defense became stingy, stalling the Packers on their next drive, and forcing them to punt from within their own endzone. Derrick Frost mishandled the long snap, and the ball sailed through the back of the end zone for a safety. 24-18, GB
After a quick possession by Detroit, and then by Green Bay, Detroit got the ball back with about 8 Minutes to go. On the first play of their drive, Jon Kitna threw a pass over the middle to Calvin Johnson; he broke a tackle and was gone, to the endzone, for the touchdown.
Suddenly, Detroit was up 25-24, and Green Bay had less than 8 minutes to respond. They drove down field for a field goal, giving them the 27-25 lead. This is when Detroit became sloppy. On the first play of Detroit’s drive, Jon Kitna's pass was intercepted, leading to a 4 play, 40-yard drive by Green Bay, ending in a Touchdown. This gave Green Bay a 34-25 lead, and they didn't look back.
On Detroit's next 2 drives, Kitna threw 2 more interceptions, and both were returned for touchdowns. Final Score- Green Bay 48, Detroit 25
Notes and Thoughts:
Green Bay, once again, was able to effectively execute their play action passes. One notable play was a play action, roll right, deep pass to Greg Jennings for 60 yards that set up a short pass to Donald Lee for a touchdown in the 2nd Quarter. This seems to be one of their most valuable weapons this year. The play action is much more effective, not only because their running back situation is better this year, but also because Aaron Rodgers offers above-average mobility at the Quarterback position, which is something Brett Favre couldn't offer. (Although that's no knock on Brett Favre, that's about the only thing he couldn't offer them)
The most impressive ability I saw in Rodgers' week 2 performance, though, was probably his ability to spread the ball, as 5 of his teammates had multiple catches, and his 3 touchdown passes were all to different receivers.
Rodgers has been excellent so far through 2 games, and it seems his time spent behind Favre has not been wasted, as he's developed chemistry with Green Bay's receivers, and he has an excellent grasp on their playbook. It also couldn't have hurt him much to have a Hall of Famer as a mentor...
-The Lions just couldn't execute on 3rd down, and it definitely cost them as they went 2 for 12 on 3rd down conversion attempts.
-The Packers defense held the Lions to 14 yards or less on 10 out of their 16 drives.
-In what could very well have been a deciding factor in this game, Green Bay had excellent pressure on Kitna all game long, gathering 5 sacks. Conversely, the Lions managed only 1 sack on Aaron Rodgers.