GAME RE­PORT

Packer Plus - - Lions 18, Packers 16 - Michael Cohen

OF­FEN­SIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME

Matthew Stafford, quar­ter­back, Li­ons Af­ter com­plet­ing just one pass in 10 at­tempts for a mea­ger 10 yards in the first quar­ter, Stafford re­bounded to lead his team to vic­tory. While not an artis­tic per­for­mance, Stafford dis­played grit and lead­er­ship, throw­ing two sec­ond-half touch­down passes in the 18-16 tri­umph. Stafford fin­ished the game with 24 com­ple­tions in 38 at­tempts for 242 yards with one in­ter­cep­tion and a 87.8 quar­ter­back rat­ing.

DE­FEN­SIVE PLAY­ERS OF THE GAME

Nevin Law­son and Dar­ius Slay, cor­ner­backs, Li­ons The NFL is all about matchups, and Law­son fared well against Da­vante Adams and Slay blan­keted James Jones in a con­test that was not called tightly by of­fi­cials in the de­fen­sive back­field. Adams was tar­geted an as­tound­ing 21 times by Aaron Rodgers and caught 10 passes for 79 yards. Law­son’s phys­i­cal play and tight cov­er­age held Adams in check, while Slay went man-to-man with Jones, who was tar­geted twice and fin­ished with no catches.

SPE­CIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Ameer Ab­dul­lah, run­ning back/re­turner, Li­ons Detroit de­ferred on the pregame coin toss, and Ab­dul­lah max­i­mized that op­por­tu­nity with a 104-yard kick­off re­turn to open the sec­ond half. Micah Hyde saved a touch­down by tack­ling Ab­dul­lah at the Green Bay 1, but Detroit cap­i­tal­ized when Stafford hit tight end Bran­don Pet­ti­grew with a 2-yard touch­down pass on third down to take a 9-3 lead that it would not re­lin­quish. Ab­dul­lah re­turned two kick­offs for 134 yards and a glossy 67.0 av­er­age.

Martin Hen­dricks

MISS­ING IN AC­TION

With his pro­duc­tion wan­ing and his body not at 100%, tail­back Ed­die Lacy was benched ear­lier this week by coach Mike McCarthy. On Sun­day, Lacy was in­ac­tive due to a groin in­jury suf­fered in the loss to the Carolina Pan­thers. So James Starks car­ried the bulk of the load at tail­back, and third-stringer Alonzo Har­ris made only a brief, car­ry­less ap­pear­ance. But the dy­namism Starks of­fered against the Seat­tle Seahawks, the San Diego Charg­ers and the Pan­thers was largely ab­sent Sun­day. Starks car­ried the ball 15 times for just 42 yards — an ugly av­er­age of 2.8 yards per carry — and had six catches for 54 yards. Like last week, the ma­jor­ity of his con­tri­bu­tions in the pass­ing game orig­i­nated dur­ing the Packers’ fran­tic come­back, with quar­ter­back Aaron Rodgers dump­ing the ball off on check downs and screen passes. With what amounted to a one-back of­fense, the Packers man­aged just 47 yards rush­ing and did not reach the end zone.

WHAT IF. . . .

Need­ing a touch­down and two-point con­ver­sion to tie the game and force over­time, the Packers as­sumed pos­ses­sion with 1 minute, 57 sec­onds re­main­ing in the fourth quar­ter. From his own 27-yard line, quar­ter­back Aaron Rodgers mounted an 8-play, 73-yard drive nudged along by a rough­ing-the-passer penalty on Ezekiel An­sah. Cru­cial com­ple­tions to Starks (19 yards) and Justin Per­illo (12) moved the ball to mid­field, and short gains to Starks (9) and Richard Rodgers (6) inched the of­fense closer. Fi­nally, af­ter An­sah hit Rodgers be­low the knee, draw­ing the flag, the quar­ter­back de­liv­ered a strike to Per­illo for an 11-yard score. But the 2-point con­ver­sion went awry as the ball was dis­lodged from the hands of Da­vante Adams by cor­ner­back Crez­don But­ler. Rodgers lofted the ball high in the air to­ward the back-right cor­ner of the end zone, but there ap­peared to be an op­por­tu­nity for him to lead Adams away from the de­fender. The ball fell to the turf, and the Li­ons es­caped. If Adams holds on, the game al­most cer­tainly goes to over­time. Would the out­come have been

dif­fer­ent?

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Quar­ter­back Aaron Rodgers mir­rored his per­for­mance from the loss to the Carolina Pan­thers by lead­ing an­other at­tempted come­back late in the game. Rodgers threw for 185 yards in the fourth quar­ter alone and fin­ished 35-of-61 for 333 yards and two touch­downs.

Start­ing left tackle David Bakhtiari left the game with a knee in­jury in the sec­ond half. He was carted to the locker room and did not re­turn. Don Bar­clay, who filled in while Bakhtiari was in­jured dur­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion sea­son, got the call again.

In­side line­backer Nate Palmer, benched part­way through the loss to the Pan­thers in fa­vor of rookie Jake Ryan, was in the start­ing lineup for the Packers on Sun­day. Palmer made eight tack­les, tied for sec­ond-most on the team, in­clud­ing one tackle for loss.

BY THE NUM­BERS

0

Sacks of Matthew Stafford by the Packers, the third straight game the de­fense failed to record a sack.

2

Missed ex­tra points by Li­ons kicker Matt Prater, which played a ma­jor role in the come­back at­tempt by the Packers.

57

Re­ceiv­ing yards for Jared Ab­bred­eris, who made the first catch of his NFL ca­reer and caught four passes in to­tal.

35

Com­ple­tions for Aaron Rodgers, a sin­gle-game ca­reer high, that fell just one short of Brett Favre’s fran­chise record of 36 com­ple­tions set on Dec. 5, 1993.

61 Pass­ing

at­tempts for Aaron Rodgers, which ties a sin­gle-game fran­chise record set by Brett Favre on Oct. 14, 1996.

2.8

Yards per carry for tail­back James Starks, now No. 1 on the depth chart, on 15 un­pro­duc­tive at­tempts that pro­duced a long of just 9 yards.

MARK HOFF­MAN / MHOFFMAN@JOUR­NALSEN­TINEL.COM

Af­ter get­ting the start­ing job ear­lier in the week, James Starks had 42 yards in 15 car­ries.

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