Packers vs. Lions: Takeaways from Green Bay's 40-10 Loss to Detroit
There weren't many things for the Green Bay Packers to be thankful for in their horrid loss to the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day. Despite holding a 10-3 lead early in the second quarter, the Lions went on to score the next 37 points in the game to win by a score of 40-10.
This was easily one of the worst losses the Packers have suffered in recent history. Nothing went right, and the Lions dominated every aspect of the game on both sides of the ball.
It was an embarrassing effort from Green Bay in a game that it simply couldn't afford to lose. The Packers now sit at 5-6-1 on the season and will have an extremely difficult time making the playoffs.
Let's have a look at some takeaways from Green Bay's 40-10 loss to Detroit.
All statistics courtesy of NFL.com.
So, About This Matt Flynn Guy...
...He isn't quite as good as we all might have thought he was.
Thursday was just brutal for quarterback Matt Flynn. He finished the game with only 10 completions for 139 yards. If you take away a meaningless 56-yard catch by wide receiver James Jones late in the game, that gives Flynn only nine completions for 83 yards.
Flynn also threw an interception and coughed the ball up twice on fumbles. Oh yeah, he also took a safety late in the third quarter. His quarterback rating was a pitiful 51.9.
However, the worst news for the quarterback position came after the game from head coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy said that Aaron Rodgers would need a "great week of recovery" to play in Week 14, according to Jay Sorgi of TMJ4.com.
If Rodgers doesn't get that great week of recovery, the Packers may want to think about switching back to Scott Tolzien with how poorly Flynn played this week.
What Happened to the Ground Game?
Lacy finished the game with 16 rushing yards on 10 carries. His longest run of the day was a pedestrian four yards. Backup running back James Starks wasn't any better, as he gained only two yards on two carries.
It seems like each week the discussion is out there that Lacy and Co. need to dominate on the ground in order for the Packers to win without quarterback Aaron Rodgers. This game was the perfect example of that statement being absolutely true.
With Lacy struggling all game long, the Packers simply didn't have a chance to beat the Detroit Lions.
The Offensive Line Was Hard to Watch
Here's a crazy stat for you: The Packers offense had the same amount of first downs as the Lions had sacks.
There were seven first downs from the Packers in this game and seven sacks from the Lions. Simply put, the Packers offensive line played its worst game of the season in this contest. The offensive line was also instrumental in quarterback Matt Flynn's two fumbles and the safety in the third quarter.
To make matters worse, center Evan Dietrich-Smith went down with a knee injury in the second quarter. That brought in offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse, who was eventually replaced by Lane Johnson, who was eventually replaced by Derek Sherrod.
This is a game the offensive line for Green Bay is going to want to forget as quickly as possible.
The Packers Can't Figure out How to Stop the Run
Last week, it was running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart gaining a combined 237 rushing yards. As bad as the defensive line was in that game, it was much, much worse in this game.
Running backs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell combined for 39 carries, 211 yards and two touchdowns. That's an average of 5.4 yards per carry. Simply put, the defensive line of the Green Bay Packers got absolutely dominated by the Detroit Lions offensive line.
They didn't get any push off the line of scrimmage and were consistently beat at the point of attack. Furthermore, the defensive line didn't get any pressure on quarterback Matthew Stafford.
This unit was the strength of the defense early in the season. However, it's become just as bad as the rest of the defense in Green Bay over the past few games.
It Was a Long Day for the Secondary
After getting shredded by quarterback Christian Ponder last week, you'd think that the Packers secondary would come out all fired up for this game. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.
The Packers gave up a whopping 330 yards through the air Thursday, and quarterback Matthew Stafford added three touchdown passes. Sure, cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Sam Shields both had an interception, but they also were beat time and time again by the receivers of the Detroit Lions.
Special Teams Coverage Was at an All-Time Low
The Detroit Lions kick and punt returner for this game was Jeremy Ross. If that name sounds familiar, that's because he was cut by the Green Bay Packers earlier in the season.
Well, Ross obviously was a little bitter about that whole getting released thing and had a memorable performance against the Packers. He only finished the game with 116 total return yards, including a 30-yard kick return and a 35-yard punt return.
The worst performer from the special teams unit was cornerback Davon House. He was beat and missed tackles on nearly every return that Ross had.
Considering the fact that Ross was absolutely terrible with Green Bay makes the performance by the special teams unit this week an all-time low.
The Defense Finally Created Turnovers
About the only thing that went right for the Green Bay Packers in this game was the fact that they forced some turnovers.
Coming into the game, the Packers had four interceptions on the season. They recorded two against the Detroit Lions Thursday. Green Bay also recovered two fumbles.
All 10 of the Packers' points came off the four turnovers the team created. While this is certainly a positive sign, and hopefully the Packers can build off these for the rest of the season, it's hard to get excited about anything after such a tough loss.
Every Single Member of the Packers Is to Blame for This Loss
If you couldn't tell already, there weren't many positive signs for the Green Bay Packers in Thursday's loss to the Detroit Lions.
Head coach Mike McCarthy said after the game, via Jason Wilde of ESPN, that "It just wasn't one person's problem today." Aaron Nagler of Bleacher Report and CheeseheadTV.com had this to say about the overall play of the team:
"Today was embarrassing for pretty much everyone involved with the Green Bay Packers, but Mike McCarthy especially should feel ashamed for how his team performed today."
If you're looking for a finger to point at the player most responsible for today's loss, you will need to figure out how to genetically alter your hands so you can have 53 fingers. Every single member of the Packers is to blame for this loss.