Lions vs Packers: Green Bay's Biggest Winners and Losers from Week 14
The Packers were in the hole early after two Matthew Stafford touchdowns, but Stafford committed two turnovers that would prove costly later in the game, especially since one was returned for a touchdown.
Some players were good on both sides, and some just weren't.
Here are some winners and losers from the Packers' side of the ball in Week 14.
Winner: Randall Cobb
On a night where Aaron Rodgers completed 14 passes, Cobb caught seven of them for 102 yards.
On an important third-down, Rodgers found Cobb for a 36-yard gain on 3rd-and-11 to extend the Packers drive and give them a two score lead.
The NFL's leader in all-purpose yards tacked on 89 more in returns, and is quickly becoming Rodgers' favorite target.
Loser: Every Other Option in the Passing Game
So if on a night where Rodgers completed 14 passes and Cobb caught seven of them, that left the rest of the Packers receivers, tight ends and running backs to combine for seven catches.
The next best receiver for the Packers after Cobb was James Jones, who hauled in two catches for 27 yards.
Not much production was gotten out of players besides Randall Cobb.
Winner: Mason Crosby
So maybe hitting 66.7% of your field goals isn't too good, but given the circumstances, Crosby fared pretty well.
Despite snowy conditions, Crosby nailed field goals of 49 and 41 yards, and missed on a field goal attempt of 52 yards that probably would've gone through the uprights had the Packers not taken a sack on the previous play.
Their kicker came through when they needed him most, and his 41-yard field goal sealed the game.
Loser: The Pass Rush
Without Clay Matthews, Green Bay's front seven predictably generated very little pass rush.
Their efforts came out to a combined two quarterback hits and no sacks.
Matthews will return to double and triple teams, but he'll at least be able to generate something.
The Packers will have to take another look at a high-round pass-rusher come next April.
Winner: DuJuan Harris
The Packers made it a point to establish the ground game, and the result was Harris nearly doubling his career amount of carries in one night.
Harris was signed to the Packers' practice squad in late October and called him up from the squad before last week's game.
With James Starks out with a knee injury, the pint-sized Harris operated as Alex Green's backup and change-of-pace back.
The result was seven carries for 31 yards and a 14-yard touchdown run through a massive hole.
Expect to see him receive a couple carries for the rest of the season; that's rather good for a player who had nine career carries before tonight's game.
Loser: Ryan Grant
Despite there being no clear candidate to receive carries besides Alex Green, Grant only received one carry and wasn't a factor on passing downs.
Maybe it was the coaches worrying about Grant's potential rust, but he came out of the game right after a he ripped off a 13-yard game, in spite of the thunderous approval from the crowd.
While I expect to see Grant receive more than just one carry every week, he has a legitimate challenger in the quick DuJuan Harris.
Winner: Alex Green
With James Starks essentially sidelined for the season, Green finally showed up.
The second-year back out of Hawaii made the Lions pay by breaking arm tackles consistently and fighting for extra yards.
Over the past two weeks, Green has totaled 25 carries for 127 yards, good for 5.1 yards per carry.
It's a bit premature, but maybe, just maybe, Green is ready to turn the corner on a disappointing season.
Loser: Green Bay's Defense on 3rd Downs
The Lions converted 11 of their 17 3rd-downs on Sunday Night. That's a 65% conversion rate.
3rd-downs were a problem early on in the game when the Lions simply converted 3rd-downs seemingly at will.
Problems arose particularly when the Packers played far off the ball on multiple 3rd-and-shorts.
There's a silver lining in that Green Bay was able to force Detroit into 17 3rd-downs, but that lining goes away quickly when you can't hold them.
Winner: Mike Daniels
In some paraphrased form of what the announcers said, this will likely be Mike Daniels' career highlight.
In an at first disturbing decision, Packers' rookie defensive lineman Mike Daniels decided that instead of jumping on Matt Stafford's fumble, he'd rather pick it up and try and see how far he can run it.
Fortunately, it worked out, and Daniels broke a tackle and rumbled 43 yards for the score.
In hindsight, that normally dumb decision proved to be a huge play.
Loser: Chicago Bears
The Bears now sit a game behind the Packers heading into their Week 15 showdown with them, and will still be behind the Packers even if they win.
If they don't win, Green Bay automatically clinches the division.
This will be an important week for Chicago.