Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Green Bay
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
While this week wasn't the prettiest of weeks for the Packers, they still looked impressive in a number of areas for the game. In fact, this was the first game of the season where every unit received a passing grade for its efforts.
Let's take a look at the report card grades for Green Bay in its win over Detroit.
*All stats via NFL.com.
Key Player: Aaron Rodgers
This might not be the Rodgers that many of us are used to seeing, but he's still one of the best in the game. Rodgers finished Sunday's contest with 274 yards, a touchdown and a quarterback rating of 106.8.
It wasn't a dominant performance, but it was an extremely efficient one. He only had 10 incompletions on the day and had 11 of 20 completions go for a first down.
While the Detroit Lions don't necessarily have the best secondary in the league, this was still an impressive performance from Rodgers. He took whatever the defense gave him while also making a number of ridiculous throws.
When Rodgers plays this well, it's always going to be difficult to beat the Green Bay Packers.
Final Grade: A-
Key Players: Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin
It's hard to call Franklin a key player considering he only had three rushes for one yard, but he also had a fumble so he needs to be included.
Franklin's fumble came early in the first quarter, and he didn't see the field again as a running back. That was fine for the Green Bay Packers because Lacy had quite the game in his first action since getting a concussion in Week 2.
Lacy almost became the third straight rusher to reach 100 yards for the Packers. Unfortunately, he finished with only 99 yards and 23 carries. Still, it was a great day of running for Lacy, who consistently picked up positive yardage.
Had Franklin been somewhat productive, this unit would have had another perfect grade. However, even without Franklin's help, the running backs posted a solid grade.
Final Grade: B+
The receiving corps for the Green Bay Packers was extremely impressive this week. Sure, the stats don't necessarily jump off the page, but it was the way in which the receivers got those stats that was so incredible.
For example, Randall Cobb only had four receptions for 35 yards. However, one of those receptions was a ridiculous one-handed catch. He also added 72 rushing yards on the ground.
Jones finished the day with the most yards. His 127 yards came on only four receptions thanks to his 83-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter.
And then there was the reliable Nelson, who simply caught everything thrown his way. He had the most receptions out of the trio with five that went for 82 yards.
All in all, this unit made impressive catches and racked up a ton of yards.
Final Grade: A
Key Players: Jermichael Finley, Ryan Taylor
No player on the Green Bay Packers had more receptions than Finley, who finished the game with six. That's a good sign for a player who had what looked like a brutal concussion only two weeks ago.
Finley continues to play impressive football. He now has 17 receptions on the season to go along with two touchdowns.
While Finley was solid, his backup wasn't so good. Taylor dropped a pass in the first half that would have easily gone for a touchdown had he caught it.
When you even out Finley's impact with Taylor's mistake, you still come out with a passing grade for the tight ends.
Final Grade: B
Key Players: David Bakhtiari, Josh Sitton, Evan Dietrich-Smith, T.J. Lang, Don Barclay
This was easily the most impressive game for the offensive line of the Green Bay Packers. Detroit has one of the best defensive lines Green Bay will see all year long, and the offensive line easily handled it for the majority of the game.
It was able to keep Aaron Rodgers upright by only giving up one sack on the afternoon. It also won the battle in the ground game by springing the Packers running backs to a total of 180 rushing yards.
Going up against players like Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and Ziggy Ansah is not an easy task. However, the Packers offensive line was dominant against them for all four quarters.
If the offensive line continues to play like this, the Packers will be just fine offensively.
Final Grade: A+
Key Players: B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, Datone Jones, Mike Daniels, Johnny Jolly
Through the first three games, the defensive line had been the best unit on the defensive side of the football. While it was solid this week, it wasn't even close to being the best defensive unit on the field.
However, that doesn't mean that it didn't play a quality game because it did just that. The line held Reggie Bush to only 44 yards on 13 carries and Joique Bell to only 21 yards on four carries. This unit also did a good job of winning battles at the point of contact in order to open up lanes for the Green Bay Packers pass-rushers.
Overall, it was a solid game for a unit that has proven to be as consistent as any for Green Bay.
Final Grade: B
Key Players: Clay Matthews, A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, Mike Neal, Nick Perry, Robert Francois, Jamari Lattimore
Now this was the type of performance that the Green Bay Packers needed from their linebackers. We haven't seen this group play this well all season, and it was getting to the point where no one really knew what to expect from it.
However, the linebackers came to play on Sunday and were a huge reason why the Detroit Lions only put nine points on the scoreboard. Even though Perry was benched in favor of Neal, he ended up having a huge game by recording two of the Packers' five sacks in the game.
Hawk was also a big part of the defensive success of the team. He was stout against the run and did a great job of being the vocal leader for the defense.
The bad news for this group is that it seemed like every linebacker ended up getting injured. Matthews fractured his thumb according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, and Jones left the game even earlier with a hamstring injury.
While those injuries are obviously terrible news, the play on the field from this unit has to be very encouraging.
Final Grade: A
Key Players: Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Davon House
The Green Bay Packers got fantastic news when they found out wide receiver Calvin Johnson wasn't going to be playing in Sunday's game. That huge loss for the Detroit Lions made the job for the Packers cornerbacks that much easier.
While Matthew Stafford did throw for 264 yards on the day, Williams, Shields and House did a great job of not giving up any big plays. The biggest pass play on the day for the Lions was a 25-yard gain to tight end Brandon Pettigrew.
The only issue with the cornerbacks' performance this week was the fact that they failed to create any turnovers or big plays. They could get away with it against the Lions receiving corps this week, but they won't be able to against better receivers.
Final Grade: B
Key Players: Jerron McMillian, M.D. Jennings, Morgan Burnett
With Burnett finally returning from a hamstring injury that kept him out the first three games, the Green Bay Packers safeties looked like a completely new unit. Burnett finished the game with five total tackles, but his biggest contribution came in the improved play of the pass defense.
For starters, Burnett made an incredible play on a pass from Matthew Stafford to Brandon Pettigrew in the end zone. Had he not tipped that pass, it's likely that the Detroit Lions would have scored on that play.
Burnett also seemed to raise the game of both Jennings and McMillian. They weren't great in this game, but they played much better than they had through the first three games.
It looks like things are turning around for the unit that had been the weakest unit at the start of the season.
Final Grade: B
Key Players: Tim Masthay, Mason Crosby, Randall Cobb, Johnathan Franklin, Micah Hyde
With Jeremy Ross no longer a member of the Green Bay Packers, there were a handful of players the Packers tried in the return game. It started with Cobb, but Franklin and Hyde also got an opportunity returning kicks and punts.
Franklin's lone kickoff return went out of the end zone, and Hyde only managed six yards on two punt returns. Despite their unimpressive play, the rest of the special teams played extremely well.
Crosby hit all five of his field-goal attempts, including a 52-yard field goal. As for Masthay, he wasn't great, but he did have a 60-yard punt and one of his three punts pinned the Detroit Lions inside the 20-yard line.
The play of the return men was disappointing, but Crosby and Masthay picked up the slack this week to earn a positive grade.
Final Grade: A-