Packers vs. Lions: Score, Grades and Analysis

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Packers vs. Lions: Score, Grades and Analysis
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Only pumpkin pie can save the Green Bay Packers' day now.

In the annual Thanksgiving day matchup, the Detroit Lions mauled their NFC North rivals in every aspect of the game, rolling to a 40-10 victory despite committing four turnovers.

Matthew Stafford completed 22 of 35 throws for 330 yards and three touchdowns; Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Calvin Johnson each topped 100 total yards with a score; and the Lions held a lifeless Packers offense under Matt Flynn to 126 total yards.

Bush (117 rushing yards, 65 receiving) outgained the Packers by himself en route to the Galloping Gobbler award, while Detroit gained over four times as many yards (561) as Green Bay in the comprehensive performance.

For now, the Lions move ahead of the Chicago Bears atop the division at 7-5, while the Packers fall to 5-6-1 in desperate need of Aaron Rodgers' return.

Entering the locker room at halftime, the Lions had nearly as many plays (42) as the Packers had total yards (43), while Detroit racked up 340 yards and held the ball for over 20 minutes.

But three turnovers held Jim Schwartz's squad back from truly opening the game wide open.

Leon Halip/Getty Images
Although the Lions gained nearly 200 yards on their first four possessions, those drives ended with as many points as giveaways: a fumble, field goal, another fumble and interception.

The second cough-up came when Nick Perry forced a fumble on a sack of Stafford, and Morgan Burnett picked it up for the score:

GIF courtesy of Bleacher Report
That put the Packers ahead, 10-3, but it was the last lead they would see.

Detroit continued to move down the field with ease and eventually started holding on to the ball as well. Stafford found Jeremy Ross for a five-yard score to cap an 85-yard drive, and after Ross set the Lions up with an explosive punt return on the next drive, Reggie Bush scored moments later with a one-yard plunge.

When the halftime whistle blew, the Lions led, 17-10, which the Packers had to feel fortunate about.

The second half, however, was more of the same. More Lions domination on offense. More relentless penetration by the Lions on defense. More of Flynn's complete inability to do anything.

Detroit added nine points in the third quarter on a Johnson touchdown and a Ndamukong Suh safety and 14 more in the fourth quarter, capped by this absurd one-handed catch from Kevin Ogletree:

GIF courtesy of Bleacher Report
In the end, a crucial divisional battle turned into one of the most lopsided games you'll see all year.

 

Player Grades

Matt Flynn, Packers: D

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

If you're a glass-half-full kind of person, Flynn is now averaging 309.5 yards and three touchdowns per game in his two career starts against the Detroit Lions.

Of course, that means Flynn was a miserable 10-of-20 on Thursday for just 139 yards (most of which came on a long James Jones catch late in the fourth quarter), as he was unable to do much of anything.

Blame can't be placed entirely on the struggling QB. Green Bay couldn't establish a run game, and Flynn faced pressure in his face for all four quarters. But he was horribly immobile in the pocket, didn't make many good throws when he actually had time and forced a bad interception in the second half.

 

Matthew Stafford, Lions: B

It was a really rough start for Stafford, who fumbled and threw an interception on two of his first four drives. But then he made this beautiful throw:

GIF courtesy of Bleacher Report
That seemed to get him comfortable again, as he proceeded to complete throws down the field, make the right decisions and put together several quick scoring drives.

He threw another interception in the second half, and it's hard to give him a great grade with three turnovers, but he did a lot of good things on Thursday.

 

Sam Shields, Packers: B+

There weren't many things that went right for the Packers on Thursday, but this interception deserves mention:

GIF courtesy of Bleacher Report
Shields struggled a little bit early in the game, but if you beat Calvin Johnson on a jump ball, you deserve a good grade.

 

Lions Defense: A+

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
We could focus on any number of individuals. Reggie Bush and Joique Bell ran rampant in the running and receiving games. Calvin Johnson had 101 receiving yards and a touchdown. Jeremy Ross had a receiving touchdown and made plays in both the running and return games. 

But this defense was too dominant not to mention.

The front seven absolutely demolished Green Bay at the point of attack, stifling the run and creating constant pressure when Flynn attempted to pass.

Eddie Lacy finished with just 16 yards on 10 carries, while the Lions had seven sacks. Among the many notable individual performances, Ndamukong Suh recorded a safety and rookie Ziggy Ansah embarrassed David Bakhtiari:

The Packers' offensive line probably shouldn't play on ice skates next game.

 

What's Next

The Packers return home to host the Atlanta Falcons in a game they hope will serve as Aaron Rodgers' return, while the Lions travel to the City of Brotherly Love for a matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. 

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