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Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones Power Packers to Victory over Jared Goff, Lions on MNF

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 21, 2021

AP Photo/Matt Ludtke

The Green Bay Packers are back on track.

The Packers bounced back from their Week 1 blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints with a 35-17 victory over the Detroit Lions in Monday's NFC North showdown at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones led the way for the victors, who improved to 1-1 on the season and extended their winning streak against the Lions to five.

A solid start from Jared Goff wasn't enough for Detroit, which dropped to 0-2 on the year.


Notable Player Stats

  • Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB: 22-of-27 passing for 255 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
  • Aaron Jones, RB, GB: 17 carries for 67 yards, 1 TD; 6 catches for 48 yards, 3 TDs
  • Davante Adams, WR, GB: 8 catches for 121 yards
  • Jared Goff, QB, DET: 26-of-36 passing for 246 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; 4 carries for 46 yards
  • T.J. Hockenson, TE, DET: 8 catches for 66 yards, 1 TD
  • Quintez Cephus, WR, DET: 4 catches for 63 yards, 1 TD

Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones Put on a Show in Win

An offseason of drama. A blowout loss to start the season. Rodgers failing to lead a single touchdown drive while throwing two interceptions. It's safe to say there were some concerns in Green Bay coming into a divisional showdown, even this early in the season.

Those concerns remained as the home team went behind on the opening possession and trailed going into the halftime locker room, but the offense at least showed signs of significant improvement.

Jones was heavily involved from the start with physical between-the-tackles runs and plays designed to get him to the outside, including when he took a pop pass and scored Green Bay's first touchdown.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Aaron to Aaron. <br><br>Tie game.<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLBrasil?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLBrasil</a>)<a href="https://t.co/mIvoSvZzUG">pic.twitter.com/mIvoSvZzUG</a>

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The running back also caught Rodgers' second touchdown pass on another short throw, but the quarterback started looking downfield more after intermission. He froze the safety over the middle and found Davante Adams streaking down the sidelines on a deep ball just to set up an absolute rope through a tight window to Robert Tonyan to give Green Bay its first lead.

It was vintage Rodgers from there, as he converted on multiple 3rd-and-longs, caught Detroit with 12 players on the field and quickly found a rhythm on deep passes to Adams. He appeared far more comfortable in the pocket, and the offensive line gave him more time to pick apart the Lions secondary.

Jones wasn't about to let his quarterback have all the fun and caught his third touchdown before running one in for his fourth to essentially ice the win.

Throw in the defense playing much better in the second half, and Green Bay provided its fans with reason for optimism after an abysmal start to the season.


Lions, Jared Goff Waste Promising Start

From Detroit's perspective, the biggest storyline was which version of the team that played in Week 1 was a better representation of what to expect this season.

After all, the Lions went down 38-10 and 41-17 in the second half against the San Francisco 49ers only to come storming back and lose by just eight. That momentum, at least offensively, carried over to the start of Monday's game as the visitors jumped out to a 17-14 halftime lead with Goff in full control.

Goff consistently evaded pressure, improvised when needed and torched Green Bay's secondary with outside throws. He hit Quintez Cephus with a deep ball and again for a touchdown on the opening drive and continued his excellent play with a perfectly placed pass in the back corner of the end zone to T.J. Hockenson.

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It was more of the same for a struggling Packers defense that was missing Za'Darius Smith, but Goff seemed to be growing more comfortable in a new offense.

And then the second half happened.

Detroit was rolling on its first possession after halftime until Goff didn't see a wide-open checkdown on 4th-and-1 and threw an incompletion to the outside. He then fumbled the snap in the pouring rain to start the next possession, and the second massive mistake was more than Rodgers and the Packers offense needed to all but end it.

While there were once again positive developments to build on for the Lions, they struggled to put together a complete game for the second consecutive week. That is a recipe for a loss against an all-time great quarterback on the other side.


What's Next?

The Lions host the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3, while the Packers travel to face the San Francisco 49ers.

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