Dominant defense lifts Lions over Packers

DETROIT -- For only the second time in his career, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers lost to the Detroit Lions, whose defense outscored Green Bay in a 19-7 victory at Ford Field. Ndamukong Suh had a simple explanation why Detroit made G...

Green Bay Packers running back DuJuan Harris (26) runs the ball during the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday in Detroit. (Tim Fuller / USA TODAY Sports)

DETROIT - For only the second time in his career, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers lost to the Detroit Lions, whose defense outscored Green Bay in a 19-7 victory at Ford Field. Ndamukong Suh had a simple explanation why Detroit made Green Bay’s powerful offense disappear on Sunday.
“Your front four has to dominate the line of scrimmage,” said Suh, the Lions’ premier defensive tackle. “That’s something we pride ourselves on. We’re always going to pride ourselves on that. We want to stop the run with the front four. That’s period, point blank, and then we’ll go from there.”
Lions’ defenders were beaming with pride after outscoring the Packers offense 9-7 on Sunday afternoon. The defense put up the first nine points and held the Packers to 223 total yards.
Defensive back Don Carey scored on a 40-yard fumble return in the first quarter and linebacker DeAndre Levy had a team-high nine tackles, one for a safety.
“Our defense did an outstanding job of getting off the field all day,” Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “Against that group that they were going up against, that was pretty awesome.”
Running back Reggie Bush had a 26-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter for Detroit (2-1), which bounced back from a loss at Carolina. Bush rushed for 61 yards on 12 carries and caught six passes for 38 yards one week after he was frustrated by having just seven total touches.
Stafford connected on 22 of 34 passes for 246 yards but committed three turnovers, including two interceptions.
“Every game is different,” Stafford said. “There are going to be times when our defense has issues and we’re going to be able to score a bunch of points and win a game. And there are going to be times like today where the offense was laboring to put points up and our defense is going to do a great job of getting off the field and holding them to seven. It’s complimentary football.”
Rodgers completed 16 of 27 passes 162 yards and a touchdown for Green Bay (1-2), but was under duress much of the game. His longest completion was 18 yards as the Packers scored their fewest points in a game that Rodgers started and was able to finish.
The Packers tried to establish the run early but went nowhere, gaining 76 yards on 22 carries.
“You get into a one-dimensional game and you’re playing uphill,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “Our ability to stay balanced, I thought, was the biggest obstacle that we encountered today.”
For the second straight week, an early fumble put the Packers in a hole. Running back Eddie Lacy had the ball stripped by defensive tackle Nick Fairley and Carey scooped up the ball at the Green Bay 40. Carey, who aggravated a hamstring injury during the half, eluded Rodgers inside the 10 and scored his first career touchdown.
Rodgers fumbled the first snap a week earlier, leading to a New York Jets touchdown.
“The fumble, there’s no excuse for that,” McCarthy said. “Two weeks in a row, we had a fumble on the first play and a fumble on the second play. That’s unacceptable.”
Rookie safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s first interception led to the Packers’ tying score later in the quarter. Rodgers found tight end Andrew Quarless over the middle on 3rd and 1 from the 10 to complete a 59-yard drive.
Stafford’s second interception inadvertently helped the Lions regain the lead. Stafford overthrew Johnson and cornerback Davon House intercepted at the 1. Lacy was tackled in the end zone by linebacker DeAndre Levy on the next play to give Detroit a 9-7 edge.
The Lions lost middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch on the previous possession to a left knee injury that occurred when Tulloch celebrated a sack of Rodgers.
Nate Freese’s 30-yard field goal made it 12-7.
The second half was scoreless until Bush scooted around the left side on a 3rd and 2 from the 26 with 10:40 remaining. Green Bay’s next drive stalled at the Lions’ 20. Rodgers threw an incompletion to receiver Jordy Nelson on fourth down.
NOTES: The Packers won 15 of the last 17 meetings but lost here 40-10 last Thanksgiving when QB Aaron Rodgers was sidelined with a broken collarbone. ... OT LaAdrian Waddle (calf) and S James Ihedigbo (neck) were among the Lions’ inactives. Packers MLB Brad Jones (quadriceps) was also out. ... Lions WR Calvin Johnson holds the NFL record in receiving yards per game for players with a minimum of 100 career games at 88.7. Houston’s Andre Johnson ranks second at 82.2 per game.

Detroit 19, Green Bay 7

Green Bay    7    0    0    0-    7

Detroit    7    5    0    7-    19

First Quarter
DET-D.Carey 40 yard fumble return/recovery (Freese kick), 12:02.
GB-Quarless 10 yard pass from A.Rodgers (Crosby kick), 0:39.
Second Quarter
DET-Lacy tackle in end zone from Levy, 13:21.
DET-Freese 30 yard field goal, 6:16.
Fourth Quarter
DET-Re.Bush 26 yard rush (Freese kick), 10:40.



    GB    DET

First Downs    14    21
Total Net Yards    223    353
Rushes-Yds    22-76    38-115
Passing    147    238
Sacked-Yds Lost    2-15    2-8
Comp-Att-Int    16-27-0    22-34-2
Punts    5-43.0    2-52.0
Punt Returns    2-23    2-16
Kickoff Returns    2-0    2-56
Interceptions Ret.    2-9    0-0
Penalties-Yards    5-30    6-40
Fumbles-Lost    1-1    1-1
Time of Possession    21:47    38:13


RUSHING- GB, J.Starks 8-38, Lacy 11-36, Du.Harris 3-2. DET, Re.Bush 12-61, J.Bell 15-33, Riddick 3-16, M.Stafford 6-8, Je.Collins 1-2, J.Ross 1-(minus 5).
PASSING- GB, A.Rodgers 16-27-0-162. DET, M.Stafford 22-34-2-246.
RECEIVING- GB, J.Nelson 5-59, Quarless 4-43, Cobb 3-29, D.Adams 2-11, J.Boykin 1-11, Lacy 1-9. DET, Cl.Johnson 6-82, Re.Bush 6-38, G.Tate 5-51, J.Ross 3-20, C.Fuller 1-52, Fauria 1-3.

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