After a week of questions about the Packers offense, Green Bay responded in the first half on Sunday.
Aaron Rodgers led the offense down the field on an 8 play 75 yard drive, capped off with a touchdown to Davante Adams to put the Packers in front 7-0. It was the next drive that many fans had waited two years to see, though.
Wide receiver Jordy Nelson last took the field at Lambeau Field against the Cowboys in the 2015 playoffs. On the Packers second drive, Rodgers connected with his favorite target for a 45 yard gain and then a touchdown a couple plays later. Just like that the Packers had a 14 point lead and the first Jordy Nelson Lambeau Leap of the season.
The offense continued to click in the first half with Rodgers racking up 174 yards passing, 101 of those going to Nelson, and four touchdowns. At the break it appeared the Packers were set to blow out the Lions with a 31-10 lead at the break.
Then Mathew Stafford and the Lions offense went to work. Eating up over six minutes off the clock, and making it a 14 point game on a Stafford to Anquan Boldin touchdown. From there the Lions offense continued to chew up yards through the air, especially to Marvin Jones. The fifth year wide out ended the game with 205 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns as the Lions chipped away at Green Bay’s lead.
One reason for the Lions success on offense Sunday may have been the number of young players forced into duty due to injury. Starters Clay Matthews, Letroy Guion, Sam Shields, and Morgan Burnett did not even dress. Add on linebacker Datone Jones having to sit out as well, and the Packers had a total of five key contributors watching from the sidelines.
A player that stepped up in a big way against the Lions was Nick Perry, who had two sacks against the Lions. None may have been bigger than a third down in the fourth quarter that forced a punt with Green Bay still leading by 14.
Detroit was able to cut the Packers lead in half with a touchdown to Jones, but with just under four minutes remaining time was not on their wide.
At the end of the day the Packers offense, after only scoring three points in the second half, needed to run out the clock to secure a victory. They turned to running back Eddie Lacy, who sealed the win with a nine yard first down run and finished the game with 107 yards on the ground.
The Packers now go on into the bye week with some momentum following the win, and a chance for some players to heal up. That includes tight end Jared Cook and fullback Aaron Ripkowski, who joined the lengthy list of Packers dealing with injuries.