By Chris Morgan
Heading into Detroit’s Week 5 game, few expected a win from them. This made sense, because the Lions were on the road against the Green Bay Packers. The Lions have not won in Lambeau Field since 1991, and the Packers are still a very good team. Then, fans found out that Calvin Johnson wasn’t going to play. At this point, a loss seemed almost inevitable. While Detroit kept it close, and low scoring, for a while, the Packers ran away with it late while Detroit languished, and Green Bay won 22-9. Here are the grades for the Lions in this, their worst performance of the season.
Quarterback Grade: B-
Without Johnson and Nate Burleson, Matthew Stafford didn’t really have anybody to throw the ball to. Additionally, he was on the road against a defense that is getting healthy. However, his numbers were pretty good overall.
He went 25-for-40 for 262 yards and a touchdown, although that score was in garbage time. While Stafford’s yardage numbers were lower than usual, and he only had the one touchdown, he didn’t turn the ball over at least, and you have to take his weapons and the opponent into account.
Offense Grade: C-
This was not a good day for Detroit’s offense. Again, they were without Megatron, but nobody stepped up. Stafford hit Kris Durham for a touchdown, but that wasn’t until the game was all but over and at that point the game was 22-3 in favor of Green Bay. The Lions also failed to connect on the two-point conversion after that score. Without any weapons at receiver, the Packers were able to focus on the running game, and neither Reggie Bush nor Joique Bell was able to do anything with the ball on the ground. Bush led the team with 44 yards on 13 carries.
The Lions only gained 286 yards of total offense, just 64 of them rushing. Also, after protecting Stafford so well through the first four games of the season, the Lions gave up five sacks this week. This was a really poor offensive performance. Even accounting for injuries, it was an ugly day for the Lions.
Special Teams Grade: B
While the Packers were busy on special teams – their kicker Mason Crosby hit five field goals – the Lions didn’t have much to do. David Akers converted his lone field goal attempt, and he never tried an extra point. Micheal Spurlock had a couple of decent returns.
Sam Martin punted well at least. His six punts averaged 51.8 yards and he got two down within the 20-yard line. Fittingly, a forgettable performance on a forgettable day for Detroit.
Defense Grade: B
Early on, the Lions defense was keeping pace with the Packers. It was a 9-3 game until James Jones got loose for a 83-yard touchdown reception. In the end, giving up 22 points isn’t that bad. They bent but didn’t break on several occasions, leading to five field goals for Green Bay. They didn’t get any turnovers, but they did have one sack, from Ziggy Ansah, and they got six tackles for loss, led by DeAndre Levy with three.
The defense was maybe the high point for the Lions in this game, but really it was more of the least low point. The Packers do have a really impressive offense, and they kept them partially in check.
For more Lions news and updates, visit Lions Central.
Chris Morgan has been a diehard Detroit Lions fan through the good (Barry Sanders) and the bad (Matt Millen) and that love has led him to take jobs writing about sports, including as a fantasy sports “expert.” His work can be found on Examiner.com. .