In an NFC North matchup on Monday night, the Detroit Lions went into Lambeau Field and throttled the home Green Bay Packers, 30-17.
Ever since Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone against the Minnesota Vikings a couple of weeks back, the mantra around the organization has been to rally around Brett Hundley. In his first start two weeks ago against New Orleans, Hundley struggled to do much through the air, and even after having two weeks to prepare for the Detroit Lions, Monday night was much of the same. Hundley was held to under 100 yards passing in the first half, as the Lions jumped out to a 14-3 lead before the break.
The Lions started the scoring in the first quarter, when Matthew Stafford hit Marvin Jones Jr. for a 25-yard touchdown. The touchdown pass was No. 200 of Stafford’s career, and it was quite a beauty. Detroit doubled up their lead on a rare Ameer Abdullah touchdown run from inside the 10, as the Lions asserted their dominance in the first half. Mason Crosby booted a 35-yard field goal right before half to put Green Bay on the board, but it was all Lions through the first 30 minutes.
The Packers did find the end zone in the second half, pulling to within 10 points, but a second Stafford-to-Jones touchdown put this one out of reach. For Stafford, it was another 350-plus yard game, as he and his Lions teammates took advantage of a Rodgers-less Packers squad. The Packers have a long way to go if they want to be competitive this season, and with Rodgers likely not back before the end of the year, it is going to be hard for them to right the ship.
The Lions and Packers are now both .500 on the season and are looking up at the 6-2 Minnesota Vikings in the division. This was a statement win for the Lions, who now have their eyes set on closing the gap with the Vikes.
1. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
It was a special night for the Detroit Lions quarterback, who became only the fourth quarterback in history with 200 touchdown passes before his 30th birthday. The Lions spent a ton of money on him in the offseason, and for good reason, as his skills were on full display on Monday night. Stafford finished the game with 361 yards and two touchdowns, with only seven incompletions in 33 attempts.
2. Marvin Jones Jr., Detroit Lions
The Lions were expected to feature Jones Jr. heavily in the game plan on Monday night, and they certainly made that happen in this one. Jones was on the receiving end of both of Stafford’s touchdown passes, and both he and Golden Tate tied for the team lead with seven receptions. Jones and Tate give the Lions a scary tandem at the wideout position, and Jones might have the best hands of the two.
3. Detroit Lions defense
Playing without Aaron Rodgers, we knew the Packers would struggle on Monday night. However, the Lions have to be given credit for their effort, as they made life miserable for the man making his second NFL start. They continuously brought the pressure, getting to Hundley on numerous occasions, and their defensive backs played very well in coverage all night long.
The Lions came into this game as rare road favorites against Green Bay, who is usually favored at Lambeau Field. The Lions were giving 2.5 points to the Packers, and they certainly could have given the Packers a bit more. The over/under was set at 43.5, and thanks to a touchdown on an untimed down, the two teams went over. The odds changed a bit throughout the week for this game, so make sure to always check OddsShark.com for the latest odds up until kickoff.
The Lions head back to the Motor City in Week 10, and they should definitely put one in the win column, as the Cleveland Browns will come to town. Green Bay will hit the road for another NFC North divisional matchup, as they will take on rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.