ReFo: Packers @ Lions, Week 3
In this Week 3 matchup, Detroit prevailed over Green Bay 19-7 in a signature win for the Lions. It was their first victory ever over the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers, save for the time he was injured during the game.
Even with their high-powered offense, it was an impressive performance by the Lions’ defense that stood out against their NFC North rivals this time, with both a fumble return-for-touchdown and a safety. They held Rodgers to just 162 yards passing and kept the Green Bay running game in check all day.
The Lions weren’t perfect on offense, with three turnovers of their own, but they were able to do a good job controlling the ball on the ground, keeping the Packers’ offense off the field. A win over Green Bay was one Detroit had to have in order to finally be top dog in their division.
Green Bay Packers – Performances of Note
Julius Peppers, OLB: +2.3
Breakdown: Peppers performed exactly liked the Packers hoped he would when they signed him to his big free agent deal this offseason, wreaking havoc on the opposing quarterback. He did that with aplomb on Sunday, with one sack, two hits and four hurries against Matthew Stafford in just 27 pass rush snaps.
Signature Stat: Peppers’ pass rushing display produced a Pass Rush Productivity of 17.0.
Andrew Quarless, TE: +2.3
Breakdown: One of the few bright spots on offense for the Packers, Quarless had a nice game in both run blocking and receiving. He caught four of five targets for 43 yards and Green Bay’s only touchdown. Most of his damage was done against Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy.
Signature Stat: His +2.3 grade was the highest of his NFL career.
Josh Sitton, LG: -2.8
Breakdown: After combining for a +6.1 overall grade in the first two weeks, Sitton had an off day against the Lions, especially in the running game, where he graded out at -3.2. As a team, the Packers gained just 16 yards on five carries off left guard all game.
Signature Play: Q1, 12:13 remaining. Here, with Eddie Lacy running off Sitton, Nick Fairley gets just enough outside leverage on Sitton to get a swat at Lacy, who coughs up the ball, turning into a Lions’ touchdown.
Detroit Lions – Performances of Note
Nick Fairley, DT: +2.6
Breakdown: The Lions have been waiting for a while for Fairley to live up to all that potential since making him their first round pick in 2011. In the final year of his rookie deal, it’s now or never for the former Auburn product. He flashed plenty of that potential in this game, with two stops on defense along with a hurry and a hit on Rodgers.
Signature Play: Q2, 3:18 remaining: Here Fairley gets such quick penetration on Packers center Corey Linsley that he almost knocks the ball away from Rodgers during his drop-back.
Garrett Reynolds and Cornelius Lucas, RT: -2.4 (combined)
Breakdown: The Lions platooned Reynolds and Lucas at right tackle again this week, and both were disappointing. After Reynolds got the majority of the playing time in Week 2, this time Lucas got 40 of the 75 snaps on offense. Regardless, the results were the same, as they both struggled against the speed rushes of Peppers, and combined to allow one sack, one hit and two hurries on their quarterback.
Signature Stat: Both lineman have Pass Blocking Efficiency ratings under 92, putting them in the bottom 20% of league tackles.
Reggie Bush, RB: +2.2
Breakdown: After grading out at a combined -0.4 in the first two weeks, Bush finally had his breakout game for 2014. He forced four missed tackles (after just one total the first two games) on the way to gaining 61 yards on 12 carries.
Signature Play: Q4, 10:47 remaining. Bush provides the insurance touchdown on a terrific burst around left end, when Packers defensive back Micah Hyde misjudges his speed and loses outside contain on the play.
Without too many individual standout performances, the Lions’ Nick Fairley gets our game ball for all the good work done by the defensive line.
Follow Roland on Twitter: @PFF_RolandB