DETROIT – If Detroit’s defensive front plays like this, it may not matter how banged up the secondary is.
Don Carey returned a fumble 40 yards for a touchdown, and Detroit’s defensive front stuffed Green Bay on Sunday, leading the Lions to a 19-7 victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
The Lions (2-1) came into the game with a secondary decimated by injuries, but that didn’t much matter with Rodgers under constant pressure. He was sacked twice and threw for only 162 yards, and Green Bay (1-2) wasn’t any better when running the ball.
Reggie Bush added a 26-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter for Detroit , which had never beaten Green Bay with Rodgers healthy for the whole game.
The Packers managed only 223 yards of offence and lost despite forcing three turnovers.
Detroit linebacker Stephen Tulloch left with a knee injury that appeared to occur as he was celebrating a sack.
Safety James Ihedigbo (neck) and cornerback Cassius Vaughn (ankle) were inactive for Detroit , which has also lost defensive backs Bill Bentley and Nevin Lawson to season-ending injuries. It seemed as if was an almost ideal opportunity for Rodgers, but the Packers were never able to take advantage.
They tried to establish the run a bit early, and that backfired when Eddie Lacy’s fumble was scooped up by Carey. The defensive back went all the way to the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
Carey hadn’t played in Detroit’s first two games this season because of a hamstring injury, and he left this game with a hamstring problem as well. It wasn’t clear if he’d aggravated the same injury, but his brief contribution proved critical in what turned into a defensive struggle.
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford was 22 of 34 for 246 yards. His second interception — on third-and-long in the second quarter — actually worked out in the Lions’ favour. His deep pass for Calvin Johnson was intercepted near the goal line by Davon House , and although the play was initially ruled a touchback, a review gave Green Bay the ball at its own 1-yard line.
The Packers tried a run with Lacy, and linebacker DeAndre Levy caught him in the end zone for a safety that put Detroit ahead 9-7.
Green Bay had won 15 of the past 17 meetings with Detroit , and the Packers were 9-1 with Rodgers playing. The one loss he took part in came in 2010, when he left the game in the first half with a concussion. Last season, Rodgers was out with a fractured collarbone when Green Bay lost to the Lions 40-10 on Thanksgiving .
Rodgers threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Quarless in the first quarter Sunday, but the Packers never scored again.
Tulloch went out in the first quarter. After sacking Rodgers, he jumped through the air and looked as if he was trying to mimic the Green Bay quarterback’s “title belt” celebration, but then he fell to the ground. Tulloch tried to play on, but left the game a short while later.
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