The Packers made a strong statement that they’re still the best team in the NFC North while Calvin Johnson demonstrated in his absence just how important he is to the Lions’ offense on Sunday.
Green Bay’s 22-9 win was notable mostly for the way the Lions’ offense could do absolutely nothing. A David Akers 53-yard field goal gave Detroit its only points before garbage time, and without the threat of Johnson beating the Packers deep, they had little trouble containing Reggie Bush, who finished with just 44 rushing yards on 13 carries.
The Lions’ defense played well early in the game, and Detroit was down only 6-3 at halftime. But in the second half, Detroit gave up big plays including a 67-yard Randall Cobb run and an 83-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to James Jones.
If there’s anything from this game to concern the Packers going forward, it’s the fact that four linebackers went down with injuries: Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Robert Francois and Brad Jones all left the game. Perry returned to the game, but if the other injuries are serious, that could be a major issue with the Packers’ defense.
But the real story coming out of this game is that while the Packers may be half a game behind the Lions and Bears in the standings, Green Bay is the team to beat in the NFC North. And the Lions couldn’t beat them.