Packers dominate 2nd half, bounce back to beat Lions 35-17

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Jones celebrates his touchdown run during the second half of an NFL...
Green Bay Packers' Aaron Jones celebrates his touchdown run during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)(Matt Ludtke | AP)
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 4:06 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2021 at 10:46 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Aaron Jones caught three of Aaron Rodgers’ four touchdown passes and rushed for a fourth score, and the Green Bay Packers had a welcome return to normal after an embarrassing opening-week loss.

The Packers beat the Detroit Lions 35-17.

Green Bay won its ninth straight home opener.

The Packers got thumped 38-3 by New Orleans in Week 1.

Against Detroit, the Packers looked more like the team that went 13-3 in each of coach Matt LaFleur’s first two seasons.

Rodgers went 22 of 27 for 255 yards and surpassed John Elway for 10th all-time in passing yards.

The Detroit Lions’ new coach and quarterback are off to a start that resembles the team’s previous regimes.

Detroit brought in Dan Campbell to replace the fired Matt Patricia.

When longtime quarterback Matthew Stafford wanted out, the Lions sent him to the Los Angeles Rams in a deal that brought Jared Goff as his replacement.

The faces have changed. But the results have been the same thus far for a franchise trying to avoid a fourth straight season with double-digit losses.

The Lions led at halftime at division rival Green Bay, but the Packers dominated the second half on the way to a 35-17 victory.

Detroit fell to 0-2.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) puts on a sombrero on teammate Green Bay...
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) puts on a sombrero on teammate Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) after their game against the Detroit Lions NFL football game Monday, Sept 20. 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)(Jeffrey Phelps | AP)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - One week after losing the first game of the regular season, the Green Bay Packers will host the Detroit Lions in their home opener.

The Packers are hungry for their first win of the season after falling to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, 38-3. The Lions are also looking for their first win of the season, after they fell to the San Francisco 49ers, 41-33. the Packers will head to San Francisco next weekend for a Sunday night game.

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With 3:15 to go, the Lions began their drive at their own 9 yard line. However, they soon made it to midfield, and at the two minute warning, were at the Green Bay 39.

Green Bay called a timeout at 1:55.

A play later on 4th and 23, Goff threw a deep pass into the end zone intended for Benson, but it was broken up by Stokes.

Jordan Love entered the game for the Packers, and kneeled to begin the clock wind down.

Finals score: Packers 35, Lions 17.

The Lions’ drive consisted of three plays, with the final one a throw from Goff to Benson that was intercepted by Campbell.

That pick gave the Packers control with less than four minutes remaining, however their drive ended with a punt.

A short pass from Rodgers to Adams started the drive, and Rodgers also passed to Dillon and St. Brown as the team made its way to midfield.

Rodgers called a timeout with 4:46 left in the game.

On the very next play, Rodgers was sacked for a loss of 10 yards by Harris, causing the Packers to punt the ball. The Lions have less than four minutes to play.

Detroit started its next series at its 23-yard-line, and was able to make multiple first downs on the drive.

However, Goff was sacked for a loss of 10 yards and fumbled the ball, and although he recovered it, the Lions ended up punting the ball away. Rodgers and company will take over with less than nine minutes to go in the game.

The Lions started their next drive with a fumble, which was then recovered by Green Bay at Detroit’s 23-yard-line.

Green Bay was able to make one play before the end of the third quarter, making it to the 20-yard line.

An interference penalty on Detroit brought the Packers at a first down on the Lions’ five yard line.

Jones then fought his way into the end zone for a fourth touchdown!

A deep pass from Rodgers started the next Packers drive, however it fell incomplete on first down. A run attempt from Jones pushed the Packers back another four yards.

However, a 3rd and 14 situation with a pass from Rodgers to Cobb ended up having a penalty called on Detroit for having too many people on the field. That penalty was declined.

Another penalty was called on the following play, this time on Green Bay for offensive holding.

Yet another penalty was called on the drive, this one on Detroit for interference.

The drive continued to be plagued by penalties, and the Packers reached the red zone with less than two minutes left in the third quarter.

The Packers finally found their way to the end zone, after an 11-yard pass from Rodgers to Jones. Crosby’s kick made it a 28-17 game.

The rain arrived as the Packers scored their last touchdown.

The Lions were able to advance past midfield after a handful of plays, and reached the 34-yard-line with about 7:30 to go. A timeout was called by the Lions soon after.

The Packers forced a 4th and one scenario, and the Lions failed to convert, giving the Packers the ball at their own 25-yard-line.

The Packers started the second half with a penalty on AJ Dillon and McDuffie - both for Offensive Holding - however McDuffie’s was declined.

Rodgers and Adams connected on a deep pass for a 50-yard gain on a 3rd and 12 situation.

Rodgers then connected with tight end Robert Tonyan for a 22-yard touchdown.

The Lions ran a kick return back to their own 41-yard line, and were able to make their way down the field before calling a timeout with 24 seconds left in the half. At this point, they were on the Packers’ 25-yard line.

Although the Lions reached Green Bay’s 24-yard-line, they weren’t able to connect in the end zone, and attempted a field goal.

A 43-yard field goal put the Lions up 17-14, with 3 seconds left in the half. That came after a field goal attempt failed, but Green Bay called a timeout.

The Packers spiked and downed the ball to end the half. They’ll be receiving the ball to start the 2nd half.

A 41-yard kick return from Hill put Green Bay at their own 44-yard line.

The Packers reached the red zone by the two minute warning.

After one incomplete pass, Rodgers and Jones were able to connect on a one-yard pass, and Crosby’s kick tied it up at 14.

The Lions saw multiple first downs on their next drive, including multiple plays by former Packers running back Jamaal Williams. That drive was also assisted by a penalty on Packers player De’Vondre Campbell for a facemask.

Goff was eventually able to connect with Hockenson for a touchdown, and the Lions went up, 14-7.

The Packers attempted a deep pass on their next drive, but the drive ended after Rodgers was sacked on a 3rd down for a loss of 8 yards. A 46-yard punt landed at the Lions’ 39-yard-line.

The 7-7 score continued through the end of the 1st quarter, but the Lions were soon at midfield. Pressure was put on Goff, who attempted a pass but failed to complete it,. A penalty was called on Goff for intentional grounding. That drive ended with a punt after the Lions were facing a 4th and 28 scenario.

The Packers started on their own 25 for their first drive of the game. with two rushing plays to start the drive, and converted on a 3rd down thanks to a pass from Rodgers to Davante Adams.

The Packers continued to make their way down the field, and also got help from tight end Robert Tonyan.

A short pass from Rodgers to Jones resulted in a touchdown late in the first quarter.

The Lions received the ball at the beginning of the game. On the opening drive, Packers defensive player Kevin King got burned on a 20-yard pass from Goff to Cephus, which allowed the Lions to gain 46 yards.

The Lions eventually made their way to the end zone following a pass from Goff to Cephus, and the extra point made it a 7-0 game.

Monday’s game at Lambeau is the first time the stadium will be at full capacity since January of 2020. As is tradition, fans tailgated outside leading up to the game. On Sunday, the team hosted a free concert to get fans excited for the game.

During last year’s home opener, the Packers also hosted the Lions in Week 2, and won the game after scoring 42 points. Since 2000, the Packers have won the season series against the Lions 12 different times, and has a 31-11 overall record against them in that same time frame. At home, the Packers are 18-3 against the Lions since 2000. However, if you go back to 1992, the Packers are 27-3 at home against the Lions - and that includes a 1994 playoff win.

Last year, the Packers were undefeated when playing in prime-time games, and went 6-0. Another accomplishment? They scored 40+ points three times last season against an NFC North opponent, including the Lions.

Overall, the Packers are 35-23-1 in the regular season on Monday Night Football, and won seven of its last eight games on the program.

In other records, the Packers have won eight straight home openers, and are 13-1 in their first game of the season at Lambeau since 2007.

Specifically against the Lions, the Packers all-time regular season record is 102-72-7, and are 2-0 against he Lions in all postseason games. The 100th win against the Lions was recorded in 2019. Their all-time home record against the Lions is 34-13-3, and they have also won the past four meetings.

During their last matchup, the Packers won at Ford Field in December by a score of 31-24.

The Lions are coached by Dan Campbell, who is in his first NFL season.

The Packers will be without Za’Darius Smith during Monday’s game. As Action 2 News previously reported, he was placed on Injured Reserve due to a back injury last week. The linebacker had 9.5 sacks at Lambeau last season, only behind Steelers’ linebacker T.J. Watt for the most sacks at home throughout the league.

Other players who are inactive for the Packers include:

  • Josiah Deguara
  • La’Darius Hamilton
  • Jake Hanson
  • Jack Heflin
  • Shemar Jean-Charles
  • Vernon Scott

The Lions announced the following players will not be playing:

  • Tyrell Williams
  • Devin Strong
  • Jermar Jefferson
  • Austin Bryant
  • Corey Ballentine

However, the Packers say Safety Darnell Savage and Guard Lucas Patrick are both active for Monday’s game. In addition, the team says rookie linebacker Isaiah McDuffie is also suiting up for the first time.

Monday afternoon, the Packers announced they had elevated receiver Equanimeous St. Brown from the practice squad the the active roster. It should be noted that his brother, Amon-Ra St. Brown, is also active tonight - but for the Lions, making it a family affair!

Team officials say according to Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first time the Packers have had three players appear in a game in the same season after entering the season having played at least one game in 14+ seasons. Those players include Aaron Rodgers (17 years), Marcedes Lewis (16 years) and Mason Crosby (15 years).

If you’re headed to Lambeau Monday night, CLICK HERE to get your tailgate and game forecast. Showers and storms are expected during the overnight hours.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

The game will air on ESPN.

Check back for updates from the Action 2 Sports team throughout the game.

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