12:30 PM ET, November 28, 2013
Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Lions score 37 straight to earn first Thanksgiving win in 10 years
Stafford turned the ball over a few times and Bush did once.
More Lions-Packers Coverage
Josh Sitton's insults roused a monster Thursday, as Detroit's defensive line dominated the Packers, Michael Rothstein writes. Blog
The Packers' defense has been so bad that Aaron Rodgers' imminent return might not save the season, Rob Demovsky writes. Blog
• Stats: Keys to victory
Instead of crumbling and losing confidence, both players bounced back and helped the Detroit Lions put together a dominant performance after an awful start.
Stafford threw three touchdown passes, including one to Calvin Johnson, Bush had 182 yards of offense and scored, and Detroit scored 37 straight points to rout Green Bay 40-10 on Thursday.
"When we get out of our own way, we can be pretty special," Bush said.
Early on, it looked as if the Lions were going to find another way to waste chances to win a game and take control of the NFC North.
"It's easy when you lose a couple games in a row, particularly the fashion that we lost, for people to say, 'Here we go again,' " Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said. "I'm sure there were some people that were saying that, but they weren't on our sideline."
The Lions (7-5) had lost their last two games, five consecutive against Green Bay and a franchise-record nine straight in their annual showcase on Thanksgiving.
"It's a step in the right direction for us," Stafford said. "I'm sure the turkey will taste better."
The Packers (5-6-1) have a five-game winless streak for the first time since 2008.
"We're not used to anything like this -- not on this team," Green Bay linebacker A.J. Hawk said. "This is something that is going to make a lot of guys on this team think, and that's good. We need to find some answers because they just ran the ball down our throats."
Bush responded from fumbling deep in Green Bay territory to score a 1-yard TD run that gave Detroit a 17-10 lead late in the first half. He finished with 117 yards rushing and 65 yards receiving. Bush' backup, Joique Bell, ran for a career-high 94 yards and a score.
Lions Stuff Packers
The Lions' 30-point win Thursday was their largest on Thanksgiving since 1997 and their largest ever on Thanksgiving against the Packers.
Lions Largest Margin of Victory
on Thanksgiving Day
|*1st win on Thanksgiving since 2003|
The Packers, painfully, are finding out how valuable Rodgers is for the franchise. Rodgers has missed four-plus games since fracturing his left collarbone. Green Bay has tied one and lost four without him.
"We're a wounded team that got drilled by a good football team," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.
Flynn didn't fare as well as he did in his last start for Green Bay against the same opponent.
He was 10 of 20 for 139 yards with an interception and two fumbles. In the last game of the 2011 regular season, while Rodgers rested for the playoffs, Flynn threw for 480 yards and six TDs in a 45-41 win over Detroit.
"They might have a lot of the same guys, but I can say they're a different defense," Flynn said. "They're flying around, creating havoc."
The Packers have been leaning on rookie running back Eddie Lacy lately, but he was limited to 16 yards on 10 carries against one of the NFL's best defenses against the run.
Detroit was balanced on offense.
Johnson had six receptions for 101 yards and a 20-yard TD to put the Lions up 24-10 early in the third quarter. He has 4,944 yards receiving in two-plus seasons, breaking Jerry Rice's NFL record for yards receiving in a three-year stretch. Rice had 4,850 yards receiving from 1993 to 1995.
Stafford was 22 of 35 for 330 yards with two interceptions and a fumble that was returned by Morgan Burnett to put the Packers up 10-3 early in the second quarter.
After that, Detroit did whatever it wanted on both sides of the ball. And if the Lions didn't start the game so poorly, the score could've been even more lopsided.
Detroit gained 561 yards and gave up just 126.
Green Bay didn't have more than 100 yards of offense until Flynn threw a 56-yard pass to Jordy Nelson with a little more than a minute left. Flynn then fumbled in a fitting end for a game that he and his team would like to forget.
Packers guard Josh Sitton might've fired up the Lions, saying they were "dirtbags," a couple days before the game, but didn't seem to regret his choice of words.
"I don't take back anything I said," Sitton said. "But I don't want to stand here and discuss it again."
Green Bay C Evan Dietrich-Smith, two years after he was stomped on by Suh, left the game with knee injury and didn't return. ... Packers TE Ryan Taylor was knocked out of the game and was evaluated for a concussion after a crunching hit by Detroit's DeAndre Levy, who made his NFL-leading sixth interception during the game. ... Lions CB Chris Houston was inactive with a foot injury and was replaced by rookie Darius Slay.
DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 28: Aaron Rogers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up prior to the start of the game...(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from Penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||3.0||7.1|
Comp - Att
Yards per pass
Sacks - Yards Lost
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||0-1||3-6|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||1||0|
|FG||14:51||David Akers 27 Yd||0||3|
|FG||12:41||Mason Crosby 54 Yd||3||3|
|TD||12:33||Morgan Burnett 1 Yd Fumble Return (Mason Crosby Kick)||10||3|
|TD||04:33||Jeremy Ross 5 Yd Pass From Matthew Stafford (David Akers Kick)||10||10|
|TD||01:22||Reggie Bush 1 Yd Run (David Akers Kick)||10||17|
|TD||09:08||Calvin Johnson 20 Yd Pass From Matthew Stafford (David Akers Kick)||10||24|
|SF||00:53||Matt Flynn Sacked By Ndamukong Suh In End Zone||10||26|
|TD||13:06||Joique Bell 1 Yd Run (David Akers Kick)||10||33|
|TD||04:17||Kevin Ogletree 20 Yd Pass From Matthew Stafford (David Akers Kick)||10||40|
Matt Flynn posted a 2.1 Total QBR on Thursday, the lowest single-game number by a Packers starting quarterback in the Total QBR era. - Note edited due to change in Flynn's Total QBR.
With his TD today, Calvin Johnson has caught a TD pass in 5 straight and 6 of his 7 career games on Thanksgiving Day.
The Lions' 30-point win Thursday was their largest on Thanksgiving Day since 1997 and their largest ever on Thanksgiving against the Packers (21 total meetings).[+]
Lions Largest Margin of Victory on Thanksgiving Day
The Lions 30-point win over the Packers was their largest win against Green Bay since 1973. They had lost 15 of their previous 16 games against them.[+]
Lions Largest Margin of Victory vs Packers
The Lions outgained the Packers Thursday by 435 yards, just the fourth time in the last ten seasons an NFL team gained 400 yards or more than their opponent in a single game. It's the second-largest such disparity in that span - the 2005 Eagles outgained the 49ers by 441 yards in Week 2 of that season.[+]
Largest Single-Game Yardage Margin
The Reggie Bush fumble was the 1st lost by Detroit on its opening drive on Thanksgiving since 2008 vs the Titans. The Lions lost that game 47-10, their worst-ever loss in a game played on Thanksgiving Day.
The Lions had 13 plays gain at least 10 yards in the first half. In Week 5 against the Packers, the Lions had 13 plays gain at least 10 yards in the whole game.
Reggie Bush's first-quarter fumble was the third red-zone turnover for the Lions this year. Only the Patriots and Broncos (four each) have more.
From Elias: The Packers had 0 rushing 1st downs Thursday at the Lions. It was the first time since 1990 (week 14 loss vs Seahawks) that the Packers had 0 1st downs via the rush in a game.
- Thursday is Calvin Johnson's seventh game with at least 100 receiving yards this season, most in the league. - Thursday is Johnson's 39th career 100-yard game, four more than any other player since the start of 2007 (Andre Johnson, 35). - Thursday is the second-straight 100-yard game for Johnson on Thanksgiving. Johnson did not reach 100 receiving yards in his first five Thanksgiving games.
From Elias: We're going to need some INCREDIBLE performances tomorrow to break any of these ridiculous NFL Thanksgiving Day records... Ernie Nevers scored SIX TDs for the Chicago Cardinals vs the Chicago Bears 84 years ago tomorrow... O.J. Simpson's 273 Rushing yds in 1976... Troy Aikman threw for 455 yards 15 years ago... And Jim Benton had 303 receiving yards for the Browns vs the Lions in 1945.[+]
For the Record - NFL Thanksgiving Day Records
Brandon Pettigrew dropped a pass in the end zone early in the second quarter. That was the sixth dropped end-zone throw by a Lion since the start of last season, tied for most in the league (Steelers and Bears).
Entering today, the Lions held a halftime lead twice during their current 9-game losing streak on Thanksgiving (2012 vs Texans and 2010 vs Patriots). Detroit was outscored 55-17 in the 2nd half of those 2 games (-19.0 PPG).
Stephen Tulloch's second-quarter sack was the Lions' fourth this season when sending at least five rushers, tied for fewest in the league.
Ziggy Ansah's first-quarter sack was his sixth of the season, most among rookies. All six of Ansah's sacks have come as part of a 4-man pass rush.
The Lions averaged 5.1 yards before first contact on 20 designed rushes in the first half Thursday. The Packers averaged 0.3 yards before contact on 8 designed rushes.
It's rare to turn the ball over 4 times and win, and it's even rarer to do that and still win by 30. Including Detroit yesterday, there's been only 6 games this season where the winning team has turned it over 4 times, and according to Elias, they're the 1st team since the 2001 Rams to win a game by 30 points despite at least 4 turnovers.[+]
Won Game With 4 Turnovers This Season
Today is the fifth game the Lions have had at least three turnovers this season... Only the Giants have had more (seven). The Lions have had at least three turnovers in three straight games.
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