GREEN BAY—Just like the record 78,200 in attendance at Lambeau Field, the Packers didn’t have much advance warning that Detroit star receiver Calvin Johnson wasn’t going to play on Sunday due to a knee injury.
“We found out right before the game,” cornerback
“Guys were watching TV and they mentioned that he wasn’t playing. In our eyes, we were like, well, we have to go out there and still win the game.”
The Packers did that, 22-9, by bottling up the Lions’ only other real game-breaking threat, running back Reggie Bush. Green Bay defenders said afterward the game plan didn’t really change without Johnson on the field, but there’s no denying that it changed the Lions’ offense immeasurably.
“They didn’t really take a lot of shots down the field, and that’s what (Johnson) is, a big-shot player, and they didn’t really have that option. They put a lot on (number) 21’s back.”
Twenty-one is Bush, of course, who finished with just 69 yards from scrimmage. He was held to 44 yards rushing on 13 carries – with nearly three-quarters of those yards coming on a 20-yard reverse and a 12-yard draw in a span of three plays late in the third quarter. His other 11 carries netted just 12 yards.
He also had only 25 yards receiving on four grabs, failing to find any open field once the ball was in his hands.
“I think three of their first nine plays were screens, so they had a bunch of screens (in their game plan) coming in,” linebacker
One of the few times Stafford took a shot deep and was on target, safety
“I read the receiver and tried my best to time it up,” Burnett said. “DP (safeties coach Darren Perry) always preaches to us as a safety when you get in those deep-ball situations, just don’t panic. I didn’t panic and tried to make a play. I guess luck was on my side.”
On the next snap, linebacker
It got to that point in large part due to the Packers finally breaking some big plays on offense.
“It was wide open. I got up on the safety pretty fast. Exactly how it’s designed,” Cobb said. “I have to do a better job of finishing on that, though. That’s got to be a touchdown.”
It did set up a field goal, however, and opened the door to a string of explosive plays.
Over Green Bay’s next three possessions,
“We started making plays down the field,” Jones said. “The first half, we let some tough grabs go, which we could have made some plays on, but we just executed better.”
Most important, the Packers improved to 2-2 and sit even in the loss column in the NFC North with the 3-2 Lions and Bears.
“It’s definitely a good win for us, a division win at home,” guard