Week 15 Game Recap: Detroit Lions 9, Green Bay Packers 17
What you need to know
Another season of Detroit Lions’ futility continues under first year coach Rod Marinelli, as the Lions remain winless on the road. The team did nothing on offense to win this game, but the defense, to its credit, intercepted Favre three times and did not allow a passing touchdown. But even when Dre Bly intercepted Favre at the Packers’ 12 yard line in the fourth quarter and only trailing 10-6, the Lions could only manage a field goal.
Jon Kitna completed 16 of 26 for 135 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions. He was sacked six times, lost one fumble, and had difficulty operating in the face of a severe Packers’ pass rush. Veteran Jason Hanson was the most effective Detroit weapon, kicking three field goals, two from 42 yards and another from 23.
In the second half of the game, Mike Williams, former first round draft choice from USC, was let out of the Lions’ doghouse long enough to catch three passes for a team high 42 yards. Roy Williams only managed to catch one pass for eleven yards, and Mike Furrey chipped in with 20 yards on three receptions. Corey Bradford made an appearance but failed to catch either pass thrown to him.
Running back Kevin Jones has been lost for this season and possibly longer. He has been diagnosed with a Lisfranc injury to his left foot suffered in the loss to Minnesota last week. He is expected to undergo surgery to repair the damage, but recovery can take at least one year. Arlen Harris took his place in the backfield, picked up just 18 yards on nine carries, but caught a team high five passes.
With Chicago and Dallas the final two opponents on the schedule, it is hard to imagine Detroit winning again this season.
Brett Favre completed the 4,968th pass of his career, breaking Dan Marino’s career completion record, but he barely led his team to victory. While he completed 20 of 37 for 174 yards, he was also intercepted three times and failed to throw a touchdown pass. Favre has never lost to the Lions at home, however, a tradition spanning 15 years. With the Packers owning a home record of just 1–5 coming into this game, including two shut outs, victory was not a forgone conclusion.
With Favre having an off day, the Green Bay ground attack rushed for 139 yards, despite starting three rookies on the offensive line. Ahman Green rushed for 79 yards on 22 carries, but it was Vernand Morency who twice hit pay dirt. In the second quarter, he capped a nine play, 53 yard drive with a 14 yard touchdown run. In the fourth quarter, he broke free for a 21 yard TD run at the end of a 12 play, 78 yard drive that ate up 6:45. That put Green Bay up 17–9 with 2:55 left in the game.
Donald Driver caught seven passes for 70 yards, while rookie sensation Greg Jennings continues to fade. He has struggled since suffering a high ankle sprain injury, and only caught one pass for five yards. Tight End Donald Lee also had a tough afternoon. He caught one pass for 15 yards but dropped another pass in the end zone that hit him in the numbers.
The Packers’ defense allowed just 142 total yards, while registering six sacks, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery. DT Cullen Jenkins had a career day, with three of those sacks and the recovered fumble. Al Harris and Charles Woodson, playing man to man on Roy Williams and Mike Furrey respectively, each had an interception.
What you ought to know
|QB Jon Kitna, Pass: 16 - 26 - 135 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 7 - 34 - 0|
Jon Kitna completed 16 of 26 for 135 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. He was sacked six times, lost one fumble, but showed courage in the face of the relentless Packers’ pass rush. He gained 34 yards on the ground while mostly running for his life.
|RB Arlen Harris, Rush: 9 - 18 - 0, Rec: 5 - 33 - 0 (7 targets)|
Filling in for the injured Kevin Jones, Harris only rushed for 18 yards on nine carries. He caught a team high five passes for 33 yards.
Cason only picked up six yards on three carries while serving as the back up to Arlen Harris.
Jones has been diagnosed with a Lisfranc injury to his left foot. He is expected to undergo surgery, but recovery can take one year or longer.
Williams was allowed out of the Lions’ doghouse long enough to catch three passes for a team high 42 yards. He entered the game late in the third quarter.
Furrey caught three passes for 20 yards while being targeted in every quarter.
|WR Roy Williams, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (3 targets)|
CB Al Harris was able to take Williams out of the game with suffocating man to man coverage. Williams was not targeted in the second half.
The veteran receiver, who was recently re-signed, failed to record a reception.
The slick tight end caught four passes for 29 yards.
The Lions' most effective weapon connected on two field goals from 42 yards, and another from 23. He was not given an opportunity to attempt a point after touchdown.
The Packers ground out 139 yards while controlling the clock almost 34 minutes. Morency had TD runs of 14 and 21 yards. DT Marcus Bell was inactive for this game. Bell had been forced into the lineup when starting DTs Shaun Rogers and Shaun Cody were placed on IR.
The Lions’ defense only sacked Favre once, but they also did not allow a touchdown pass. Paris Lenon intercepted Favre in the end zone for a touch back, and Dre Bley intercepted another pass at the Green Bay 12 yard line.
|QB Brett Favre, Pass: 20 - 37 - 174 - 0 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 2 - -1 - 0|
Favre completed the 4,968th pass of his career, a new NFL record, but he hardly led his team to victory. He was intercepted three times and failed to throw a touchdown pass, but completed 20 of 37 for 174 yards.
|RB Ahman Green, Rush: 22 - 79 - 0, Rec: 7 - 44 - 0 (11 targets)|
The former Nebraska Cornhusker rushed for 79 yards on 22 carries, and gained another 44 yards on seven pass receptions. He was able to find enough holes in the depleted Detroit line to give the Packers a nearly eight minute advantage in time of possession.
Morency proved to be a tough runner, scoring on touchdowns runs of 14 and 21 yards. It is the first time he has scored since being acquired in a trade with the Texans earlier in the year.
In limited duty, Miree caught one pass in the second quarter.
Perhaps the most underrated receiver in the NFL, Driver caught seven passes for 70 yards, and picked up another seven yards on a reverse. Driver now has 1,173 yards this season, just 48 shy of his career best set last season. He is only the fourth WR in Green Bay history to attain 1,000 receiving yards in three straight seasons, joining James Lofton, Sterling Sharp, and Antonio Freeman.
The former Notre Dame quarterback got his name in the record books by catching the pass from Favre that surpassed Marino’s career completion record. He finished the day with three balls for 36 yards.
Greg Jennings continues to fade. He has struggled since suffering a high ankle sprain injury, and only managed to catch one pass for five yards.
Lee caught one pass for 15 yards, but dropped two passes, including a pass in the end zone which was perfectly thrown.
Franks failed to catch the pass thrown to him in the first quarter.
Martin, the leading receiving among the tight ends, sat out his fourth straight game with injured ribs.
Rayner was good on his one field goal attempt from 24 yards, and converted both PATs.
With Kevin Jones injured and out of the lineup, the Packers were able to limit Arlen Harris to nine carries and a 2 yard average.
Both Al Harris and Charles Woodson played primarily in man to man coverage and each intercepted a pass. Kitna was sacked six times and fumbled once. DT Cullen Jenkins had a career day, with three of those sacks and the recovered fumble.