Detroit Lions quaterback Matthew Stafford calls a play against the Dallas Cowboys on September 30, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo
Detroit jumped out to a 24-0 lead and then withstood future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers' furious attempt to bring Green Bay back, and the Lions beat the Packers 31-23 on Sunday at Ford Field in Detroit.
Rodgers completed 32-of-52 pass attempts for 442 yards and three touchdowns, but the first-half hole the Packers dug was too deep to overcome.
Special teams miscues and two fumbles by Rodgers doomed the Packers, who lost for the third straight time to the Lions for the first time since the 1990-1991 seasons.
It didn't help that one of the league's most reliable kickers, Mason Crosby, had the worst day of his career -- and perhaps the worst day any kicker has ever had. Crosby missed four field-goal attempts and one extra-point attempt.
Detroit (2-3) got on the board first when, on a punt, the ball ricocheted off cornerback Kevin King. Jamal Agnew recovered on the 1-yard line and LeGarrette Blount immediately put the Lions up 7-0 with his first touchdown of the day.
Green Bay drove into field-goal range but Crosby missed from 41 yards.
Matthew Stafford and Kenny Golladay hooked up for a 60-yard completion, setting up Blount's second touchdown plunge of the game and a 14-0 lead.
A fumble by Rodgers led to a 39-yard Matt Prater field goal and a 17-0 Lions lead.
Two more missed Crosby field goals and another fumble by Rodgers gave the Lions and Stafford another chance to pad the lead entering the intermission.
Stafford put the Lions up 24-0 when he fired a laser, which Marvin Jones corralled as he was tumbling out of the back of the end zone.
Stafford finished an efficient 14-of-26 for 183 yards and two touchdowns.
The Packers came out in the second half a desperate team. Rodgers engineered an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive that included a fourth-and-11 conversion to Davante Adams to keep the drive alive. Marquez Valdes-Scantling hauled in a 3-yard pass and the two-point conversion made the score 24-8.
Rodgers worked his magic on the Packers' next possession, once again completing a fourth-down conversion. Rodgers found his tight end, Lance Kendricks, to make the score 24-14. The two-point conversion failed.
With the help of two Green Bay penalties, the Lions stemmed the Packers' momentum and rookie Kerryon Johnson found pay dirt on a 24-yard run.