Green Bay Packers v. Detroit Lions: 8 Quick Observations

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 29: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates his touchdown pass to Davante Adams #17 of the Green Bay Packers in the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 29, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 29: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates his touchdown pass to Davante Adams #17 of the Green Bay Packers in the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 29, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

Your Green Bay Packers have secured a first-round bye and here are eight quick observations from their performance in Detroit.

Well, nobody said that a win had to be pretty and for the most part, the Green Bay Packers victory over the Detroit Lions wasn’t. Despite having a first-round bye and potentially the NFC’s No.1 seed to play for, the Packers were “sleep-walking” through that first half as Matt LaFleur put it, but fortunately, they were able to recover and secured the win, along with the bye.

Now they’ll have a much-needed week off and we await to see who their opponent will be. However, before we begin looking ahead, let’s take a look back at yesterday’s performance, as I’ve put together my eight observations from this game.

Aaron Jones caps off a fantastic regular season

With no Jamaal Williams or Danny Vitale due to injuries, Aaron Jones had to be the Green Bay Packers’ bell cow out of the backfield. And while it wasn’t always easy, Jones totaled 100 rushing yards on 25 carries – a season high – along with two receptions for an additional 43 yards. He also eclipsed the 1,000 yard rushing mark for the first time in his career and also played in all 16 games for the first time as well. It’s safe to say that the Packers wouldn’t be in this position without Jones.

Davante Adams and Allen Lazard came up big when it mattered most

Aaron Rodgers certainly didn’t have his best day at quarterback, but when the Green Bay Packers were up against the wall, his go-to receivers, Davante Adams and Allen Lazard, helped lead the improbable comeback. The duo of Adams and Lazard were targeted 21 times and caught 11 of them for 162 total yards at nearly 15 yards per catch, with two touchdowns. Not to mention that most of their production came in the second half.

Rough day for Aaron Rodgers

Speaking of Aaron Rodgers, that was very tough to watch at times, especially in the first half. While he was a bit inaccurate last week against the Vikings, Sunday in Detroit was even worse. He was all over the place with his ball placement and the overthrow was a constant issue. Most notably, he overthrew Aaron Jones in the flat that could have led to a big play, he missed Davante Adams in the end zone, and on a deep shot down the sidelines he overthrew Tyler Ervin on what likely would have been a touchdown.

But to Rodgers’ credit, we saw some special throws as well and in the second half when he needed to make some plays, he came up big as he usually does.

Redemption for Mason Crosby

Yes, Mason Crosby still did miss a field goal on Sunday, but overall, I think he redeemed himself quite well. As most will remember, last season at Ford Field Crosby would go 1/5 on field goal attempts and miss his only extra point attempt of the day. However this time around, he would make both extra point attempts and was 3/4 on field goal attempts, which of course included the game winner.

The Defense locked in

The Green Bay Packers’ run defense had been suspect for much of season, however, in recent weeks they had been performing much better. Well, that was until yesterday. Detroit would rush for over 150 yards and in the first half, David Blough was somehow out playing Aaron Rodgers. Not to mention that Kenny Golladay was putting up big numbers as he usually does.

But as they’ve been able to do for much of the season, the Green Bay defense locked in and shut Detroit down when it mattered most. In the second half the Lions would score just three points, the Packers were able to get more consistent pressure, and they came up with a huge turnover.

The first half…yikes!

With a first-round bye on the line as well as potentially the No. 1 seed in the NFC, this Green Bay Packers team came out completely flat and in return, Detroit punched them in the mouth. The defense was giving up chunk plays, receivers were dropping passes, and Aaron Rodgers was all over the place. Fortunately, they were able to pull it together in the second half but it is a bit concerning that with everything that was on the line, that is the performance we saw from them early on.

Jared Veldheer and Lucas Patrick filled in very well

On top of the poor play that we saw from the Packers, they also suffered huge blows by losing Corey Linsley and Bryan Bulaga to injuries. However, Lucas Patrick, who filled in for Linsley, and Jared Veldheer, who filled in for Bulaga, did fantastic jobs replacing them. And it didn’t go unnoticed by Aaron Rodgers:

Tyler Ervin: The mid-season addition that keeps on giving

As a late signing this season, Tyler Ervin has turned the Green Bay Packers’ return unit into a respectable group after being on a historically bad pace prior to his arrival. And he just continues to produce. Against Detroit he would average 8.5 yards per punt return with a long of 16 and as a kick returner, he averaged 22.3 yards with a long of 33.

Next. Packers v. Lions: Gut Reactions & Highlights. dark

I also have to point out that with the injuries to Jamaal Williams and Danny Vitale, we saw Ervin playing a much bigger role on offense. He had one carry for 10 yards, as well as a reception for five more. And as I mentioned previously, he very well could have had a deep touchdown reception had he not been overthrown. At this point, Ervin has already exceeded expectations but he continues to keep on giving.