Green Bay 34
|Detroit 13||Green Bay 34|
|December 30, 2007||Lambeau Field-Attendance: 70,869 (60,790)||Time: 3:04|
|DET||FG||12:07||Jason Hanson 35 yard field goal attempt is good.||3||0|
|GB||TD||9:57||Ryan Grant rush to the right for 27 yards for a touchdown.||3||6|
|GB||PAT||9:57||Mason Crosby extra point attempt is good.||3||7|
|GB||TD||2:25||Brett Favre pass completion to the left to Koren Robinson for 5 yards for a touchdown.||3||13|
|GB||PAT||2:25||Mason Crosby extra point attempt is good.||3||14|
|GB||TD||14:12||Brett Favre pass completion to the right to Bubba Franks for 4 yards for a touchdown.||3||20|
|GB||PAT||14:12||Mason Crosby extra point attempt is good.||3||21|
|DET||TD||1:52||Jon Kitna pass completion to the left to Shaun McDonald for 30 yards for a touchdown.||9||21|
|DET||PAT||1:52||Jason Hanson extra point attempt is good.||10||21|
|GB||FG||12:29||Mason Crosby 33 yard field goal attempt is good.||10||24|
|DET||FG||7:00||Jason Hanson 38 yard field goal attempt is good.||13||24|
|GB||TD||2:55||Craig Nall pass completion to the left to Ruvell Martin for 32 yards for a touchdown.||13||30|
|GB||PAT||2:48||Mason Crosby extra point attempt is good.||13||31|
|GB||FG||10:03||Mason Crosby 35 yard field goal attempt is good.||13||34|
|Team Stat Comparison|
|3rd down efficiency||5-15||7-14|
|4th down efficiency||1-2||1-1|
|Yards per pass||5.1||6.6|
|Yards per rush||2.8||5.7|
McCarthy cooled off by Sunday, deciding to rest several top players for the playoffs. It turned out he didn't really have to choose between playing it safe and playing to win in Green Bay's 34-13 victory over Detroit.
The Packers (13-3) didn't need their starters to beat the lowly Lions, tie a franchise record for victories in a season and rebound from an ugly loss in windy and cold conditions at Chicago.
''I think it punched us right in the mouth, and it was a good wake-up call,'' McCarthy said of last week's loss to the Bears. ''The most important thing about a wake-up call, in my opinion, is how you respond to it.''
After allowing the Lions a field goal on their opening drive, Green Bay responded. Brett Favre drove the Packers to touchdowns on three straight possessions, then joined receivers Donald Driver and Greg Jennings and other prominent teammates on the sideline.
While the Packers already were locked in as the NFC's No. 2 playoff seed, Favre said there's no such thing as a meaningless game - especially after the Bears loss.
''Last week was in some respects a disaster,'' Favre said. ''You almost hate to say, 'Now this game is meaningless.' I feel like the game leading up to the playoffs is always important.''
The Lions (7-9) made it easy on the Packers, delivering an uninspired performance in what might have been their last game with Mike Martz as their offensive coordinator. Lions coach Rod Marinelli would not comment on multiple media reports that Martz would be fired. Martz was not available for comment.
''Whatever decision they make, that's what they're going to do,'' Lions center Dominic Raiola said. ''We've got to somehow move on. I'm really getting tired of changing coaches around here. Since I've been here, we've been changing coaches and there comes a point in time where it's not the coaches anymore, you know what I'm saying? That's really frustrating.''
Adding to Raiola's frustration: The Lions couldn't take advantage of the Packers playing their reserves for most of the game.
The Packers rested Driver, Jennings, cornerback Charles Woodson, defensive end Aaron Kampman, tight end Donald Lee and defensive tackle Ryan Pickett. The Packers are assured a first-round bye and one home playoff game.
Green Bay wasn't able to completely avoid injuries Sunday, as running back Ryan Grant left the game with a stinger in the first quarter and cornerback/punt returner Will Blackmon was carted to the locker room with a foot injury just before halftime.
McCarthy said Grant could have returned if needed. The more serious injury appeared to be to Blackmon, who aggravated a foot injury that has cost him significant chunks of his first two NFL seasons.
Grant, who took over as the Packers' main running back in the seventh game, finished just 44 yards shy of 1,000 yards rushing. The Packers' running game didn't slow down after he left, as rookie Brandon Jackson rushed for 113 yards on 20 carries.
Favre even made a rare contribution to the running game, scrambling for 21 yards on the Packers' first possession to set up a 27-yard touchdown run by Grant.
''I've still got a little bit left,'' Favre joked.
The fun didn't stop there, as Favre threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Koren Robinson - Robinson's first touchdown since serving a 1-year suspension under the NFL's substance abuse policy. Favre celebrated enthusiastically in the end zone with Robinson, whom Favre has publicly supported all season. After the game, Favre called Robinson ''a great guy with very good character who's had some problems.''
Favre then threw a 4-yard touchdown to Bubba Franks on the Packers' third possession. Desperate for someone to celebrate with, Favre ran into a bewildered official - and immediately slapped him five.
Favre's celebrations came at the expense of the Lions, who lost seven of their last eight after starting 6-2. Detroit hasn't won in Wisconsin since 1991.
Kitna said the season was a disappointment, but still better than finishing 3-13 last year.
''We played meaningful games in December and you can't simulate that,'' Kitna said. ''And so, it'll be something that guys can learn from. Like I said, in this locker room, there's not a lot of guys that've done that.''
Kitna was 22-of-48 with a touchdown and two interceptions for the Lions, who played without injured running back Kevin Jones and wide receiver Roy Williams.
Defense: --- F. 1st half season: A-. 2nd half season: F-. Overall: D+. The Defense had no answer in stopping Favre and a 3rd string journeyman QB. They played against the Packers second and third string players and were still out played. In the first half of the season they forced several turnovers and made big plays which lead to a 6-2 start. Once they stopped forcing turnovers, you saw a unit which ended up dead last in the NFL in defense! Shaun Rogers started off so strong but as the second half of the season unfolded was a complete failure. He has so much talent but yet he would rather gain weight and spend time on the sidelines huffing and puffing away. If the Lions were smart, they would trade him as he obviously does not by into Marinelli's system. And I think we have seen the last of Kalimba Edwards. Talk about someone who had so much potential and fell flat on their face. He was inactive the past few games and will be cut after the season is over. Yet another awful Millen draft pick and decision to resign him. Corey Redding, after signing that huge contract last offseason was a complete failure. He had one sack the entire year against one of the worst teams in the NFL. The secondary is a complete joke. They were so over matched at times it was sickening. The Defense also forgot how to tackle on several occassions. Overall, their lack of talent showed up in the second half of the season and when it was exposed, we saw the outcome.
Special Teams: --- B+. Overall: D. For the second straight game the special teams actually played well. Cason had a great return to start the game, Hanson made all his field goals and Harris punted well. Coverage was good too. But, overall this season the special teams were awful. They couldn't cover, tackle and the punt / kickoff return game was non existant. The Lions badly need to find a returner in 2008 since they have no one on the roster now that gives them any chance of being a return threat. They should also part ways with Stan Kwan who was a deer caught in headlights trying to replace Chuck Preifer.
Coaching: --- D. Overall: D-. Marinelli has taken accountability for just about every loss but after his second season that message is getting stale. It is quite obvious Martz is on his way out and I think that is good for both him and the Lions. Too many times this season Martz abandoned the run and in the process the Lions passing game suffered. John Barry was in over his head coaching a defense that lacks talent.
Overall: --- F. Season: F. The Lions were 3-13 last year but they only got blown out on two occassions. This year it was a completely different story as six of their eight road losses were by double digits or more. Twice they gave up 50 points. They had a negative running game and the list goes on and on. But, they did start the season off on a right note going 6-2 but that was quite fraudulant as they finished 1-7. After the Denver game I truly believed this years team could make the playoffs for the first time in the Millen era. But after the blown chances against the Giants, I knew the season was about to unravel. Even though the Lions had their best season since 2000, do not be fooled - the way this season finished makes it worse than last years! But, in the end Millen will be around to screw up another draft and we will go through all the same BS in 2008. As I have been stating year after year, nothing will ever change until Millen is gone. He is the one that has blown draft after draft and brought in free agents that have turned out to be flops. And lets not forget trading Dre Bly for George Foster and Tatem Bell - two players that were inactive near the end because they were so awful. I will never understand why the Fords think Millen will turn this team around. But as I said last year and I will again right now - it is what it is. The 2008 season will probably see the Lions go 5-11 or 6-10. Kitna will continue to throw interceptions and make mistakes, the running game is in shambles, the secondary is the worst in the league, Shaun Rogers will most likely be traded - shall I go on? No, i'll stop on this last day of 2007 and wish everyone a happy new year. Thank goodness another Lions season is over. Thanks again for reading my commentary and game grades and I look forward to doing the same in 2008 - longer than any Lions website on the Internet.