The Detroit Lions helped themselves to second, third, and fourth servings on Thursday afternoon en route to a 40 point outburst versus the hated Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day. The Detroit offense repeatedly drove down the field — seemingly at will — with the Green Bay defense doing very little to stop them all game long. When the dust cleared, it was a 561 yard, 5 touchdown day for the Honolulu Blue and Silver.
But it wasn’t quite unadulterated bliss from start to finish. The Lions’ first drive took them into the red zone, but a Reggie Bush fumble gave the ball away before points could be scored. The Lions quickly marched down the field again on their second possession, but the drive stalled around the 10 yard line and they had to settle for a field goal. Two steady drives was an encouraging sight, but after all we’ve seen the last few weeks, you had to wonder if getting only three points on two red zone drives would end up haunting the home team.
An out-of-bounds kickoff by Sam Martin gave the Packers excellent field position, and they were able to even the score on a 54-yard field goal without needing to move the ball very far with their offense. Matt Stafford had the ball knocked away from him as he dropped back to pass on the very next drive, and the Packers defense was able to scoop it up for their only touchdown of the day. The Packers had managed to take a 10-3 lead early in the second quearter even though it mostly felt like the Lions were dominating the game.
Fortunately, it wouldn’t be a squandered opportunity.
The Lions would sustain two touchdown drives before the half ended — capped by a five-yard TD catch by Jeremy Ross and then a one-yard TD run by Reggie Bush — to take a 17-10 lead into the locker room. And they didn’t let up once the second half began.
A Calvin Johnson touchdown catch and an Ndamukong Suh sack of Matt Flynn in the end zone gave the Lions a 26-10 lead after three quarters, and Joique Bell (run) and Kevin Ogletree (catch) added in touchdowns in the fourth quarter to lock down the blowout loss. It was Detroit’s first Thanksgiving Day win in 10 years, with the last victory coming in 2003 (against the Packers).
Whether you go by the score (40-10) or the yardage differential (561-126), it was the type of lopsided Lions victory rarely seen in the Lions-Packers rivalry.
The win keeps Detroit out in front in the NFC North standings, effectively one full game ahead of both the Chicago Bears (due to head-to-head tiebreaker) and the Green Bay Packers.