Lions vs. Packers: Instant analysis from Lions’ loss vs. Packers in Week 2

·2 min read

Dan Campbell and his Detroit Lions made their one and only 2021 appearance on Monday Night Football in Green Bay in Week 2. What started as an entertaining and competitive game for the first 35 or so minutes of game action quickly spun out of control into the favor of the home team. Green Bay prevailed, 35-17, by shutting out the Lions in the second half.

Despite the final margin, the Lions were not embarrassed. They had embarrassing moments in the second half, and that’s where the Packers did not relent and proved why they’ve been in the last two NFC Championship games.

The Lions never looked like they didn’t belong. There was no awe for all the young players being in Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football. Dan Campbell and his assistants had them ready to play and drew up a nice game plan to play to their strengths, especially early on.

Goff was very impressive in the first half. It was the kind of performance that is exactly what GM Brad Holmes had in mind when he commanded the Rams to include Goff in the Matthew Stafford trade. It led to the inspired Lions taking a lead into the half, 17-14.

The Packers eventually got it into the extra gear that having Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams affords them. The youth of the Lions eventually caught up to them, too. Rodgers figured out that the Detroit linebackers were no match for his targets over the middle and he ruthlessly exploited it.

The rain picked up near the end of the third quarter and the floodgates opened against the youthful, shorthanded Lions. The overall discrepancy in top-end talent was hard to ignore, and unfortunately it does not favor the Lions.

Detroit needed better play from some of the veterans on defense, notably LBs Jamie Collins and Alex Anzalone. With the cornerback room barely running on the fumes of undrafted projects, the LBs and front needed to step up. That did not happen. I expect rookie Jerry Jacobs to struggle in coverage in his first real NFL action against Adams, Rodgers et al. I expect more from Collins, who was a step slow and lethargic all night long.

This game showed the Lions just don’t have much of a margin for error with the talent on hand. When they played to their best, as they did in the first half, they’re a competitive and fun young football team. When they don’t, and that happened in the third quarter and beyond, the lack of impact talent and difference-makers on both sides of the ball make it almost impossible for Detroit to win.

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