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Initial Reactions: Lions vs. Packers 10.3.10

October 3, 2010

The Packers managed to squeak out a 28-26 win over the Detroit Lions today at Lambeau Field.

The Good:

Opening Drive Touchdown. The Packers rarely find the end zone on their opening drive, so it was refreshing to see the team drive down the field on its opening possession. Believe it or not, the Packers’ running game contributed on the drive, too. The team mixed in two nice runs between a couple of Aaron Rodgers pass completions. Rodgers’ second pass found Donald Driver in the end zone for a touchdown.

Aaron Rodgers. Despite throwing two interceptions today, he is playing at a very high level. His touchdown pass to Jermichael Finley in the second quarter was nothing short of amazing. Click here to see it.

Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson. Just when I begin to question who the number one cornerback on this team is, Charles Woodson intercepts a Shaun Hill pass and takes it to the house for 6 points. In addition, Charles Woodson became the first player in NFL history to return an interception for a touchdown against the same team in three consecutive seasons.

Penalties. Packers few, Lions many. After last week’s team-record 18 penalties, the Packers bounced back with only 3 penalties for 31 yards today. The Lions, on the other hand, had 13 penalties for 102 yards.

The Bad:

Pass Defense. The Packers linebackers and secondary looked a step behind the entire game and allowed Shaun Hill to throw the ball down the field. Let me say that again, Shaun Hill was a vertical threat against the Packers. That’s simply unacceptable. Other than an A.J. Hawk interception, the rest of the linebacker crew looked awful in coverage.

Dom Capers. He was slow to adjust to the Lions use of the screen pass in the first half, and the Lions offense moved the ball down the field most of the second half. To make matters worse, Capers’ defensive unit allowed the Lions to convert 10 of 17 third downs. Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan simply outcoached Capers today.

Turnovers. Jordy Nelson with two fumbles on kickoff returns and Aaron Rodgers with interceptions on back-to-back throws. If you turn the ball over 4 times, you are lucky to escape with a victory.

Defenses Taking Away Jermichael Finley. The Packers offense isn’t the same when Finley isn’t catching passes. The offensive coaching staff needs to be creative to get Finley involved. If opponents continue to blanket Finley, the offense won’t find its rhythm.

Overall:

This game was pretty ugly for the Packers at times, but nevertheless, the team improved to 3-1. Fortunately, this team is winning while they try to establish their 2010 identity. There are a lot of other NFL teams that are losing games as they work out their kinks. This early in the season, it doesn’t matter how you win, what matters is that you win. Unlike the rest of Packer nation, I’m not worried. If the Packers are playing like this in December, then I’ll be worried.

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