Before the 2022 season, if you were to tell me that the Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers in their week 9 matchup I would be thrilled. All of my expectations of the team molding together to form a competitive football team had come to fruition, right? Well… Not exactly
Watching the Lions scratch and claw their way to a win was certainly satisfying, as it was their first in over a month, but some of the concerns that fans have expressed about the structure of the team still loom over the collective head of the fanbase.
The Lions have had trouble all year with closing out games, and last Sunday’s matchup was no different, despite the different result in this contest. The game was an entertaining trainwreck, as there were more interceptions than scoring drives. Detroit was in control for the entire game, yet they still came extremely close to losing the contest. I couldn’t help but feel that the Packers self-destructed more than the Lions earned the win. Sure, a win is a win, but you also have to put things into perspective regarding the opponent the Lions faced.
The Packers are in the midst of one of their most disappointing seasons in recent history. Back to back reigning MVP and future first ballot hall of famer Aaron Rodgers had one of the worst games of his life, and most of his mistakes were completely unforced. Of course, the Detroit defense deserves a good amount of credit. Limiting Green Bay to 9 points and forcing 3 picks from Rodgers is very impressive, and Kerby Joseph had one of the best defensive performances of the entire year as a rookie. However, the Lions were merely a beneficiary of an awful game from a typically non-awful Quarterback. The bottom line is: Any other version of Aaron Rodgers wins this game by at least 2 scores.
Beating a team in pure dysfunction in the middle of a 5 game losing streak is not an accomplishment, it is the expectation of any competent franchise in the NFL. With just over 2 minutes to go, the game was in hand. It was 3rd and 1 in Green Bay territory. All Detroit needed to do was get one yard in 2 plays and the game was over. They failed to do this, and 9/10 times, the Packers take advantage of this and win the game. But again, this is a completely different Packers squad than what we are used to in the last decade. The conditions were perfect for a Lions Blowout today. Not only did the Lions fail to blow out a team in disarray, but they nearly lost the game because of poor execution on offense. It’s safe to say that playing like that will not fly for the rest of the season.