Detroit Lions take advantage of Green Bay Packers’ mistakes for 31-23 win
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT — The Detroit Lions took advantage of some mistakes they forced Green Bay to make and were fortunate some breaks simply went their way.
Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes and LeGarrette Blount ran for two scores, lifting the Lions to a 31-23 win over the Packers on Sunday.
Detroit (2-3) earned a win it desperately needed under first-year coach Matt Patricia, going into its bye week.
“We get two weeks to 10 days to sit on whatever happens,” said Stafford, who was 14 of 26 for 183 yards with two TDs and no turnovers. “And, it feels a whole lot better with a win.”
Green Bay (2-2-1) was doomed because veteran Mason Crosby had the worst game of his life and two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers lost two fumbles for just the third time in his 14-year career.
“We just couldn’t overcome all the things we did wrong,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “We did some good things in the second half, but you can’t dig yourself that kind of hole.”
Crosby missed a career-high four field goals in one game and failed to make an extra point to boot. He connected on a field goal with 2 seconds left, but that wasn’t of much consolation after his poor performance.
“I look back and I’m thinking, in my childhood, in high school, this is definitely one of the worst ones,” said Crosby, the first NFL kicker to miss four field goals in a game since 2010.
Detroit recovered an onside kick to seal the win, preventing Rodgers from getting another chance at a game-winning Hail Mary in Detroit like the one he threw in 2015.
The Lions built a big lead in the first half, picking up where they left off in their last home game, a 16-point win over the New England Patriots.
Blount had a pair of 1-yard TD runs in the first quarter and Stafford’s 8-yard pass to Marvin Jones late in the second quarter put Detroit up 24-0.
Patricia, though, didn’t think the Lions’ cushion was comfortable.
“Unfortunately, I’ve seen that quarterback on the other side there crush a lot of leads pretty quickly and come back,” said Patricia, a former Patriots defensive coordinator.