For the second week in a row, the Detroit Lions managed to turn the ball over more than three times in a game. This time, though, their offense and defense would prove too overwhelming to the Green Bay Packers to overcome.
Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Detroit's ground game pounded out 241 yards, Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson did enough through the air to keep the Packers honest, and the Lions defense was smothering, forcing three turnovers and sacking Matt Flynn seven times. It was an overwhelming 40-10 hunt for the Lions, who gathered a Thanksgiving win for the first time since 2003. The Hunt Report talks a very happy Thanksgiving for Detroit football fans.
Turnovers Will Be The Downfall Of The 2013 Lions. Yes, Detroit managed to win the game, but they also squandered plenty of opportunities to beat the Packers by a much larger margin. Reggie Bush had an early fumble, Matthew Stafford was intercepted twice and fumbled once and Detroit slopped around the field much of the first quarter. Thankfully for the Lions, Green Bay's offense was completely inept with Flynn, or the result could have been a closer game. The fact is, Detroit must stop being careless with the football. If they cannot value the football early in games, they will be dead meat down the stretch, and perhaps even in the playoffs when intensity ratchets up tenfold.
David Akers Is Not To Be Trusted. Akers missed another short field goal Thursday while indoors. If Detroit needed a field goal to tie or win a game, would Akers be the one to deliver it? Perhaps, but Lions' fans shouldn't trust that at all. Much of the 2013 season, Akers has been erratic and Thanksgiving added another chapter into that book. Down the stretch, the Lions need stability out of the kicking game. Akers might not contributed it with his erratic leg.
A Quality Running Game Cures All Ills. The Lions pounded out a staggering 241 yards rushing against the Packers, with Reggie Bush leading the way. Joique Bell also pounded away with 94 yards. Each scored a touchdown, and along the way, helped the offense remain balanced. That helped Detroit when they did go to pass. The reason for many turnovers has been Detroit needing to pass due to trailing. The running game, with Bush and Bell pounding away, should fix that well in the coming weeks.
Jeremy Ross Should Have Won Himself The Return Job. Ross had a big day on Thursday very quietly. He scored a touchdown through the air and contributed a solid 116 yards in the return game. Michael Spurlock should now be an afterthought for good. Ross is versatile, and ca be used in the passing and running games in addition to special teams. That should be bad news for Spurlock, who has not done anything despite being given plenty of chances.
Lions? Other than the aforementioned offensive weapons, the Lions' entire defensive line, specifically Ziggy Ansah and Devin Taylor, stepped up huge with seven sacks of Matt Flynn. Darius Slay played well after being pressed into duty, and Kevin Ogletree found the end zone for the first time as a Lion.
Lambs? Sam Martin shanked two kickoffs out of bounds. Other than that, it was a very solid day across the board for most of the team.
Stat Of The Day: 7, the amount of sacks the Lions' defensive line collected. It was Detroit's biggest day of the season rushing the passer, which helped create three turnovers. If the Lions' defense can ever manage to consistently rush the passer, it's obvious how good the defense can be. That was proven Thursday with the line's big effort.
What About The Five Things? Entering the holiday game, we said it would be critical to watch the early tone. The Lions didn't have a great one, but overcame it with a solid second quarter. Reggie Bush outran Eddie Lacy, who only had 16 yards on 10 carries. Matt Flynn couldn't get anything going, and Matthew Stafford didn't do a great job taking care of the ball early, but improved as the game continued. Finally, Darius Slay played a solid game in place of Chris Houston, holding his own.
The "Later" Limerick
The Lions finally won on Thanksgiving Day,
For once, they made every big play
Turnovers were overcame,
Nobody was left to blame
At 7-5, Detroit might finally be on their way
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