The Detroit Lions asserted themselves as the top dog in the NFC North after their dominant performance against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night. It was another impressive win for the Lions who pushed their record to 3-1 and will have 10 days to get healthier as they prepare for their Week 5 opponent, the Carolina Panthers. Here are some key takeaways from Detroit’s big win.
Lions Dominant in Win Over Packers, Take Sole Possession of First Place in Division
The Lions Won The Battle In The Trenches
The Lions imposed their will on the Packers throughout the night, consistently winning at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Let’s start with the defense.
Detroit’s defensive line picked up from where they left off in Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons and made life difficult for Packers quarterback Jordan Love. The Lions got pressure from their front four, a lot of times without having to blitz, and registered five sacks from a number of different players. Aidan Hutchinson led the way with 1.5 sacks while Isaiah Buggs, Alim McNeill, John Cominsky, and Charles Harris also brought down Love. The run defense continued their dominance, holding the Packers to just 27 yards on the ground. Yes, Green Bay got down big early and were forced to go to the air, but it’s worth noting that even when they did run the ball the Detroit front shut them down. The defensive line is playing with tons of confidence and getting better each week.
On offense, Detroit rode David Montgomery behind an offensive line that made their presence felt throughout the night. The Lions rushed for 211 yards and three touchdowns and averaged nearly five yards per carry. The offensive line, which included Taylor Decker who missed the last two games, provided quarterback Jared Goff a clean pocket to throw from the majority of the game. Detroit will continue to win games by dominating teams in the trenches like they did on Thursday.
David Montgomery is RB1… For Now
This may not be what
fantasy football Lions fans want to hear, but it’s the truth: David Montgomery is the lead back for the Lions. Many fans anticipated the Detroit backfield would function more like a committee, but that’s clearly not the case four games into the season. Montgomery has 69 carries on the year to Jahmyr Gibbs‘ 39 carries and is out-gaining the rookie by nearly 100 yards on the ground. Thursday’s game was further proof that Detroit views Montgomery as their lead back; he had 32 carries for 121 yards while Gibbs only rushed eight times. Gibbs will continue to get more involved as he gets acclimated, and there’s a world where he gets more touches than Montgomery moving forward, but Detroit fans will have to be patient. For now, they should enjoy the success Montgomery has had to begin the season.
Dan Campbell Makes History
Detroit’s victory over Green Bay not only proved that the Lions are the team to beat in the division, but that it could be that way for the foreseeable future. The win on Thursday was the Lions’ fourth straight over the Packers. Why is this meaningful? For one, it shows there’s a changing of the guard in the division. The Lions haven’t lost to the Packers since the 2021 season. But it also means Dan Campbell is the first Lions coach since Monte Clark to beat the Packers four straight times. Clark accomplished that feat four decades ago during the 1982-1983 seasons. Time’s really are changing.
The Lions Are A Resilient Bunch
The start to Thursday’s game couldn’t have gone worse for Detroit. On the very first drive, Jared Goff threw an interception in Lions’ territory. Not ideal, but nothing the Detroit defense couldn’t handle as Green Bay was held to just a field goal. On the very next drive, Goff led the Lions on a seven play, 75 yard drive that ended in an Amon-Ra St. Brown touchdown. It’s the third time this season that Goff has led a scoring drive following an interception. When Green Bay cut the Detroit lead to 10 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Detroit never wavered, even after rookie defensive back Brian Branch left due to an ankle injury. The Lions responded with a 14 play, 75 yard drive that took nearly nine minutes to put the Packers away for good. When Green Bay threw their best punch, Detroit never flinched. Great teams punch back, and that’s what Detroit did. They’re built to handle adversity, as their coach says, and we saw that on Thursday.
The Lions will look to win their third consecutive game when they host the Panthers at Ford Field following their mini-bye week.
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