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Lions lead Packers at halftime, 20-3

Posted Dec 31, 2017

Green Bay plays very sloppy first half


DETROIT – The Packers’ sloppy play continued and the Lions took command in the second quarter, grabbing a 20-3 halftime lead on Sunday at Ford Field.

Here's a recap of the first half.

First quarter:

The Packers and Lions traded field goals in the first quarter, but Green Bay had two other scoring chances that ended in turnovers in the red zone.

The Packers won the toss and deferred, but then began the game with an onside kick that S Jermaine Whitehead recovered at the Green Bay 49.

After a pass to WR Geronimo Allison and a run by RB Jamaal Williams converted a pair of third-and-1s, Williams couldn’t haul in a slant pass on third-and-6 into the red zone, and the deflection went right to Lions LB Jarrad Davis for the interception. Williams was open and the pass was slightly behind him, but he got two hands on it and tipped it right to Davis.

An illegal block on Davis’ return put the Lions on their own 10 to start. Green Bay’s defense started with a three-and-out, as rookie CB Lenzy Pipkins got his first start and broke up a third-down pass for WR Kenny Golladay on third down.

QB Brett Hundley scrambled for 5 yards and then ran a read-option for 6 and a first down. A 27-yard screen pass to Williams put the Packers on the Detroit 28 and a defensive holding call gave Green Bay another first down on the 23. Hundley’s third-and-10 pass over the middle to WR Jeff Janis was just out of his reach near the goal line, and the Packers settled for a 41-yard field goal by K Mason Crosby.

On the first play of Detroit’s next series, QB Matthew Stafford went deep off play-action and hit WR Marvin Jones Jr. for 56 yards to the Green Bay 18. A defensive holding penalty on LB Blake Martinez moved the ball to the 13, but the Packers’ defense held there. A fade for TE Eric Ebron in the end zone was underthrown, with Martinez in coverage, and a third-down pass for Ebron at the goal line was tightly guarded by S Josh Jones. Lions K Matt Prater was good from 28 yards out, tying the game at 3.

On third-and-5 on Green Bay’s next series, Hundley scrambled out of a sack and fired deep to WR Randall Cobb, who couldn’t hang on following a big hit from Lions DB Quandre Diggs, who was flagged for contact to Cobb’s helmet. Hundley promptly hit WR Trevor Davis down the right sideline for 29 yards to the Detroit 26.

After a 6-yard run by Williams, Hundley ran a read-option for the first down, but S Glover Quin knocked the ball out, and LB Tahir Whitehead recovered the fumble for the Lions at the 16.

Second quarter:

Stafford misfired for Ebron over the middle on third down, and the Lions punted. Davis returned the punt 18 yards to the Green Bay 42.

Williams ran 14 yards up the middle on a draw play to get across midfield, but the drive stalled there as Williams dropped a screen pass on third down. P Justin Vogel’s punt was bobbled and fair-caught at the 12.

Ebron hurdled Whitehead on a third-down completion to move the chains. A 9-yard pass to RB Theo Riddick, followed by a 2-yard Riddick run, picked up another first down. After an 11-yard completion to RB Ameer Abdullah, the Lions faced third-and-10. Stafford found Golladay wide open on a post route over the middle for a 54-yard touchdown, and the Lions led 10-3 with 7:27 left in the half.

Davis brought the kickoff out of the end zone but only got to the 10. A false start and a sack by DE Ziggy Ansah had the Packers punting from their own 2. An illegal block on a nice return by CB Jamal Agnew prevented the Lions from starting in the red zone, but they began on the Green Bay 40 nonetheless.

On third-and-7 from the 37, LB Clay Matthews sacked Stafford for an 8-yard loss, pushing the Lions out of field-goal range. But on the Detroit punt, as Davis called for a fair catch, Packers rookie CB Donatello Brown was blocked into Davis, and the ball was muffed. The Lions recovered at the Green Bay 14.

An 11-yard pass to WR Golden Tate followed by a 3-yard TD pass to Jones put the Lions up 17-3 with 2:20 left in the half.

From his own 14, Hundley was under pressure from Ansah and was called for intentional grounding on the first play of the ensuing series, putting the ball on the 1. The Packers didn’t get out of the hole, and Vogel’s 45-yard punt was returned 11 yards by Agnew to the Green Bay 35.

A 15-yard pass to Tate and a defensive holding call on Pipkins against Jones put the ball on the 15, but the Packers’ defense held there. Prater tacked on a 30-yard field goal with 31 seconds left in the half to make it 20-3.

 
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