Game recap: 5 takeaways from Packers' loss to Lions

So many missed chances emblematic of a 3-6 season for Green Bay

Detroit Lions defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson intercepts an Aaron Rodgers pass in the second quarter of the Packers' 15-9 loss to the Lions.

The Packers lost their fifth straight game Sunday, 15-9 at Ford Field to the Lions, who came in on a five-game losing streak and had won just one game previously on the year.

Here are five takeaways from a depressing defeat in Detroit:

1. A season that has gone bad just refuses to get better.

The Packers rolled up 389 yards of offense against the worst defense statistically in the NFL, but the points didn't come with it. Green Bay had five possessions cross the Detroit 40-yard line that resulted in no points – three goal-line/end-zone interceptions and two turnovers on downs.

If the Packers' season wasn't on the brink before Sunday, it certainly is now. They're 3-6 with five of their remaining eight games against teams multiple games over .500.

"Everybody's very, very, very disappointed right now," Head Coach Matt LaFleur said, who didn't question his team's effort or competitive fire. "I saw us not taking advantage of certain opportunities and making way too many critical mistakes."

2. The mistakes were mostly on offense.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers' three interceptions were his most since coming back from his second broken collarbone in 2017. The first two came on first-and-goal from the 5 and fourth-and-goal from the 1 on the Packers' first two drives of the game.

The first one was on a slant pass for Allen Lazard that deflected off a Lions defender's helmet and became a jump ball in the end zone. Rodgers wished he'd have checked out of the play or just handed the ball off.

"Obviously the bounces haven't gone our way the last couple weeks," he said.

The second was on a trick play with left tackle David Bakhtiari sneaking out as an eligible receiver, but the ball was underthrown and picked off by top draft pick Aidan Hutchinson. "Bad one," Rodgers said.

The third one came from the Detroit 22-yard line right after Jaire Alexander had gotten an interception early in the third quarter and set the Packers up for possibly their first score, down 8-0. But a seam route for tight end Robert Tonyan was undercut by safety Kerby Joseph at the goal line.

Rodgers (23-of-43, 291 yards, one TD, three INT, 53.5 rating) gave credit to the rookie defender for a nice play, but was not so complimentary of his own outing.

"I had some (crappy) throws, for sure," he said.

3. There was legitimate hope in the waning seconds, but a string of misfires spelled defeat.

Down 15-6 in the fourth quarter, the Packers came back with a field goal, a defensive stop on fourth-and-3 at the Green Bay 43, and then a drive to the Detroit 17. The big play to get there was a fourth-down conversion to rookie receiver Samori Toure, who made the catch falling on his back, got up and got the ball stripped, but the Packers retained possession because the Lions couldn't recover it in bounds.

The reprieve – the second on the drive after running back AJ Dillon also fumbled out of bounds earlier – went for naught, though, when four straight incompletions on end-zone passes ended the game with 36 seconds left. LaFleur said it was "not necessarily" the plan to go for broke rather than another first down, as the Packers had two timeouts heading into the final series, but those were the shots Rodgers took.

On second down, a sideline ball for Lazard (four catches, 87 yards, TD) was well out in front of him, and the officials allowed the defender to pretty much shove Lazard out of bounds as the ball sailed by. Rodgers felt if he'd thrown that closer to his target, it might've drawn a flag.

"Pretty disappointed. That about sums it up. Just disappointed," he said.

"Can't lose a game like that against that team. So that's going to hurt for a while."

4. Green Bay's defense had its usual mish-mash of strong play and frustrating breakdowns.

But holding Detroit's hot offense to 15 points should've been enough.

The Packers got a stop on fourth-and-1 inside the Green Bay 10-yard line on the game's opening drive. It also got two three-and-outs, the pick from Alexander, and the late fourth-and-3 stop to give the offense one final chance.

In the end, a Lions offense averaging nearly 36 points per game at home was held to just 254 total yards and two touchdowns.

"To not take advantage of that performance is certainly disappointing," LaFleur said. "Just too many mistakes.

"The only way we can get through that, we've got to stop doing those things that are really hurting us."

The defense hurt itself too, though, as unnecessary roughness personal fouls on Alexander and linebacker Krys Barnes changed field position. Two unknown tight ends in the wake of Detroit's T.J. Hockenson trade were left wide open for Jared Goff's two TD passes. Cornerback Keisean Nixon, in the game for an injured Eric Stokes, was called for defensive holding on third-and-15 to extend a drive that ended in the Lions' second score.

Kingsley Enagbare also got flagged for roughing the passer to wipe out his own sack, though his hand hitting Goff in the helmet as the QB was going down to avoid contact is about as unlucky and circumstantial as it gets. Alexander's interception came on the next play, so the Enagbare flag didn't hurt, but Rodgers' pick two plays later sure did.

Momentum was a truly fleeting concept all day.

See scenes from the Sunday afternoon matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Nov. 6, 2022.

5. The injuries kept piling up, too.

Receiver Romeo Doubs (ankle) got hurt on the offense's first play of the game. Fellow rookie Christian Watson left for a concussion evaluation for the second straight week. Running back Aaron Jones (ankle) went out in the second half.

Left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) exited the game for a long stretch before returning for the final drive. Right guard Jon Runyan (knee) left briefly before returning. Rookie Zach Tom replaced both.

On defense, a unit already missing De'Vondre Campbell, linebacker Rashan Gary (knee) and Stokes (ankle/knee) both went down.

"Some significant injuries in that game," Rodgers said. "Still had a chance to overcome it, though."

But how come they couldn't with so many chances? How has everything gone so wrong?

"If I had that answer for you right now," LaFleur said, "I don't think we'd be in this spot."


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