DETROIT – The Packers shocked the country on Thanksgiving in Detroit, downing the NFC North-leading Lions, 29-22.
Green Bay started fast with two TDs on its first two offensive possessions, and then a defensive scoop and score by S Jonathan Owens made it 20-6 in the first quarter.
The Packers' lead was 23-6 at halftime, and the Lions never got within two touchdowns until very late in the game despite several opportunities. Green Bay's defense stopped Detroit four times on fourth down, including once in a fake punt.
Other defensive highlights included a three-sack game from LB Rashan Gary. He also forced two fumbles.
The Lions eventually got within one score in the game's final minute, but WR Jayden Reed recovered the onside kick to seal it for Green Bay, which improved to 5-6 on the season as Detroit fell to 8-3.
For the Packers, Love was 22-of-32 for 268 yards with three TDs, no INTs and a 125.5 passer rating. Love also had three carries for 39 yards, including a 37-yard keeper to convert a big third down in the fourth quarter. RB AJ Dillon had 14 carries for 43 yards and three receptions for 38.
WR Christian Watson had five catches for 94 yards and a TD, while WR Malik Heath added four catches for 46 yards. WR Romeo Doubs had three grabs for 37 yards, Reed had four catches for 34 yards and a TD, and TE Tucker Kraft got his first NFL score on two catches for 15 yards.
For the Lions, QB Jared Goff was 29-of-44 for 332 yards with two TDs, no INTs and a 103.6 rating. RBs David Montgomery (15-71) and Jahmyr Gibbs (11-54) combined for 125 rushing yards. WR Amon Ra St. Brown had nine catches for 95 yards, and WR Kalif Raymond had five grabs for 90 yards.
Here's a recap of all the action:
Packers lead Lions 20-6 after first quarter
The Packers won the opening coin toss and elected to receive. Green Bay opened with a 53-yard pass from Jordan Love to Christian Watson, the second longest completion of the year.
At the Detroit 22, Love went right back to Watson on an 8-yard slant off the right side. Two plays later, Love turned to Jayden Reed on the left side for a 10-yard touchdown to give Green Bay a 7-0 lead with 12 minutes, 16 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Lions answered back with a 13-yard pass to Jameson Williams on third-and-7. A defensive pass interference penalty moved Detroit to the Packers' 46 with Jared Goff hitting Sam LaPorta for 31 yards on a corner route.
LaPorta scored a 7-yard touchdown on second-and-goal, but the Packers maintained a 7-6 lead with 8:30 left in the first quarter after Riley Patterson's missed extra point.
Green Bay charged down field again, with rookie Malik Heath catching a 16-yard pass in the middle of the field to get the Packers' offense going on its second series.
Watson then elevated to haul in a third-and-8 out from Love, getting both feet down for the 10-yard pickup. AJ Dillon caught a 10-yard crosser in the flat on the next play.
Green Bay moved into the red zone on a 15-yard Reed run. On third-and-1, Love connected with rookie tight Tucker Kraft on a play-action pass to the flat to extend the Packers' lead to 14-6 with 3:08 left in the first quarter.
It was Kraft's first NFL touchdown catch. Green Bay finished the first quarter with 150 total yards and eight first downs.
On second-and-12, Rashan Gary came off the edge for a strip sack of Goff that Jonathan Owens returned for a touchdown to extend Green Bay's lead to 20-6 with 2:12 left in the first quarter after Anders Carlson's missed extra point. It was Owens' first touchdown and the first fumble recovery for a touchdown by Packers defensive back since Casey Hayward (Nov. 16, 2014, vs. Philadelphia).
Green Bay earned another takeaway with Lansing, Mich., native Karl Brooks forcing a fumble of a scrambling Goff and recovering it at the Detroit 23. It's the first time the Packers have had two first-quarter takeaways since a 24-22 win over Cleveland on Christmas Day 2021.
The Packers' 20 points in the first quarter are their most since scoring 21 against Carolina on Oct. 19, 2014.
Packers lead Lions 23-6 at halftime
The Packers opened the second quarter facing fourth-and-1 at the Detroit 14. They attempted a hand off, but Dillon and Love collided for a loss of a yard and turnover on downs.
The Lions ran the ball four straight times behind David Montgomery, gaining 17 yards. Goff then completed back-to-back passes to Malcolm Rodriguez and Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Detroit was forced to punt after Goff's third-and-3 pass for LaPorta sailed high. The ball fell a few inches in front of Anthony Johnson Jr.
Starting at the Packers' 14, Love opened with a 22-yard pass to Dillon a play-action pass to the flat. Romeo Doubs caught his first pass of the afternoon for seven yards to midfield.
A 17-yard pass to Doubs and a 5-yard Patrick Taylor run set up a 43-yard Carlson field goal to extend the Packers' lead to 23-6 with 5:56 left in the first half.
Green Bay's defense nearly forced a three-and-out after Gary sacked Goff on first down, but an illegal contact penalty gave the Lions a fresh set of downs. Detroit moved into Green Bay territory on a 20-yard Kalif Raymond crosser.
Goff was flagged for intentional grounding on first down, leading to a loss of down and 11 yards. The Lions went for it on fourth-and-4 from the Packers' 35, but Preston Smith forced the incompletion for the turnover on downs at the two-minute warning.
Starting at the Green Bay 35, Dillon busted a 17-yard run up the middle to the Lions' 49. Love's pass fell short for Reed on third-and-6 and the Packers were forced to punt with 41 seconds left in the half.
Detroit didn't complete a pass on its two-minute drive. After a quick pass to Reed, the Packers unsuccessfully tried a 63-yard field goal at the horn.
Packers lead Lions 29-14 after three
The Lions opened the second half with a seven-play, 72-yard series that culminated in a 6-yard Montgomery run to cut Green Bay's lead to 23-14 with 11:46 left in the third quarter following a successful two-point conversion.
The Packers moved the chains with Love's 14-yard pass to Reed across the middle to the Green Bay 47. Heath caught a 12-yard pass from Love across the hashes on first-and-15 to move across midfield.
Love tried to hit Doubs across the middle, but he couldn't bring it in. The Lions started their next drive at their own 2 after Robert Rochell kept Daniel Whelan's 46-yard punt out of the end zone.
The Lions gained one first down but sent out their punt unit after a third-and-5 Goff pass fell incomplete. Detroit ran a fake punt, but Lukas Van Ness tackled personal protector Jalen Reeves-Maybin for the turnover on downs at the Detroit 23.
Doubs got 14 yards back with a pass across the middle. On third-and-3, Love delivered a 16-yard touchdown pass to Watson. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, and the Packers lead 29-14 with 3:30 left in the third quarter.
The third quarter ended with the Lions at the Green Bay 34.
Packers beat Lions 29-22
At the start of the fourth quarter, Gary recorded his second strip sack of Goff on fourth-and-7 from the Green Bay 31. In doing so, Gary became the first Packers player to have three sacks and two forced fumbles in the same game since Aaron Kampman against New Orleans on Sept. 17, 2006.
It's Gary's second three-sack game of the season, becoming the first Packers defender to accomplish that feat since Kyler Fackrell in 2018.
The Packers moved back into Lions' territory with two passes to Heath for 18 yards but were forced to punt after Love missed Reed on a third-and-5 crosser with 11:59 left in regulation.
The Lions moved back into Green Bay territory with a 38-yard pass to Williams and then entered the red zone with a 24-yard crosser to Kalif Raymond to the Packers' 15.
Jonathan Owens assisted Keisean Nixon on a sideline tackle of Gibbs on second-and-8. On third-and-5, the Lions tried a receiver screen to St. Brown but Owens sniffed it out for a 2-yard tackle for a loss.
Quay Walker kept pace with Sam LaPorta on a fourth-and-7 pass to the end zone, which fell incomplete. Green Bay took over at its own 12 with 6:46 remaining.
Love broke a career-long 37-yard run on third-and-1 off a read option, advancing the ball to the Detroit 42. After Love's deep ball for Watson went incomplete, Whelan pinned the Lions back at their own 9 with a 33-yard punt with 2:46 remaining.
A 7-yard dump off to Gibbs at the two-minute warning gave Detroit its first fourth-down conversion of the day. After the Lions crossed midfield, Kingsley Enagbare pressured Goff into a first-down incompletion on an underneath pass to Gibbs. A holding penalty on Frank Ragnow pushed Detroit back to its 42.
The Lions converted a second-and-20 with a 23-yard pass to St. Brown, as the clock ticked under 1 minute. Detroit used its first timeout with 46 seconds left following a 23-yard pass to Raymond at the Green Bay 12.
The Lions scored with 41 seconds left after on a 12-yard slant to Josh Reynolds. They converted the two-point conversion with a pass to LaPorta, cutting Green Bay's lead to 29-22.
Reed recovered the onside kick and the Packers kneeled out their second consecutive win.