ALLEN PARK, Mich. — It was a defense’s nightmare: Aaron Rodgers throwing here, throwing there, scrambling for a first down — and seemingly no way to stop him.
The Detroit Lions had no answers for the Packers late in a 34-27 loss on Sunday. It was one of the reasons Detroit fell to 1-2.
After Matthew Stafford’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones Jr. with 3:34 left closed the deficit to seven points, the Lions defense couldn’t get off the field. Rodgers ran for a first down on third-and-8 with 3:22 left and followed that up with a nine-yard pass. Eddie Lacy then ran for nine yards and a first down to take the clock down to the two-minute warning.
With Detroit out of timeouts, Rodgers knelt down on three consecutive plays to run out the clock.
“We have to play defense like we know how to play. We haven’t been as stout as we should be,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Monday. “Just to get that stop at the end, we couldn’t come up with it when we needed it.”
After being shredded in the first half – Green Bay led 31-10 after the first 30 minutes – the Lions forced the Packers to punt on successive drives in the fourth quarter. It was a strong showing for a unit without linebackers DeAndre Levy (quad) and Antwione Williams (hamstring). Another linebacker, Zaviar Gooden, was signed off the practice squad last week and played most of the second half after replacing Thurston Armbrister.
“We’re going to expect them to take care of their assignments successfully,” Caldwell said.
Still, Armbrister was matched up against Packets star receiver Jordy Nelson in the slot in the first half. Nelson had six catches for 101 yards and two touchdown receptions.
As has been the case this season, Caldwell did not give any updates on injuries on Monday. The Lions play the Chicago Bears (0-3) at Soldier Field on Sunday.