Rivals both at .500 after Detroit Lions knock off Packers in Green Bay
By GENARO C. ARMAS
AP Sports Writer
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Eager to end a three-game losing streak, the Detroit Lions picked a tough place to make a stand — Lambeau Field in a Monday night game against the Green Bay Packers.
Matthew Stafford delivered with his sharpest performances of the season.
Stafford passed for 361 yards and two touchdowns to Marvin Jones, and Golden Tate added 113 yards on seven catches in a 30-17 win over the offensively challenged Packers.
“We went into this game thinking that this needed to be a statement game,” Tate said.
The Lions (4-4) began the season 3-1 before losing three straight. The win over the Packers allowed Detroit to stay within two games of the NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings, who had a bye this week.
Detroit has the best quarterback in the division now that Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers is sidelined with a broken right collarbone.
Stafford was 26-of-33 passing, including 12 of 14 in the first half with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jones. Stafford finished with a season-high 132.4 quarterback rating.
“He can sling it anywhere, and you just have to be there to catch it,” Jones said. “When he’s on, there’s no other quarterback I’d rather play with.”
Green Bay (4-4) finally got in the end zone on Brett Hundley’s 1-yard quarterback sneak with 9:52 left.
The Lions answered with Stafford’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Jones with 8:06 remaining, putting the game out of reach with a 17-point lead. Jones had seven catches for 107 yards.
The Packers have lost three straight. Their once-potent offense has struggled since Rodgers went down on Oct. 15 at Minnesota.
“We come out winning Super Bowls around here. If we keep playing like this, it’s not going to be pretty,” cornerback Davon House said.
Other notes and takeaways from the game:
RED ZONE: It was a mixed day in the red zone for the Lions after a poor game inside the 20 last week against the Steelers. Besides Jones’ 11-yard touchdown catch, Ameer Abdullah had a 4-yard scoring run in the second quarter that gave Detroit a 14-0 lead. They also had to settle for a 19-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter after getting stopped on three straight plays at the 1.