The same headline plastered across the Motor City for over a decade. It led every NFL show on Tuesday morning, but it was a bit different than the others; the Detroit Lions competed for an entire 60 minutes.
They walked into Lambeau as 11.5 point underdogs, ended the first half leading by three, even forcing the Packers to consecutive three-and-out drives. At one point, the Lions had a legitimate opportunity to shock the NFL.
Rodgers walked out of the tunnel to start the second half. He snapped his fingers, watching the Lions’ chances vanish instantly. He picked apart the defense with ease, along with handing it off to Aaron Jones to finish the job. The Packers proved once again that they run the North.
The Detroit Lions have nothing to hang their heads about.
They shocked the football world differently. Yes, there were plays where Goff played like a stereotypical Lions QB1, but he deserves a lot of credit. The defense played well until Rodgers decided to turn it on. This is not a demoralizing loss; it is an inspiring one.
How does Captain Campbell steer the ship back on track?
Head Coach Dan Campbell experienced his first Packers game similarly to a kid riding his first rollercoaster, with many ups and downs. He outcoached Packers coach, Matt LaFleur, in the first half, taking the lead with less than thirty seconds in the second quarter. Both sides played perfectly.
The offense moved the ball field with ease, mainly on the ground. Jared Goff threw a perfect back-of-the-end zone touchdown to T.J. Hockenson, that seemed to be a powerful momentum shifter.
Unfortunately, there was none of that in the second half.
They played undisciplined, racking up three straight penalties that eventually led to a punt instead of a score. It all fell apart from there. It seemed like they could not do anything right.
That has to be put in the rearview. The Packers are one of the league’s top-tier teams. They kept them on their toes. This team plays with a lot of heart. If there is time on the clock, they believe they have a chance to win. Campbell implemented that mentality.
It has only been two weeks, and the Lions look like a completely different team from 2020. Campbell has changed the culture in such a short time. He needs to take a page out of the Belichick School of Head Coaching; just do your job.
The players seemed to have followed this motto in such a small sample size. They have another week of practice to build on these losses. It is a different era in Detroit. The Lions have another shot at the Packers in a few weeks.
It is a long season. But, like Like a former MVP once said, “We cannot start worrying over one game.”