It turns out Brett Hundley might not be the biggest concern the Green Bay Packers have moving forward.
Yes, the quarterback looked uncomfortable in the pocket and recorded over half of his career-high 245 passing yards in the fourth quarter when the game was all but over. However, the defense -- the unit Green Bay leans on as Aaron Rodgers heals his collarbone on the sideline – couldn’t stop Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions.
Stafford threw for 361 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Marvin Jones, handing Green Bay its third consecutive loss, a 30-17 defeat at Lambeau Field.
The final score looks much closer than the game felt. Jamaal Williams added a 1-yard touchdown rush as time expired that was frankly meaningless unless you bet the over (42.5) in Vegas.
It appears the Lions solved their offensive problems, and the Packers, well, will have to do some soul searching to save their season before it’s too late.
Here’s a recap of Monday night’s game (Story | Photos):
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Bright spots were few and far between for Green Bay, but wide receiver Randall Cobb did what he could. Cobb caught all five of his targets and turned them into 58 yards, including a 46-yard reception in the fourth quarter that set up a rushing touchdown for Hundley four plays later. It was Cobb’s first time leading the Packers in receiving yards since Green Bay’s 17-9 win over Seattle in Week 1.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME
Green Bay’s leading tackler was at it again: Blake Martinez racked up a game-high 10 total tackles. On the first play of the fourth quarter, he forced Detroit’s Ameer Abdullah to fumble on the Packers’ 1-yard line -- but the Lions recovered. The score was 17-3 at that point, so the game was likely out of reach, but he might have been boosted to our game MVP had Green Bay fallen on the loose ball. On a rough night for his unit, Martinez was still able to shine.
The Packers had just finished their most impressive possession of the night, and arguably, Hundley’s best drive of his career. The seven-play, 78-yard drive early in the fourth quarter was highlighted by Cobb’s long reception and capped by Hundley’s 1-yard quarterback draw for six points.
It brought the score to 20-10 and restored hope in the Packers’ offense at Lambeau Field.
However, the Lions squashed any sense of optimism within minutes. On second down from the Detroit 25, Stafford tossed a short pass to running back Theo Riddick, who scampered for 63 yards for the longest play of the night. Detroit scored a touchdown two plays later. Ballgame.
62 -- Detroit converted on 8 of 13 third downs for a 62 percent clip. Of those eight successful third-down tries, five had the Lions facing third-and-7 or longer. Simply put, the Packers defense couldn’t get off the field, whether it was by penalty or Stafford finding his receivers for big gains.
THEY SAID IT
"If we keep playing like this, it's not going to be pretty. We're 4-4, with how many games left? Eight games left. We've got to pull together -- somehow, some way." -- cornerback Davon House.
"Brett Hundley played better tonight and I have great faith in Brett Hundley. Brett Hundley's not our issue." -- head coach Mike McCarthy
"We're a better team than what we're putting on film, regardless of whether (Aaron Rodgers) is in there or not. We've still got ... enough talent in here where we can win these types of games." -- wide receiver Davante Adams
"I really take that on myself. If we stop them there, then we get a short field. ... I let the emotions get the best of me." -- defensive tackle Mike Daniels on his 15-yard penalty which kept alive Detroit's opening drive.
Green Bay will try to halt its three-game losing streak with a visit to Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday. The Bears, who had a bye this past weekend, have won two of their last three games but still sit in the cellar of the NFC North at 3-5.