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Associated Press, Published October 06 2013

Defense helps Packers claim victory

Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. – For a change, defense set the pace for the Packers before the offense caught up.

James Jones caught a long touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers, and Green Bay contained the under-manned Detroit Lions for a 22-9 win Sunday.

Mason Crosby kicked five field goals. The Pack-ers offense struggled to get into the end zone until Rodgers found Jones on an 83-yard scoring pass down the left sideline for a 16-3 lead late in the third quar-ter.

It provided enough of a cushion for a defense that had the luxury of facing the Lions minus star receiver Calvin Johnson, out with a knee injury. Penalties also bogged down Detroit (3-2).

The Packers (2-2) extend-ed their winning streak in Wisconsin over the Lions to 23.

Rodgers was 20-for-30 for 274 yards, and Eddie Lacy ran for 99 yards on 23 car-ries in his return from a concussion. Jones finished with four catches for 127 yards.

Randall Cobb set up Crosby’s 31-yard field goal in the third quarter with a 67-yard dash into Lions territory after lining up in the backfield. Crosby also was good from 26 and 52 yards in the first half and added makes from 42 and 45 in the fourth quarter.

Otherwise, touchdowns were rare in a game featur-ing two of the top offensive teams in the league coming into Sunday. The Lions were sixth, while the Pack-ers were third.

The Lions’ only touch-down came late when Mat-thew Stafford found Kris Durham for a 13-yard score.

The defenses mostly held firm. The Packers recorded five sacks, including one from Clay Matthews before he left with a thumb injury.

And mistakes hurt both teams. They combined for 17 penalties, 10 for the Packers.

With Green Bay up 3-0 early in the second quarter, tight end Ryan Taylor, wide open down the seam, dropped what looked like a sure touchdown pass from Rodgers on a second-and-9 from the 34.

Rodgers took a few steps, placed his hands on his hips and looked down at the field in disappointment for a few moments.

No worries, Aaron. The Packers still extended the Lions’ streak of misery in Wisconsin. Detroit hasn’t won on the road in this series since 1991.

More importantly for Green Bay, the win – how-ever ugly at times – helped coach Mike McCarthy’s team bounce back from a 34-30 loss two weeks ago to the Bengals.

Detroit’s Reggie Bush was held to 13 carries on 44 yards and four catches for 25 yards. The Packers’ improved run defense mostly contained the dan-gerous Bush on first-down runs, leaving the Lions with long second- and third-down situations.

Still, the Lions trailed by just 16 late because the Packers had to settle for field goals. They drove to the Packers 30 with 7:16 left before three straight in-completions left them headed back to the sideline.

Detroit especially felt Johnson’s absence then. A pass attempt on fourth-and-3 went awry after Durham slipped on the turf.

Stafford finished 25-for-40 for 262 yards.

Detroit 0 3 0 6 – 9

Green Bay 3 3 10 6 – 22

First Quarter

GB – FG Crosby 26, 1:24.

Second Quarter

GB – FG Crosby 52, 11:19.

Det – FG Akers 53, :15.

Third Quarter

GB – FG Crosby 31, 5:04.

GB – J.Jones 83 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick), 3:12.

Fourth Quarter

GB – FG Crosby 42, 10:16.

GB – FG Crosby 45, 3:50.

Det – Durham 13 pass from Stafford (pass failed), 2:06.

A – 78,200.

Det GB

First downs 19 16

Total Net Yards 286 449

Rushes-yards 19-64 33-180

Passing 222 269

Punt Returns 0-0 4-14

Kickoff Returns 2-40 0-0

Interceptions Ret. 0-0 0-0

Comp-Att-Int 25-40-0 20-30-0

Sacked-Yards Lost 5-40 1-5

Punts 6-51.8 3-47.0

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-0

Penalties-Yards 7-50 10-72

Time of Possession 27:41 32:19

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Detroit, Bush 13-44, Bell 5-21, Stafford 1-(minus 1). Green Bay, Lacy 23-99, Cobb 2-72, Rodgers 5-8, Franklin 3-1.

PASSING: Detroit, Stafford 25-40-0-262. Green Bay, Rodgers 20-30-0-274.

RECEIVING: Detroit, Pettigrew 4-59, Scheffler 4-55, Bell 4-30, Bush 4-25, Durham 3-30, Broyles 2-27, Ogletree 2-20, Edwards 2-16. Green Bay, Finley 6-32, Nelson 5-82, J.Jones 4-127, Cobb 4-35, Lacy 1-(minus 2).

MISSED FIELD GOALS: None.