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Nate Caminata - LionsFans.com
If Marty Mornhinweg and Matt Millen had a storybook beginning in mind for the launch of their first NFL season, they received just that. Only it came in the form of a horror. And Packers' quarterback Brett Favre was the villain.
During Green Bay's 28-6 dismantling of the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on Sunday, in which Favre shredded the Lions' short handed defense, completing 22 of 28 passes (80%) for 260 yards and two touchdowns, nothing -- in the purest form of the word 'nothing' -- went the Lions' direction.
The ball club never succeeded in unveiling their West Coast offense, which was slowed by rain and a relentless Packers' defense. Green Bay sacked quarterback Charlie Batch seven times, forcing Batch to fumble once, and toss two interceptions.
The Lions defense, which also struggled collectively, lost its footing consistently on the wet turf, and looked sloppy while on the field.
One of Batch's interceptions nixed a potential Detroit scoring drive late in the 2nd quarter, after a poor throw to wide receiver Herman Moore from the Green Bay 5-yardline was intercepted by Packers' defensive back Darren Sharper in the endzone.
Batch finished with 276 yards on 20 of 39 passes.
Green Bay jumped ahead early in the first quarter on a 31-yard Ahman Green touchdown scamper. Two missed tackles by the Lions' defensive line, which was without the recently released James Jones, allowed Green an easy exit to pay dirt.
|Packers' Running Back Ahman Green rushed for 157 yards on 17 carries (AP Photo)|
After a Lions' 4th down conversion failed in Green Bay territory, the Packers made good on the turnover-on-downs, as Favre drove his troops 46 yards before finding wide receiver Bill Shroeder for a 23-yard touchdown completion.
It would be the beginning of a long day for the Lions' secondary, who was without starting safeties Kurt Schulz and Ron Rice, and also cornerback Bryant Westbrook. Missed tackles and poor decisions from their replacements, Tommy Bennett and Lamar Campbell, made their absence that much more apparent.
The Packers ability to run the ball, however, handed Detroit a one-two punch that could not be countered. On several occasions, the Packers ripped off big runs, and finished with 179 total rushing yards. The Lions' defensive line, which had a difficult time preventing the running game all day, was without defensive tackle Luther Elliss for much of the contest, and nose tackle James Jones, who was surprisingly released on Saturday.
Green Bay took a three touchdown lead in its next possession, when Ahman Green's 83-yard touchdown scamper summed up the day. Green broke a Stephan Boyd tackle, and took off around the left end and raced would-be Detroit tacklers to the endzone.
Two first half Jason Hanson field goals, 49 yards and 39 yards respectively, kept the score somewhat respectable, but Favre's one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Bubba Franks in the third quarter sealed the contest.
Detroit will host Dallas in its home opener next week. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. (EST).