'Dirtbags' Turn Packers Into Punching Bags

Detroit made Josh Sitton eat his words. In the marquee battle of the game, the Lions dominated Green Bay's powerhouse running game. That allowed them to go after Matt Flynn and pile up seven sacks.

DETROIT – Green Bay Packers guard Josh Sitton drew laughs when he called the Detroit Lions' defensive line "scumbags" and "dirtbags" during an appearance on Milwaukee radio on Tuesday.

The Lions' defense laughed last and laughed hardest, spearheading Detroit's 40-10 thrashing of the Packers on Thanksgiving.

"I said what I said. I'm not taking it back," Sitton said. "But I've moved on from that. I don't want to sit here and talk about it all day."

No wonder, because the Packers were dominated in practically every way imaginable.

"We didn't even really talk about it," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "We made fun of it a little bit last night in the meeting and it was just light-hearted. A lot worse has been said about us, you know. If that motivated our guys, then I'm glad it happened. I think I said yesterday when I did some radio, this game was going to be won by actions on the field. It wasn't going to be won by talk and our team was the team that played well and actions speak louder than words."

The Lions' actions were deafening as they dominated the game's seminal matchup: Green Bay's powerhouse rushing attack against Detroit's indomitable run defense.

The Packers entered the game ranked sixth with 139.9 rushing yards per game, fourth with 4.8 yards per carry and first with five 180-yard rushing games. Eddie Lacy led all rookies in rushing and led all NFL running backs in rushing over the past eight games.

Detroit, on the other hand, entered with five consecutive games with no more than 62 rushing yards allowed, including less than 40 in each of the past three games.

The Lions won that matchup by a landslide. Lacy was held to 16 yards on 10 attempts and the Packers managed just 24 on 15 carries.

"They played good up front," Sitton said. "No one ever said they're not a good front. We know that. I think they're probably the best inside front probably in the league. But like I said, I don't take anything I said back."

The Packers had just 71 yards on their first 10 possessions, with a 56-yard completion to James Jones on the final series practically doubling the output.

"They got after us, they beat us up," fellow guard T.J. Lang said. "We have to take a long, hard look at what we're doing. Obviously on offense, we didn't have any production on offense today. Probably the worst (expletive) offensive day in the history of the (expletive) Packers. It was bad. Didn't run the ball, didn't pass block. Give credit to those guys, man. They did a good job. We've got to take a long hard look at what we're doing and find a way to get better."

With no running game, the Lions attacked backup quarterback Matt Flynn. Between Flynn's indecisiveness and the porous protection, he was sacked seven times. Detroit's defensive line collected five sacks, including Ndamukong Suh's for a safety and a sack-strip by Devin Taylor.

"They dared us to throw the football at then, and we tried and they won," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.

The Lions, for the fearsome reputation of their defensive line, ranked just 29th in the league in sacks entering the game. But with their pressure, Flynn could nowhere close to matching his production in last week's rally against Minnesota, much less do anything resembling his 480-yard, six-touchdown performance against the Lions in 2011.

"We were making him throw from a tunnel," Schwartz said. "He couldn't see very well and I thought that was a difference for our coverage."

For the Packers, the only light at the end of that tunnel was a silver-and-blue train. They led 10-3 and Tramon Williams' interception set up the offense at its 49-yard line. With a chance to grab control of the game, the Packers gained 1 yard on three plays and punted.

"Obviously kind of ruins the holiday," Lang said. "I really don't know, man. I thought we started off OK. As a team, got up 10-3, had a chance with really good field position and a chance to go down and get a little lead but offensively, man, we killed us. The execution is just not there. It's frustrating because we worked so hard at it. Coming off a short week, a lot of the work had to be mental but they flat-out kicked our (butt). That's really what it comes down to."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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