Notebook: Packers survive mistakes

Also from the 48-25 win: Back to normal schedule; injury update; no answers for Johnson; and more from Detroit.

The Green Bay Packers improved to 2-0 on Sunday. If they make this many mistakes again, they'll be 2-1 at this time next week.

For the second consecutive week, penalty flags fell to the ground like autumn leaves. Punter Derrick Frost let a snap go through his hands to give the Lions a safety. There were at least five dropped passes. A couple of missed tackles gave the Lions the go-ahead touchdown.

Yet, the Packers withstood all of their self-inflicted pain to put a 48-25 hurting on the Lions at Ford Field in Detroit.

A week after committing a league-high 12 penalties worth 118 yards in a season-opening victory over Minnesota, the Packers were penalized eight times for 62 yards against Detroit.

Then, there were the drops. With a 21-0 lead down to 21-9 and momentum turning, Aaron Rodgers fired back-to-back passes that were dropped by James Jones and Brandon Jackson. Later, with the Packers trailing 25-24, Rodgers scrambled out of trouble on third-and-8, but Jackson dropped an easy pass for a first down near Detroit's 5-yard line.

Plus, as Rodgers succinctly put it, "We weren't able to finish them off."

His fumble — his first turnover of the season — allowed Detroit to pull within 21-9. On the ensuing possession, the Packers got first-and-goal but had to settle for a field goal.

"We did a lot of good things in this football game — I mean, we won by over three touchdowns — but you can tell, just the feeling in the locker room, is we made some big mistakes," coach Mike McCarthy said. "Those are the things we need to eliminate as we move forward."

"It's an excellent win," McCarthy added. "Winning is all that matters, and that's our focus, but there's a lot of things in this game we can build off of and learn from."

Back on schedule

Finally, it will be a regular workweek for the Packers. First, there was the Monday-Saturday-Friday-Thursday preseason schedule. Then, a long week leading to a Monday night opener, and a short week leading to Sunday's win at Detroit.

But it's back to normal this week, and none too soon with Dallas coming to town off a short week with the Cowboys facing Philadelphia on Monday.

"Coming up here on a short week, I thought our week's work was very good on Wednesday and Thursday," McCarthy said. "We didn't really finish things off the way they needed to be on Friday, and I think the game today emulated that."

Injury report

McCarthy had no update on the knee injury that sidelined starting fullback midway through the first quarter. Atari Bigby did not return after suffering a cramp. His replacement, Aaron Rouse, played the second half after missing most of Thursday's practice and all of Friday with a sprained ankle.

The Packers' inactives were Brian Brohm (third quarterback), center Scott Wells (back), guard Josh Sitton (knee), receiver Ruvell Martin (finger), safety Charlie Peprah (hamstring) and rookies Pat Lee, Jermichael Finley and Jeremy Thompson.

The notable player who wasn't deactivated was cornerback Charles Woodson, who missed all three practices with a broken toe but had two clutch interceptions, including one he ran back for a clinching touchdown.

Dee-fense!

The Packers finished with five sacks: 2.0 by A.J. Hawk, 1.5 by Aaron Kampman, 1.0 by Cullen Jenkins and 0.5 by Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila.

Kampman is up to 2.5 sacks for the season.

Hawk only had one sack last season.

Woodson, meanwhile, has 14 interceptions and three touchdowns in his two-plus years in Green Bay. He had 17 interceptions and two touchdowns in eight seasons with the Raiders.

Not a pretty sight

Lions receiver Calvin Johnson shook off an easy drop in the first quarter to finish with six catches for a career-high 129 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson, the No. 2 pick in the 2007 draft, seems poised for a year comparable in scale to his 6-foot-5 frame.

"I thought Calvin made some big plays," McCarthy said. "He's an exciting young player, very talented and definitely worthy of our respect. He's exciting to watch, when you're not playing against him."

The other locker room

Lions coach Rod Marinelli wasn't a happy camper afterward. Not after Detroit fell to 1-9 in its last 10 regular-season games since starting last season 6-2.

"It all bothers you," Marinelli said. "I mean, 21-0, that's unacceptable. And then not finishing it after we fought our way back into it — it's just unacceptable. It's not what this league's about — it's about winning."

The Lions, however, aren't ready to throw in the towel. Marinelli said he is sticking with Jon Kitna despite the two interceptions, and Johnson went to the history books to say the season isn't over at 0-2.

"Not saying that we're the Giants," Johnson said, "but they were in the same hole last year, so we can bounce back."

Extra points

The Packers have won six straight, the longest streak in the series since 1954. ... The Packers are 14-2 in the last 16 matchups and 19-3 in the last 22 meetings. ... The Lions are 0-2 for the fourth time since 2001, the starting of Matt Millen's run as team president. Detroit is 31-83 in Millen's tenure. ... The Packers' 48 points are their most since piling up 52 against the Saints during a disastrous 4-12 season. ... For the second consecutive week, Rodgers fumbled a snap from Jason Spitz. He's recovered both of them. ... Rookie quarterback Matt Flynn made his NFL debut by taking a knee twice. ... Mason Crosby has five touchbacks after the Lions took a knee on three kickoffs.

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com


Packer Report Top Stories