Third downs prove decisive

All four of the Packers' touchdowns came on third-down plays, and the defense held Detroit to 2-for-12 on third-down opportunities.

The Green Bay Packers improved to 2-0 in large part due to their dominance on third down.

The Packers' offense converted 9-of-16 third-down situations (56 percent) compared to 2-of-12 (17 percent) for Detroit in Sunday's 48-25 victory at Ford Field.

The biggest of the Packers' third-down conversions was their last one. With Green Bay leading 27-25 and deep in Lions territory after the first of Charles Woodson's interceptions, the Packers faced third-and-1. Brandon Jackson followed Mark Tauscher's block on Jared DeVries and tight end Tory Humphrey's emphatic kick-out block on a defensive back for a 19-yard touchdown.

Amazingly, all of the Packers' touchdowns came on third downs.

On third-and-goal from Detroit's 9-yard line, Aaron Rodgers scrambled away from DeVries to avoid getting sacked and hit James Jones for a touchdown.

On the Packers' next drive, on third-and-goal from the 2, Rodgers looked right, then found Donald Driver open to the left for an easy score.

On the next series, Rodgers converted third-and-2 with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson, who toasted Brian Kelly.

In the first half, when the Packers rolled to a 21-3 lead, Rodgers was 6-for-7 for 63 yards and three touchdowns on third down. He finished 8-for-13 for 90 yards on third down — with three drops — plus a 9-yard run on third-and-8.

"I thought Aaron put together a fine performance," coach McCarthy said. "There are a couple of things he can learn from. I thought he did a really good job of using his feet to stay out of bad situations; very decisive with the ball. I thought he threw the ball very well today. I thought he had a real nice day today."

On the other side of the ball, Detroit's first three possessions ended in third-down failures: all by sacks. The Packers' third-down success was a far cry from Monday, when Minnesota picked up 7-of-16 third downs.

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and E-mail him at

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