Report card vs. Lions

Packers get high grades again after whipping the Lions

PASSING OFFENSE: A-minus -- Aaron Rodgers' encore Sunday was, in many ways, better than his sensational starting debut six days earlier. His first half was on the brink of perfection - completing 16 of 20 passes for 210 yards, throwing touchdowns on three consecutive long drives and compiling a passer rating of 150.0.

Although Rodgers wasn't as precise in the final two quarters, thanks in part to some drops, he initiated arguably the best pass play of the day at a critical moment for the Packers after they squandered a 21-0 lead and suddenly trailed 25-24 midway through the fourth quarter. A quick slant to Greg Jennings, who earlier had a 62-yard reception, turned into a 60-yard gain to set up Mason Crosby's game-winning field goal.

Jennings racked up the yards after the catch, rolling up a career-high 167 yards with six receptions.

Rodgers, who completed passes to seven players, finished 24-of-38 for 328 yards. Besides the drops, including what could have been a huge one by halfback Brandon Jackson deep in Lions territory that made the Packers settle for the field goal to regain the lead at 27-25, a scrambling Rodgers had to overcome porous pass blocking. Generally stalwart tackles Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton were repeatedly beaten off the edge.

Rodgers was at fault on the lone Lions sack, when he held the ball too long and turned it over on a fumble.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus -- The Packers have managed to start 2-0 despite their run game's suffering with an injured Ryan Grant a shadow of his workhorse, productive self from the second half of last season.

Grant continues to be bothered by soreness in a hamstring that dogged him throughout the preseason. He was limited to 15 carries Sunday and hardly made any inroads, gaining just 20 yards.

Thankfully for Green Bay, Jackson and undrafted rookie Kregg Lumpkin delivered in reserve. Lumpkin was forceful with a 19-yard run early in the game. Jackson led the backs with 61 yards in seven carries, highlighted by a decisive cutback on a stretch play for a 19-yard touchdown that atoned for his earlier dropped pass and stretched the Packers' late lead to 34-25.

Green Bay averaged 4.1 yards on the ground, getting hit-and-miss execution from the guys up front.

PASS DEFENSE: B-plus -- Charles Woodson, without the benefit of a week of practice because of a broken toe, came to the forefront to save the Packers from what would have been an embarrassing defeat after they had built that three-touchdown spread.

Woodson picked off two Jon Kitna passes in a span of three plays run by the Lions late in the fourth quarter after the Packers went back on top at 27-25. The first ball was underthrown to Calvin Johnson, who had one-upped Woodson earlier in the quarter on a crossing pattern for a 47-yard TD. On Kitna's next ill-advised throw, Woodson reacted and stepped in front of Mike Furrey and had open field in front of him for a 41-yard touchdown return.

Safety Nick Collins followed suit in the Lions' next possession with a 42-yard interception return to the end zone. Up until that mad flurry, lackluster pass coverage fueled the Lions' big comeback in the second half. Nickel back Tramon Williams and Aaron Rouse, filling in for injured strong safety Atari Bigby, were primary culprits.

A balanced mix of four-man rushes and blitzes were highly effective, as Green Bay sacked Kitna five times.

RUSH DEFENSE: A-minus -- Not counting one scramble by Kitna, the Lions didn't resort to the run often, the consequence of falling behind by 21 points in the second quarter. The combination of rookie Kevin Smith and Rudi Johnson mustered all of 42 yards in 11 attempts.

The lone big run, of 14 yards by Smith on a cutback in the first quarter, was born out of missed containment by tackle Johnny Jolly in the backfield.

Fellow tackle Ryan Pickett was active in clogging the middle. Linebacker A.J. Hawk led the defense for the second straight game in tackles (seven).

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- Packers fans had to be lamenting early in the fourth quarter why the club released Jon Ryan before the start of the season and signed Derrick Frost to be the punter. Frost committed a cardinal sin by letting a high, but manageable snap through his hands and out of the back of the end zone for a safety to bring the Lions within 24-18. Frost, in turn, had a weak free kick. He later outkicked the coverage on a punt, allowing Furrey ample room for a 20-yard return, which set up the go-ahead TD throw from Kitna to Johnson on the next play.

Blackmon, who had an electrifying punt return for a touchdown in Week 1, was brought back to earth with averages of 2 yards on punt returns and 24.8 yards on kickoff returns.

On the plus side, Crosby converted both of his field-goal attempts, including the game-winner, and had three touchbacks.

COACHING: B-plus -- Complacency seemed to set in after the Packers built the 21-point bulge against a Detroit team that didn't look like it had a big comeback in it. Give the coaches credit for keeping the players from caving in after the Lions briefly went ahead.

Head coach/play caller Mike McCarthy was committed to running the football even with Grant nowhere close to 100 percent physically and wound up with a preferred ratio of 39 pass plays to 30 running plays.

The defense was constant and disruptive, especially early in the game, with the pressure in the pocket on the immobile Kitna. For the second straight game, however, penalties (eight for 62 yards) were a bugaboo for the Packers.

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