Rodgers, Packers maul Lions
DETROIT - Aaron Rodgers matched his career high of three touchdown passes as Green Bay beat the Detroit Lions, 34-12, yesterday, giving the Packers three straight wins and improving their playoff prospects.
The Lions have lost a franchise-record six straight games on the holiday by an average of 23.2 points.
Detroit’s Matthew Stafford, playing with a sore nonthrowing shoulder, threw one touchdown pass and four interceptions in a rookie-like performance, after passing for five scores in Sunday’s win over Cleveland.
The Lions (2-9) looked like they were building off that momentum by recovering a fumble on the opening kickoff and with Stafford’s TD pass to Calvin Johnson. But the Packers (7-4) scored 27 unanswered points in the second and third quarters to turn the game into a familiar rout.
The Packers have won nine straight against the Lions, and coach Mike McCarthy is 8-0 in the suddenly lopsided series.
Charles Woodson returned his second interception for a score late in the game and struck a Heisman Trophy pose in the end zone, just as he did in 1997 at Michigan before going on to win the award. Woodson forced and recovered a fumble on the ensuing possession.
Rodgers was 28 of 39 for 348 yards and connected with Donald Lee, Donald Driver, and James Jones for scores.
Driver had seven receptions for 142 yards, including a 68-yard catch, and a TD that gave the Packers a 20-7 lead midway through the third quarter.
Green Bay played without cornerback Al Harris and linebacker Aaron Kampman, both of whom had season-ending knee injuries in last week’s win, and were just fine without them.
Stafford, who broke the NFL rookie record with 422 yards passing in last week’s 38-37 victory over the Browns, was only 20 of 43 for 213 yards, and his four interceptions were one fewer than he had earlier this year.
Lions rookie tight end Brandon Pettigrew left the game with a left knee injury and did not return.
Pettigrew was engaged with Packers linebacker Clay Matthews in the second minute of the game when his knee buckled. The injury was severe enough that several Green Bay defenders started waving the Detroit training staff onto the field.
Pettigrew, who caught the winning touchdown pass last Sunday, walked off the field with help. He was examined by trainers before being helped back to the locker room.
The Lions are now 33-35-2 on Thanksgiving, after having lost eight of their last nine games on the holiday.