Larrivee: Packers' O-line took over game vs. Lions
Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
GREEN BAY - Yes, the signature moment of the Green Bay Packers' 27-20 victory over the Detroit Lions Sunday night was the touchdown return by defensive lineman Mike Daniels.
But the moments where the Packers truly owned the game came wehn the offensive line dominated Detroit's front seven on the ground, and pounded them into submission.
"For the Packers to gradually gain control of the line of scrimmage, that was the surprising aspect of that game," said Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Voice of the Packers Wayne Larrivee on "Midday with Charlie Sykes."
"Where I really thought the Packers grabbed control was the opening drive of the third quarter."
That drive ended up with quarterback Aaron Rodgers scampering for a 27-yard touchdown run that gave Green Bay a lead it would not relinquish.
Then, the Packers' running game turned back the clock to the Lambeau, Lombardi and Dan Devine eras, pulverizing one of the game's top defensive lines with an otherwise-makeshift offensive line and running backs Alex Green, Ryan Grant and DuJuan Harris.
Their productivity - seven runs, 59 yards without a pass from the NFL's current MVP - made Packers fans think they were seeing Skoronski, Thurston, Bowman, Kramer and Gregg blocking for Paul Horning, Jim Taylor and Elijah Pitts.
That's how dominant the Packers' run game was in the second half - a total opposite from how Detroit owned the game's first 30 minuets.
"The Lions came out, had the game plan, the might on both sides of the line, they were dominating in the first half," explained Larrivee.
"For the Packers to get that thing turned, was really remarkable. It was remarkable they were only down four points at halftime after being dominated in the first half."
Green Bay trailed 14-10, and the game was only that close because the Lions committed two drive-ending turnovers that allowed the Packers to get back into it.
The Daniels touchdown was the second of those turnovers. The first, a Sam Shields interception in Packers territory, was the first.
"I thought the Shields takeaway was big. The Lions were on the drive. Though the Packers did not score off that take away, it turned away the Lions on a promising drive."
Finishing drives, and finishing games which start off promising, has been a problem for Detroit all season long.
"I don't know how to explain it. The Lions have the firepower and people where they could win a lot of games," explained Larrivee.
"There are some teams that know how to win, some teams that don't."
As was proven again Sunday, the Packers often do. Doing that has put the Packers one win away from the NFC North championship.