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Detroit Lions Break 10-year Thanksgiving Day Drought, Beat Green Bay Packers

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Detroit Lions Break 10-year Thanksgiving Day Drought, Beat Green Bay Packers
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Ndamukong Suh and the defensive line dominated the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day.

COMMENTARY | A lot of "finally" moments are happening for the Detroit Lions (7-5) this season.

They beat the Washington Redskins in Washington for the first time in franchise history, Matthew Stafford beat the Green Bay Packers (5-6-1) for the first time in his career and the Lions won on Thanksgiving Day for the first time since 2003.

The Lions started out slow, but dominated the Packers on both sides of the ball from the second quarter on to notch a 40-10 win on Thanksgiving Day.

The Lions held the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers to 126 total yards, 56 less than Reggie Bush had by himself.

Here are four things we learned in the Lions' Week 13 win against the Packers:

Protecting the ball still an issue for Lions

On the Lions' first four drives of the game, they had three turnovers. The only drive they did not have a turnover was the one they were able to take an early 3-0 lead with a David Akers field goal.

Bush, after guaranteeing he wouldn't fumble the ball for the rest of the season, fumbled the ball inside the Green Bay 10-yard line on the first drive of the game. A Matthew Stafford fumble led to a defensive score for the Packers, and a Stafford interception stalled another drive.

Luckily for the Lions, the Packers were only able to convert on the one fumble. The other two turnovers led to punts.

The Lions had four turnovers in all, but also managed to cause three turnovers of their own. It's not often a team has four turnovers and wins by 30 points, but the offense got bailed out by its defense before the Packers could put the Lions in a big hole. More on that later.

Lions kept composure

After the first four drives, it looked like it was going to be another one of those games for the Lions. Every Lions fan knows what I'm talking about -- the game where they should be winning, but continue to shoot themselves in the foot.

However, after those first four drives, the Lions kept their composure, and put together two consecutive touchdown drives to take a 17-10 lead at halftime. They should have been up 20-10 at halftime, but Akers missed an easy 31-yard field goal.

After the Packers took a 10-3 lead in the second quarter, the Lions outscored the Packers 37-0 the rest of the game.

There is no doubt in my mind everyone and their mother thought the Lions would give this game away, but they didn't. Detroit continued to keep the Packers off balance with runs and screens all while continuing to feed the ball to Calvin Johnson. Even receivers such as Jeremy Ross, Dorin Dickerson and Kevin Ogletree contributed with big gains or touchdowns. Wide receiver depth has been something the Lions have been sorely lacking this season.

The problem in the past for the Lions has been sustaining a lead once they get it. They made sure the Packers would not be making a comeback as they held Green Bay to 93 yards in the second half. Not only did they hold the Packers scoreless, but Detroit continued to produce on offense scoring 23 points in the second half.

I've said numerous times how this isn't the same old Lions, and they proved it in front of a national audience on Thanksgiving Day. They got a lead, didn't let up and didn't give the Packers a shot at making a comeback.

Lions front four made Matt Flynn's life miserable

The last time Flynn faced the Lions, he carved them up for 480 yards and six touchdowns in a 45-41 win in 2011. On Thanksgiving Day, Flynn didn't even get 30 percent of those yards he got two years ago.

Flynn was 10 of 20 for 139 yards, threw an interception, loss two fumbles and was sacked seven times. The Lions' front four completely manhandled the Packers offensive line.

Whether it was Josh Sitton's comments about the defensive front line being scumbags that motivated them or something else, the defensive line looked as dominant as ever.

The Packers running backs ran for a total of 24 yards and quickly abandoned the running game. Ndamukong Suh wrapped up Flynn in the end zone and could have thrown him into the fifth row, but lightly placed him on the ground for a safety.

But you know, they're still a bunch of scumbags.

Tramon Williams' actions make him look like a 'scumbag'

Speaking of scumbags, Packers cornerback Tramon Williams made some bad choices against the Lions that made him look more like a scumbag than the Lions.

He pushed a referee after a Joique Bell touchdown, and appeared to kick Lions tight end Joseph Fauria later in the game.

He was no doubt frustrated with his defense's inability to stop the Lions, but you still have to be smart about the choices you make on the field. He has no excuse for those actions, just like Suh has no excuses for mistakes he has made in the past.

The Lions will have an extra-long break until they face the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 8. They hold the top spot in the NFC North again and hold their own destiny as far as making the playoffs. They look poised to win their first division title since 1993, but a lot can happen in four games in the NFL.

This season is far from over.

Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who covers the Detroit Lions for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He also is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can follow Tom on Twitter.

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