- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Detroit Lions
- Matthew Stafford
By Dana Gauruder, The Sports Xchange November 28, 2013 6:19 PM
Detroit Lions didn't need an opponent to call them dirty names to get riled up. It just seemed that way in their biggest victory over NFC North rival Green Bay in 40 years.DETROIT -- The
Packers guard Josh Sitton called Lions players and coaches dirtbags and other derogatory names during a radio interview earlier in the week. The Lions did all the talking once the game started. Quarterback Matthew Stafford passed for 330 yards and three scores as the Lions overcame four turnovers and snapped a nine-game Thanksgiving Day losing streak by thumping the Packers 40-10 at Ford Field. The Lions, who have committed 17 turnovers in the last five games, outgained the Packers 561-126 in total yards. Detroit ended a five-game losing streak to Green Bay and achieved its largest margin of victory over the Packers since a 34-0 win on Oct. 28, 1973. "I don't know if you take it personally, but you sure as heck hear it," Stafford said of Sitton's comments. "There's a fine line between making sure it motivates you but also making sure it doesn't step over the bound on the field. They're motivated enough. Guys are motivated to go out and play well every week. We don't need any extra help." Stafford got plenty of help from his running game and his defense. Running back Reggie Bush had 182 all-purpose yards and a touchdown and backup Joique Bell added 94 rushing yards and a score as the Lions rushed for 241 yards. The defense sacked Green Bay quarterback Matt Flynn seven times, including Ndamukong Suh's end zone takedown for a safety, and forced three turnovers. Green Bay's offensive line, including Sitton, couldn't do anything to stop the flow of pass rushers and tacklers in the backfield. "They pretty much didn't have anything to say," Detroit defensive tackle C.J. Mosley said. "I wouldn't, either. You have to put points on the board to say anything." Wide receiver Calvin Johnson caught six passes for 101 yards and a score as the Lions (7-5) moved a half-game ahead of Chicago for first place in the NFC North. Wide receiver Jeremy Ross, who was waived by Green Bay in September, scored his first NFL touchdown on a 5-yard Stafford pass during the second quarter. Flynn completed 10 of 20 passes for 139 yards. In his only previous start against the Lions on New Year's DAy 2012, Flynn threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns, both franchise records. "They might have a lot of the same guys, but they're a different defense," Flynn said. "They're flying around, creating havoc and trying to take away a lot of stuff we're doing. As a quarterback, we've all had those kind of games. Offensively, when you can't get in a rhythm and you're getting off the field too much, it makes for a tough day and that's what happened." The Packers (5-6-1) are 0-4-1 since starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone. Green Bay safety Morgan Burnett recovered two fumbles, one for a touchdown. "Right now, everyone's upset and embarrassed a little bit, especially myself," Flynn said. "It's one of the worst games I've been a part of, but we're still optimistic. We just have to look at it as one of those days and put it behind us." Johnson scored on a 20-yard pass play to give Detroit a 24-10 lead with 9:08 remaining in the third quarter. Suh wrestled Flynn out of the end zone in the final minute of the quarter to extend the Lions' advantage to 16. Bell scored on a 1-yard plunge with 13:06 left. Stafford's third scoring pass was a 20-yarder to wide receiver Kevin Ogletree, who made a one-handed grab. Bush set the tone for Detroit's bumbling ways by coughing up the ball inside the Packers' 10-yard line on his team's first possession. But his 1-yard touchdown run with 1:22 left in the half put the Lions on top 17-10. "I was really down on myself early, just disappointed that I fumbled," Bush said. "In the playoffs or bigger games, that will get you beat. But we finished strong and that's the biggest thing we can take away from this. When we get out of our own way, we can be pretty special." NOTES: Lions WR Calvin Johnson has caught a touchdown pass in five straight Thanksgiving Day games. ... Packers WR Jordy Nelson, who had at least three receptions in every game, was held to two receptions for 14 yards. ... Packers C Evan Dietrich-Smith suffered a knee injury during the second quarter and did not return. ... Lions C Dominic Raiola played in his 200th career game, tying him with LB Wayne Walker (1958-72) for the second most in franchise history. K Jason Hanson (`1992-2012) holds the franchise record with 327 games. ... Detroit starting CB Chris Houston (foot) was inactive.