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Packers bounce back, whip Lions

by Steve Rogers | September 21, 2021 at 2:02 a.m.
Green Bay Packers' Aaron Jones celebrates his touchdown run during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Jones caught three of Aaron Rodgers' four touchdown passes and rushed for a fourth score, and the Green Bay Packers had a welcome return to normal after an embarrassing opening-week loss, beating the Detroit Lions 35-17 on Monday night.

Green Bay (1-1) won its ninth consecutive home opener. The Packers, who got thumped 38-3 by the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, looked more like the team that went 13-3 in each of Coach Matt LaFleur's first two seasons.

Rodgers went 22 of 27 for 255 yards and surpassed John Elway for 10th all-time in career passing yards with 51,633. Rodgers has followed up each of the Packers' past five regular-season losses by throwing four touchdown passes and no interceptions in his next game.

Jones became the first Packers running back to catch three touchdown passes in a game since Andy Uram against the Chicago Cardinals in 1942. He had 17 carries for 67 yards and 6 catches for 48 yards.

Detroit's Jared Goff completed 13 of his first 14 passes but struggled the rest of the way as the Lions (0-2) blew a 17-14 halftime lead. Goff finished 26 of 36 for 246 yards. He connected on touchdown passes to Quintez Cephus and T.J. Hockenson but also threw an interception and lost a fumble.

Green Bay scored touchdowns on its first three second-half possessions to seize control.

The Packers faced third and 12 on their opening series of the second half when Rodgers threw a 50-yard completion to Davante Adams, who finished with eight catches for 121 yards.

Lions rookie cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu injured his thigh on the play, further weakening a secondary that already lost cornerback Jeff Okudah to a ruptured Achilles tendon in Detroit's season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Green Bay dominated the rest of the way.

Rodgers capped that drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Robert Tonyan. Detroit's next series ended when Goff threw an incompletion on fourth and 1 from the Green Bay 25.

Rodgers threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jones to extend the Packers' lead to 28-17.

Green Bay's Krys Barnes recovered Goff's fumble at the Detroit 23 on the Lions' next snap. Jones scored on a 1-yard run and that was that.

The Packers activated wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown from the practice squad, giving him the chance to play against his younger brother. The Lions selected receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown out of Southern California in the fourth round of this year's draft. Amon-Ra had the better stat line with three receptions for 18 yards, while Equanimeous had one catch for no gain.

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Jones celebrates his touchdown run with Allen Lazard during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Green Bay Packers' Aaron Jones celebrates his touchdown run with Allen Lazard during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Green Bay Packers' Aaron Jones gets past Detroit Lions' Jamie Collins for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Green Bay Packers' Aaron Jones gets past Detroit Lions' Jamie Collins for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Green Bay Packers' Davante Adams gets past Detroit Lions' Jamie Collins during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Green Bay Packers' Davante Adams gets past Detroit Lions' Jamie Collins during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Green Bay Packers' Randall Cobb catches a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Green Bay Packers' Randall Cobb catches a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Green Bay Packers' Randall Cobb reacts to a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Green Bay Packers' Randall Cobb reacts to a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Detroit Lions' Tracy Walker III stops Green Bay Packers' Randall Cobb after a catch during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Detroit Lions' Tracy Walker III stops Green Bay Packers' Randall Cobb after a catch during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Green Bay Packers' Davante Adams catches a long pass in front of Detroit Lions' Ifeatu Melifonwu during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Green Bay Packers' Davante Adams catches a long pass in front of Detroit Lions' Ifeatu Melifonwu during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Green Bay Packers' Robert Tonyan catches a touchdown pass between Detroit Lions' Tracy Walker III and Alex Anzalone during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Green Bay Packers' Robert Tonyan catches a touchdown pass between Detroit Lions' Tracy Walker III and Alex Anzalone during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Print Headline: Packers bounce back, whip Lions

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