Bob Wojnowski, Justin Rogers and John Niyo break down the Detroit Lions' 31-23 victory over the Green Bay Packers. The Detroit News


Detroit — Justin Rogers of The Detroit News grades the Detroit Lions' performance in Sunday’s 31-23 victory over the Green Bay Packers.


Matthew Stafford’s moderate stat line, 14 completions for 183 yards, doesn’t account for two long throws wiped out by penalty. For the most part, he made good decisions and accurate throws, particularly in the red zone, where he had struggled to this point. Grade: B+

Running backs

Kerryon Johnson was kept him check through much of the game — gaining 40 yards on his first and last carry and 30 on the 10 in between — but his 24-yarder before he was removed from the game with an ankle injury set up a critical momentum-saving touchdown in the second half.

LeGarrette Blount plodded to 22 yards on 12 touches, but that included two 3rd-and-1 conversions and a pair of 1-yard touchdowns. Grade: B+

Wide receivers/tight ends

Kenny Golladay was outstanding in this one, and was robbed of a bigger day when his 46-yard touchdown in the opening quarter was wiped from the books by a penalty committed by Frank Ragnow. Golladay still managed 98 yards and a score, with his 60-yard catch late in the first quarter being one for the highlight reel.

Marvin Jones also had a long completion taken away by a penalty, and had a second bomb come free from his grasp when attempting to make the diving grab. But his lone catch, an 8-yard touchdown in the final minute of the first half, was as difficult as they come. The downside with his performance is he was flagged three times, including twice for offensive pass interference.

As for Golden Tate, none of his five catches were as impressive as his lead block on Blount’s second touchdown run. Grade: B

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Offensive line

The line deserves credit for getting the push needed in short-yardage situations, but Stafford was under duress more than normal, getting sacked three times in the victory. More bothersome were the penalties, which as mentioned, negated a pair of catches totaling 85 yards and touchdown. Kenny Wiggins also false started after the 2-minute warning in the fourth quarter, when the Lions were attempting to run out the clock. Grade: C-

Defensive line

The pressure didn’t always arrive to Aaron Rodgers in a hurry, but when it did, it was impactful. Romeo Okwara recorded a pair of sacks and forced both a fumble and an intentional grounding. Rookie Da’Shawn Hand also forced a fumble, and equally as impressive, recovered the loose ball by crawling over the body of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Grade: B+

More: Quick reads: Lions' Okwara, Hand terrorize Rodgers

More: Lions injuries: Johnson 'could've' returned, Agnew to be evaluated


Jarrad Davis had a hit-and-miss day in coverage, recording eight tackles. Christian Jones had a pair of tackles, including one for loss, while Devon Kennard maintained his sack-a-game pace by dropping Rodgers in the third quarter.  Grade: B


The Lions had plenty of good things happening in the secondary. Glover Quin and Quandre Diggs were tackle machines, racking up 23 stops between them, while Nevin Lawson had a pair of breakups on long passes.

On the flip side, Darius Slay was surprisingly shaky, struggling to stick with Packers receiver Davante Adams in the open field. He caught nine balls for 140 yards in the loss. There was also a miscommunication between Slay and the recently promoted Cre’Von LeBlanc that led to a touchdown. The main roster newcomer struggled overall, missing multiple tackles. Grade: C

Special teams

Matt Prater missed a 55-yard field goal, but that’s never an easy task. The unit also allowed a long kickoff return in the first half, only to be bailed out by a Packers penalty. Otherwise, the group was pretty darn good. Punter Sam Martin routinely pinned the Packers inside the 20 and the coverage units managed to both down one and recover a muff inside the 5.  Grade: B+


The offense had a healthy balance and it felt like Johnson’s playing time ticked up this week, despite just a few more touches. The red zone offense corrected its season-long struggles, at least for the day, with the team going 4-4 with its opportunities.

The defense played a lot of bend-don’t-break, but continued to thrive on third downs, limiting the Packers to a 3-10 success rate. Unfortunately, that didn’t carry over to fourth down, where the Lions allowed conversions on both attempts.

Coach Matt Patricia made good use of his challenge flag, getting a long completion to Detroit’s 1-yard line overturned in the fourth quarter, likely preventing a touchdown. Grade: B

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers