Recap: Lions can't hang in second half, fall to Packers 35-17 on MNF

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News

The Lions threw, the Lions passed, the Lions scored, and the Lions kept Green Bay's potent offense at bay.

And then the Lions stepped onto the field for the second half.

The paper-thin defense that the 49ers tore up a week ago was out in full force during the final two quarters at Lambeau Field on Monday night, with the Packers out-scoring Detroit 21-0 to escape with a 35-17 win.

Detroit Lions Jared Goff on the field before the game.

Final leaders


DET - Jared Goff: 26/36, 246 yds., 2 TD, INT

GB - Aaron Rodgers: 22/27, 255 yds., 4 TD


DET - Jared Goff: 4 atts., 46 yds.

GB - Aaron Jones: 17 atts., 67 yds., TD


DET - T.J. Hockenson: 8 recs., 66 yds., TD

GB - Davante Adams: 8 recs

Lions come up empty in final chances to cut deficit

The Packers take over at the 45 after the interception. With 3:34 left, they'll just grind this one down.

Kylin Hill runs for 3 yards.

Timeout #2 Detroit (3:27 4th)

Hill runs for 5 yards.

Timeout #3 Detroit (3:21 4th)

Aaron Rodgers takes a shot on third down, and throws too far for his receiver. The Packers' punt is fielded by Kalif Raymond at the 9 with a fair catch.

Packers 35, Lions 17 (3:07 4th)

D'Andre Swift catches a pass for 7 yards on first down and steps out of bounds at the 16. Amon-Ra St. Brown extends the drive with a 5-yard reception to move the chains.

Goff then hits Trinity Benson on the next play, a 24-yard pickup to the Detroit 45, and Swift catches a screen from Goff and runs all the way to the Green Bay 39 — a gain of 16.

After a first-down incompletion, Swift catches a pass out of the backfield for 7 yards, and that'll take us to the two-minute warning.

Two-minute warning.

Goff misfires to Swift on third down, bringing up fourth-and-3. A pass to the end zone falls incomplete, and after a couple empty plays from the Packers, this one is over.

FINAL: Packers 35, Lions 17

Goff throws second interception in waning moments

The Packers take over at the 15, leading 35-17 with 8:21 left in the game.

Aaron Rodgers hits Davante Adams for a 15-yard gain to open the drive.

A.J. Dillon then rushes for 8 and catches an 8-yard pass on the next play, bringing up first-and-10 at the 46.

A screen pass on first down goes for no gain and Dillon is dropped for a loss of 1 on the next play.

Timeout #1 Green Bay (4:46 4th)

Charles Harris comes up with a sack on third down, the Lions' third sack of the game, and that'll force a punt.

Kalif Raymond returns the punt to the 19.

Packers 35, Lions 17 (3:56 4th)

Quintez Cephus can't haul in the first-down reception from Jared Goff, but the Lions quarterback finds room to run on the next play and takes off for a gain of 26. He's now officially Detroit's leading rusher with 46 yards on four attempts.

Goff is thrown as he lets go of the next pass, and it's intercepted by De'Vondre Campbell at the Green Bay 45.

Packers 35, Lions 17 (3:34 4th)

Another third-down mistake leaves Lions coming up empty

The Lions have their work cut out for them, taking over at the 23, down 35-17.

T.J. Hockenson comes up with a 2-yard reception on first down, a 5-yard pickup on second down and a 3-yard gain on third down to keep the chains moving.

But then the Lions take a delay of game. Jamaal Williams gets 5 yards on first down to bring up second-and-10, where Jared Goff hits Quintez Cephus for a pickup of 7 yards to the 40. Goff drops the ball while loading up to throw on third down, and he just falls on it for a loss of 10.

Jack Fox's punt is fielded with a fair catch at the 15.

Packers 35, Lions 17 (8:21 4th)

Packers get second life in red zone, go up 35-17 after fumble recovery

The Lions take over at the 25, and the snap is fumbled by Jared Goff.

The Packers recover at the 23 with four seconds left in the quarter.

A.J. Dillon rushes for 3 yards to close the third quarter.

END 3RD: Packers 28, Lions 17

Robert Tonyan catches a screen pass on second down, picking up 11 to the Detroit 9, where it'll be first-and-goal.

Adams is taken down for no gain after catching a quick screen pass and a second-down carry is stopped for a gain of 4. The third-down throw is incomplete, but Amani Oruwariye is called for pass interference (despite the ball not being catchable and no pass interference taking place).

Jones scores on the next play.

Packers 35, Lions 17 (12:42 4th)

Packers take 28-17 lead in third quarter

The Packers take over at their own 25 after the turnover on downs, leading by 4 with just over 6 minutes to go in the quarter.

Aaron Rodgers throws incomplete on first down, Aaron Jones is dropped for a loss of 4 on second down, and the Lions have too many men on the field on third down: The 14-yard completion to Randall Cobb will suffice, though, and they'll decline the penalty.

It's first-and-10 at the 35.

Jones' first-down run is called back for holding, bringing up first-and-20. Rookie cornerback Jerry Jacobs bails the Packers out with about as blatant of a pass interference as they come.

Rodgers throws into double coverage on first down and Tracy Walker nearly comes up with a game-changing interception, but Davante Adams makes a nice play to bat the ball away. The second-down pass to Cobb goes for 3 yards, and the third-down attempt goes for 9. It'll be first down at the 38 of Detroit.

Injury update: Lions CB Ifeatu Melifonwu is questionable to return with a thigh injury.

Rodgers is now doing Rodgers things, throwing a quick pass to Adams for a pickup of 5 and then getting it to him downfield for a gain of 22 to the Detroit 11.

A holding penalty will set the Packers back, first-and-20, but a holding penalty on the Lions the following play will make it an automatic first-and-10 at the 11 once again.

Jones is stuffed for no gain by Tracy Walker, but has a clear lane to scamper in after catching a second-down pass out of the backfield. The Packers are up by two scores.

Packers 28, Lions 17 (0:07 3rd)

Lions turn ball over on downs in Green Bay territory

The Lions will have their first possession of the third quarter, taking over at the 25, down 21-17.

Jared Goff fakes the handoff and takes off for a 17-yard run down the left sideline. It'll be first-and-10 at the 42.

Goff finds Jamaal Williams on a quick throw on second down to pick up 6. A pitch to D'Andre Swift is good for 2 yards, bringing up third-and-1. Goff has his man, and it's T.J. Hockenson for a pickup of 15 yards to the Green Bay 34.

Goff makes his worst throw of the night on the next play, but fortunately for the Lions it lands out of bounds near the end zone. The Lions are unable to get a snap off in time and are forced to call a timeout.

Timeout #1 Detroit (7:27 3rd)

Swift is wrapped up quickly on second down, a gain of only 2. The third-down throw to Goff is caught, but he comes up short to bring up fourth-and-1: The Lions are going for it, and Goff's throw to Cephus is just a bit out of the reach of his receiver.

That'll be a turnover on downs.

Packers 21, Lions 17 (5:53 3rd)

Packers take 21-17 lead to open second half

The Packers will take over at their own 13 to start the half, trailing 17-14, after a holding penalty on the return by Kylin Hill.

Aaron Jones rushes for 3 yards on first down, then picks up 10, then 8. It's second-and-2: Michael Brockers comes around the edge and sacks Aaron Rodgers for a loss of 10 yards to bring up third-and-12. 

Rodgers takes a shot deep to Davante Adams in single coverage, and Ifeatu Melifonwu just has no chance. It's a perfect throw, perfect catch, and it'll be a gain of 50 to the Detroit 26.

Injury alert: Melifonwu was hurt on the play and is being tended to by the training staff.

Second-year corner Bobby Price is in for Melifonwu, and we'll probably start to see that double-safety look a bit more as this one rolls on. Green Bay had a lot of success throwing underneath and pounding the rock.

Aaron Jones rushes for 3, Rodgers rushes for 1, and then hits Robert Tonyan over the middle for a 22-yard touchdown pass. Packers have their first lead of the night.

Packers 21, Lions 17 (10:26 3rd)

First half leaders


DET - Jared Goff: 13/16, 137 yds., 2 TD

GB - Aaron Rodgers: 8/10, 75 yds., 2 TD


DET - D'Andre Swift: 6 atts., 32 yds.,

GB - Aaron Jones: 9 atts., 49 yds.


DET - Quintez Cephus: 3 recs., 56 yds., TD

GB - Davante Adams: 3 recs., 39 yds.

Lions regain lead before halftime

The Lions take over at their own 41 after a really nice return by Godwin Igwebuike.

D'Andre Swift takes the first-down carry for a gain of 12 yards and into Green Bay territory at the 47.

Swift gets it again on the next play, reaches the 45 with a gain of 2 as the clock passes under a minute. T.J. Hockenson gets to the 25-yard-line with a 20-yard reception, and the Lions will call their first timeout of the half.

Timeout #1 Detroit (0:24 2nd)

Williams catches a screen pass, and it doesn't help the Lions much. It's second-and-9 after a gain of 1.

Timeout #2 Detroit (0:17 2nd)

Goff has time on second down, tries to go over the top to Amon-Ra St. Brown, but the ball goes right between his hands. It's third-and-9 at the 24. Goff again tries to go over the top to Quintez Cephus, and he almost comes down with it with one hand — but can't.

Timeout #1 Green Bay (0:07 2nd)

Austin Seibert's kick from 43 yards out is good.

Lions 17, Packers 14 (0:03 2nd)

The Packers take a knee at halftime.

END 2ND: Lions 17, Packers 14

Packers tie Lions at 14 before halftime

Kylin Hill takes the kick return for a gain of 41 yards to the Detroit 44.

A.J. Dillon rushes for 4 yards on first down, and Aaron Jones shoots up the gut for a pickup of 8 yards on the next play. That'll give Green Bay a first down at the Detroit 44.

The Packers gain 6 yards on each of their next two plays, then handoff to Jones for a gain of 9 yards to the 23, where it'll be second-and-1. Jones keeps the chains moving with a 5-yard run.

After Dillon goes up the middle for 4 yards, Rodgers dishes to Jones on a screen pass that'll pick up 13 yards to the Detroit 1.

Two-minute warning.

Rodgers misses a first-down throw, but makes no mistake on a quick dish to Jones for the touchdown.

Lions 14, Packers 14 (1:52 2nd)

Lions take 14-7 lead on Packers in second quarter

Detroit takes over at its own 39 after the punt. We're all tied at 7 with 12:21 to go in the second quarter.

Jamaal Williams rushes for 6 on first down, and Jason Cabinda moves the sticks with a 4-yard gain on second down. 

Williams rushes for 3 yards on the next play, and after the pocket collapses on Jared Goff on second down, he runs for a gain of 2 — but as he falls to the turf, his face mask is grabbed by De'Vondre Campbell, so it'll be first-and-10 at the 30.

Williams picks up 8 yards on first down and a 3-yard gain from Swift moves the chains, bringing up first-and-10 at the Green Bay 19.

Kalif Raymond catches a 10-yard pass on the next play, setting up another first-down situation. First-and-goal at the 9.

Williams gets a yard on first down. Goff throws to Hockenson in the corner of the end zone on second down, and it's a perfect pass and catch. Hockenson scores to put the Lions back on top.

Lions 14, Packers 7 (7:22 2nd)

Lions force three-and-out with third-down sack

The Packers take over at their own 18.

Ifeatu Melifonwu gets the first pass breakup of his career on first down, as the ball hits his helmet while defending Marquez Valdes-Scantling down the sideline. Melifonwu makes the second-down tackle on Davante Adams after a gain of 5.

The Lions get penetration on third down, and Nick Williams will get credit for the sack as Rodgers falls to the turf for a loss of 8.

The ensuing punt goes out of bounds at the Detroit 39.

Lions 7, Packers 7 (12:21 2nd)

Lions forced to punt after costly mistakes

Detroit takes over after the Packers touchdown from its own 25.

Amon-Ra St. Brown gets open on first down for a 6-yard gain. D'Andre Swift takes the halfback draw up the gut for a gain of 8, and it'll be first down at the Detroit 39.

Goff's next throw is to T.J. Hockenson for a gain of 4. Swift makes it third-and-1 with a 5-yard run on first down. The handoff to Jamaal Williams is good for 2, and they'll keep the chains moving. First-and-10 at midfield.

Hockenson is flagged for a false start and Penei Sewell takes a holding penalty, so it'll now be first-and-25 at the 35. 

The last play of the first quarter goes for 5 yards to Quintez Cephus.

END 1ST: Lions 7, Packers 7

Goff completes an 11-yard pass to Swift that'll make the third down a manageable third-and-9. The pocket collapses on Goff on third down, he's hit while trying to let go of the pass, and the officials rule it a fumble. His hand was clearly coming forward, and it'll be ruled incomplete after review.

That's his first incompletion of the game, and it'll be made worse by the fact it's now a grounding penalty. For what it's worth, both Mannings disagree with the call.

Lions 7, Packers 7 (14:12 2nd)

Packers respond with long touchdown drive, tie game at 7

The Packers will take over at their own 25 after a touchback. The Lions lead 7-0.

Aaron Jones goes for a gain of 3 on first down, then makes a nice cutback to get 6 yards on the next play. He finds the left-side edge on third down and picks up 7. Over on the ManningCast, Peyton Manning is imploring the Packers to keep running the ball. Something to watch for.

They do not follow Manning's advice, but it works out alright: Aaron Rodgers finds Davante Adams for a gain of 18 to the Detroit 41, where they'll have it first-and-10.

Alim McNeil chases Rodgers out of bounds after a gain of 1 on second down, but the Lions are flagged for hands to the face on Austin Bryant. That seems...ominous. It's first-and-10 at the 35.

McNeil gets A.J. Dillon on second down after a gain of 3. Dillon is flagged for false start, but a screen to Robert Tonyan goes for a gain of 19 to the Detroit 18.

Jones rushes for 9, then gets 5 to set up first-and-goal at the 5.

Jones rushes for a yard on first down, and punches it in with a 4-yard touchdown reception.

Lions 7, Packers 7 (3:45 1st)

Detroit Lions' Quintez Cephus catches a touchdown pass in front of Green Bay Packers' Eric Stokes during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Cephus gives Lions 7-0 lead on big play, touchdown catch

The Lions have won the toss, and would like the ball first. Detroit is rocking a smooth all-white look.

The Lions will take over at the 25 after a touchback.

Jamaal Williams, back in his old stomping grounds, gets the first carry of the game, and he's stuffed after a gain of only 1. Kalif Raymond catches a pass on second down and heads out of bounds after a gain of 8. 

The pocket stays clean for an eternity on third down, and Quintez Cephus eventually finds some separation for a big reception of 46 yards to the Green Bay 20. He probably got away with a push-off there, but it's first-and-10.

Goff throws to T.J. Hockenson for a gain of 9, then hands to Williams for a 4-yard gain up the middle. It's first-and-goal at the 7.

D'Andre Swift gets his first carry of the game, only gets 1. Goff then has all day to throw on the next play and finds Quintez Cephus. The Lions are up by a score.

Lions 7, Packers 0 (10:36 1st)


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Lions at Packers

► Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. Monday, Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin

► TV/radio: ESPN/97.1

► Records: Lions 0-1, Packers 0-1

► Line: Packers by 11½