Rodgers tosses 4 TDs as Packers hang on to beat Lions

Aaron Rodgers tossed four first-half touchdowns, and the Green Bay Packers (2-1) held on for a 34-27 home victory over the Detroit Lions (1-2). Here is what you need to know:

  1. The Aaron Rodgers-Jordy Nelson connection looked like its 2014 form in the first half. Nelson got open with ease against Lions defensive backs early, grabbing six of his seven first-half targets for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Rodgers diced up an undermanned Detroit defense, throwing four touchdowns on 12-of-18 passing through two quarters for 174 yards. Mike McCarthy then pulled his foot off the gas with a 31-10 lead allowing the Lions to make it interesting down the stretch. Rodgers completed just three second-half passes on six attempts. Nelson received zero second-half targets. Packers receivers again struggled to get separation against a Lions defense sitting back in coverage.
  1. Despite the win, it's hardly a game that will quell Cheesehead Nation. Not only did the offense get ultra conservative, Dom Capers' defense got torched by Matthew Stafford. Sans Clay Matthews, Sam Shields and Morgan Burnett, the Packers' D allowed wide open passes receivers the final three quarters. Stafford targeted Marvin Jones, tight end Eric Ebron and running back Theo Riddick 25 times, completing 18 to the trio. Packers linebackers and safeties couldn't stay with Ebron over the middle. Stafford averaged 9.4 yards per attempt on 41 passes. After getting beat by Sam Bradford last week, the young Packers secondary continues to go through growing pains.
  1. Marvin Jones was so wide open that I wondered at certain points if Packers players knew he was an eligible receiver. Jones was sublime on sideline targets. There is no question he is the Lions No. 1 receiver. Jones caught six passes for 205 yards (34.2 average) and two touchdowns. His 205 yards receiving were the most by a Detroit receiver not named Calvin Johnson since Week 13, 1989 (Richard Johnson, 248 yards), per NFL Research. Hopefully, Marvin wasn't sitting on your fantasy bench.
  1. Eddie Lacy was the Packers' offense in the second half. The bruising back plowed over Lions second-level defenders. Lacy isn't getting back to his 2014 self, but looks much sprier than 2015 and displayed stamina down the stretch with 11 second-half carries. The back's 103 rushing yards broke a streak of seven straight games (including playoffs) under the 100-yard plateau.
  1. It's difficult to take too much from the Packers' four-touchdown day considering they faced a Lions defense decimated by injury. Without Ziggy Ansah and DeAndre Levy, Detroit got next to no pressure on Rodgers. We noted this summer that the Lions' lack of depth made them one of the shakiest defenses in the NFL. Without their stars, that certainly proved true in the first half. The Packers will need to be better against the Giants next week to quiet the rumblings.
  1. Packers tight end Jared Cook exited the game with an ankle injury. NFL Network's Stacey Dales reported that Cook left the locker room post-game with a walking boot on his right foot, using crutches to stabilize.
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