Defensive line domination: It was the type of performance Detroit had been waiting all season for. The Lions had built this defensive line, with Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley as their anchors, figuring this type of game would be what they would see with regularity.
It hasn't been, though. Detroit saw increased protections from opponents all season long, something that has prevented the Lions from getting to quarterbacks. Not on Thursday, when the entirety of the defensive line showed up. Perhaps most impressive was Ziggy Ansah, the rookie defensive end who sacked Matt Flynn twice. He routinely beat his man and caused havoc for the Packers.
Turnovers still a problem: Detroit's win was good. The Lions' defense was suffocating. But Detroit put a lot of pressure on its defense in the first half. The Lions had three turnovers on their first four drives, including one in Green Bay's red zone and one that turned into a fumble-six for the Packers. Against almost any other team in the league on Thursday, that could have been disastrous for Detroit. It is the third straight game the Lions have lost the turnover margin and fourth time in the past five games.
In the past four games, Detroit has turned the ball over 17 times. The Lions have forced only four turnovers during the same stretch. The turnover issues over the past four games have sent the Lions' turnover margin plummeting as they now have eight more turnovers than they have forced.
“We really need to fix the turnover issue,” receiver Kris Durham said. “That's for sure. We really need to fix that up.”
The Lions haven't had a positive turnover margin since Week 6 against Cleveland, when the Lions were plus-1 in turnovers.
About those playoff chances: They are very much alive for the Lions right now. While it is more likely still going to be division title or bust for Detroit, a divisional title is a decent proposition now. The Lions all but eliminated the Packers on Thursday, being two games up in the win column with four games to play. At least until Sunday, the Lions have a game-and-a-half lead on Chicago (because of the season sweep) as well.
Kicking issues: David Akers missed a field goal. Sam Martin had two kicks sail out of bounds in a dome. Luckily for the Lions, those miscues didn't hurt Detroit much, but in a closer game they could have been critical. They were especially rare gaffes for Martin, who said after the game “something wasn't right.” He was trying to place the ball in the corner to prevent any returns and ended up pulling it. Just not a strong day for the Lions' kickers.