Detroit Lions studs and duds Aidan Hutchinson Kerby Joseph
The noises inside Ford Field were joyful as the clock struck triple zeroes for the first time since Week 2.
After struggling down the stretch in close matches in recent weeks, Detroit Lions overcame the demons of a five game losing streak against the Green Bay Packers .. Though Green Bay quarterback and noted Lions tormentor Aaron Rodgers threatened multiple times, Detroit claimed a 15-9 Week 9 victory to move to 2-6. Here are the duds and studs from Sunday’s match.
STUD: S Kerby Joseph
Joseph has been a momentum-changing player for the Lions since entering the starting lineup in Week 4. In his last three games, he’s forced four turnovers, including two interceptions in Sunday’s win.
The Illinois native picked off the first of two red-zone interceptions made by Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The pass was intercepted by Derrick Barnes, a linebacker.
Later in the game, he made a crucial interception. After Jared Goff’s intercept that put Green Bay deep in Lions territory was overthrown, Joseph ran in front of Packers tight end Robert Tonyan to stop the rally.
Joseph was injured in a collision with Jeff Okudah , and was forced to leave the game. His two-interception game was the first by a Lions rookie since Devon Mitchell did so in 1986.
DUD: T Taylor Decker
Decker committed two penalties in the first half that impeded offensive progress. First, he was flagged for holding, moving the team back to its own 13-yard line and leading to an eventual punt.
Later he made a false start, making a third and-4 into a three-and-9. Although the Lions would eventually recover and convert, the drive led to another punt. He has now committed a false start for the second consecutive week.
STUD: LB Derrick Barnes
The second-year linebacker had perhaps his best game as a pro Sunday. He led the team in tackles with 12, while also adding an interception and notching both a sack and tackle for loss.
There were times when Barnes saw very little action at the position of linebacker, but he made the most out of his opportunities against the Packers. He accidentally deflected Rodgers’ pass from Detroit’s 5-yard line using his helmet. Joseph eventually intercepted it.
The next time Green Bay entered the red zone, Barnes joined forces with Kerby Joe as well as Benito Jones to take A.J.’s place. Dillon for no gain. It was on back-to-back plays within the 1-yard line. Aidan Hutchinson, a rookie, ended the drive with his first career interception.
Barnes notched a sack late in the first half, when he bullied his way through the line on a stunt and blew past Dillon to take down Rodgers.
DUD: QB Jared Goff
Goff threw two touchdowns in the red zone, but once again struggled to pilot his offense to points. He threw for just 137 yards, on 14 completions, and also threw what could’ve been a costly interception. The veteran quarterback was playing with a weak supporting cast as Josh Reynolds joined his ranks of inactives. He was not sharp with his passes and missed two fourth-down receivers.
His interception came at a poor time. He had it thrown to Jaire Alexander on his second pass in the second half. Alexander returned it to Detroit’s 23-yard line, but Joseph saved the defense with his second interception.
STUD: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
St. Brown was forced to carry most of the receiving workload with Detroit’s other two starting wideouts dealing with injuries. His stat line shows just four catches for 55 yards, but both totals led the team.
In Detroit’s first game without a tight end T.J. Hockenson ,, it was looking for ways to offset the loss in his production. Although there were some issues with the passing game, St. Brown was consistent with key catches.
DUD: CB Jeff Okudah
Okudah struggled Sunday lined up against Green Bay’s Allen Lazard. He was also beaten for a touchdown in quarter three and a long third down conversion in half one.
The Ohio State product also gave a long completion to Samori Toure in quarter four. The Packers were in the red zone after the completion, but Okudah managed to recover enough to force a fumble which almost won the game for Detroit ..
STUD: Aidan Hutchinson
Hutchinson found himself at the right place at the right time, as he earned his first career interception. The defensive play kept the Packers off the board and kept Detroit’s momentum.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.