Jordan Love tames the Lions in stunning Packers upset win
Detroit, Michigan - Jordan Love led the Green Bay Packers to a Thanksgiving Day surprise win as they beat the in-form Detroit Lions 29-22 in the opening of three holiday games on Thursday.
The Lions had gone into the NFC North divisional clash with an 8-2 record and were heavily favored against a Packers team with just four wins in the season.
But Green Bay quarterback Love produced his most accomplished performance since taking over from Aaron Rodgers this season, throwing for three touchdowns and 268 yards as he connected on 22 of 32 passes.
The Packers scored three touchdowns in the opening quarter and went in 23-6 up at half-time with their offense firing and their defense applying pressure to Lions quarterback Jared Goff.
The Packers scored on the first drive of the game, with Love passing short left to Jayden Reed at the end of a five-play, 75-yard drive which began with a superb 53-yard pass to Christian Watson with the first play.
The Lions responded immediately though, with Goff connecting with Sam LaPorta with a pinpoint pass through coverage into the end-zone.
But Love, who spent three years on the bench as back-up to Rodgers, was in the mood and replied by leading his team on a ten-play, 75-yard drive which concluded with a nine-yard pass, short right to Tucker Kraft.
Green Bay Packers' Jordan Love comments on how they won the game
The game turned decisively in Green Bay's direction when Rashan Gary got to Goff, forcing a fumble as the quarterback threw, the loose ball being recovered by Jonathan Owens, who dashed 27 yards for a touchdown.
After a third-quarter field goal from Anders Carlson gave Green Bay a 17-point lead at the break, the Lions narrowed the gap in the third quarter with a six-yard rushing touchdown from David Montgomery.
But Love produced a 16-yard touchdown pass to Watson and although Detroit scored with 41 seconds remaining, with Goff finding Josh Reynolds in the end-zone, their attempt to retrieve an onside kick failed.
Love credited the growing understanding of offense for the explosive start that Green Bay's win was built upon.
"I think just the chemistry we're building on offense, just the way we work every day throughout the week, it's helping us come out here and just play fast, start fast, and just get in that rhythm and be comfortable doing it," he said.
But he also credited the defense for the pressure they put on Goff, particularly Gary who delivered three sacks and two forced fumbles.
"They're putting up a lot of pressure. RG was at the quarterback every time. They got some big-time turnovers so it was a huge performance by them," he said.
Later on Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys host NFC East divisional rivals the Washington Commanders while the San Francisco 49ers face the Seattle Seahawks.
Cover photo: Mike Mulholland/Getty Images/AFP Mike Mulholland / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP