DETROIT (AP) —The Detroit Lions were dominant after a shaky start and snapped a few losing streaks.
Matthew Stafford made up for some mistakes with three touchdown passes, including one to Calvin Johnson, to help Detroit score 37 straight points to beat the Green Bay Packers 40-10 on Thursday.
The Lions (7-5) had lost their last two games, five consecutive against Green Bay and a franchise-record nine straight in their annual showcase on Thanksgiving.
The Packers (5-6-1) have a five-game winless streak for the first time since 2008, showing how valuable Aaron Rodgers is for the franchise. Rodgers has missed four-plus games since fracturing his left collarbone.
Matt Flynn became the fourth starting quarterback for Green Bay this year and was sacked seven times, once by Ndamukong Suh for a safety.
Flynn didn’t fare as well as he did in his last start for Green Bay against the same opponent.
He was 10 of 20 for 139 yards with an interception and two fumbles. In the last game of the 2011 regular season, while Rodgers rested for the playoffs, Flynn threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns in a 45-41 win over Detroit.
Stafford was 22 of 35 for 330 yards with two interceptions and a fumble that was returned by Morgan Burnett to put the Packers up 10-3 early in the second quarter.
After that, Detroit did whatever it wanted on both sides of the ball.
Reggie Bush bounced back from a fumble deep in Green Bay territory with a go-ahead, 1-yard TD run to give Detroit a 17-10 lead late in the first half. He finished with 117 yards rushing and 65 yards receiving.
Detroit’s Joique Bell ran for 94 yards and a score. Johnson had six receptions for 101 yards and a 20-yard TD to put the Lions up 24-10 early in the third quarter.
The Packers have been leaning on rookie running back Eddie Lacy lately, but he was limited to 16 yards on 10 carries against one of the NFL’s best defenses against the run.
If Detroit didn’t start the game so poorly, the score could’ve been even more lopsided.
Bush ended what was a productive opening possession by fumbling at the Green Bay 6 after former USC teammate Clay Matthews knocked the ball out of his hands.
Detroit also had a first-and-goal from the Packers 7 and lost 2 yards on three plays, in part because of Brandon Pettigrew’s false start, and settled for David Akers’ field goal.
On Detroit’s next snap, Nick Perry stripped the ball away from Stafford, and Burnett’s 1-yard return gave Green Bay its last lead. Stafford ended the next drive with an interception that was thrown directly at Tramon Williams as if the quarterback didn’t see the cornerback.
The Lions gained 561 yards and gave up just 126.
Green Bay didn’t have more than 100 yards of offense until there was a little more than a minute left, then Flynn fumbled in a fitting end for a game that he and his banged-up team would like to forget.
(© 2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.)