FIRST DOWN: MONTGOMERY'S BIG NIGHT
Running back David Montgomery is in his fifth season in the NFC North division after starting his career with Chicago and signing with Detroit as a free agent this offseason. In his previous four seasons in Chicago, Montgomery had never won a football game against the Green Bay Packers.
In his first try with Detroit Thursday night he not only beat the Packers, he was a big catalyst behind the win with 121 yards on 32 carries with three rushing touchdowns in Detroit's 34-20 victory.
"It just felt real different coming in with the group of guys I'm with," Montgomery said after the win. "I'm blessed to come out here with these guys and get the W. That's big for me. I can tell my son I beat the Packers."
Montgomery was questionable coming into the game after missing last week's win over Atlanta with a thigh bruise suffered Week 2 vs. Seattle. He carried the ball 32 times Thursday night as the Lions rushed 43 times for a total of 211 yards for a 4.9 average per rush and those three Montgomery touchdowns.
"He does get better throughout the game," quarterback Jared Goff said of Montgomery. "He gets better the more he gets hit and sees the holes and sees what's going on. He did get better throughout the game."
Montgomery is the first Lions player to rush for 100-plus yards and three touchdowns in a game since James Stewart in 2000.
SECOND DOWN: DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE
For the first 30 minutes Thursday night Detroit's defense played about as perfect as a defense can.
The possession chart for the Packers in the first half went: Field goal (set up by a Lions INT at their own 16), punt, punt, interception, punt and punt. Green Bay didn't record a first down until late in the second quarter and that was thanks to a Lions encroachment penalty. The Packers had just 23 total yards of offense in the half and were 1-for-6 on third down.
"It was a perfect moment," Lions defensive lineman John Cominsky said. "Both 2-1 fighting for the division. There was no better time than for our defense to show up how we did in the first half."
Everyone at Lambeau Field knew Green Bay would make a little run in the second half, and they did, but Detroit's defense never let the lead reach less than 10 points. They finished with two interceptions (both by cornerback Jerry Jacobs) and also had five sacks after recording seven last week vs. Atlanta.
"Our defense continues to play well," head coach Dan Campbell said. "I thought they were a force today."
Give a lot of credit to defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn for the plan he put together and for his players on that side of the ball for executing it so well.
THIRD DOWN: NFC NORTH STANDINGS
It's been too long since the Detroit Lions have won a division title. They've never won the NFC North and haven't won a division title since taking the NFC Central back in 1993.
There's still a lot of season to play and they don't give out division titles for the first month of football, but Thursday was big for this Lions team to get a division win on the road in Green Bay to sit at 3-1 and in first place all by themselves. With Chicago and Minnesota fighting to avoid 0-4 starts this week, the Lions not only have a one-game lead in the division, but they look like the team to beat after the first month of the season.
"It's a great division win," Goff said. "The ones on the road are the hardest and in the division, they almost feel like they are worth more. It's good to get these ones. On a short week we get the long break now. It's a lot of fun."
View photos from the Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers Week 4 game at Lambeau Field on Thursday, Sept. 28 in Green Bay, WI.
FOURTH DOWN: FAN SUPPORT
Asked to describe the sea of blue that invaded Lambeau Field Thursday night, Campbell had a perfect response.
"It's pretty cool. We've got a fanbase," he said.
"We go out to Arrowhead and there's a big fanbase. We come out here and – I remember last year looking and seeing them and once again early in the fourth late third you started hearing them. They were overpowering the stadium. It's awesome. You feel like there's a little piece of home no matter where you go."
There had to be at least 15,000 Lions fans in attendance at Lambeau Field Thursday to see their team lay the smack down on the Packers. They were energized and loud, and made their presence felt in the second half. Kudos to them for bringing a little piece of Detroit to Green Bay.
"They are the best, man," Goff said of Lions fans. "They showed out tonight like they did on that Sunday night game last year. That's a feeling unlike any other when you're walking off that field and they are cheering like that on the road. Especially when you think about it from where we've come. It's a pretty good feeling and we have to keep winning for them."