Lions overcome early mistakes, crush Packers

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DETROIT — Matthew Stafford and Reggie Bush did their part to keep the Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers in the game.

Stafford turned the ball over a few times and Bush did once.

Instead of crumbling and losing confidence, both players bounced back and helped the Detroit Lions put together a dominant performance after an awful start.

Stafford threw three touchdown passes, including one to Calvin Johnson, Bush had 182 yards of offense and scored, and Detroit scored 37 straight points to rout Green Bay 40-10 on Thursday.

“When we get out of our own way, we can be pretty special,” Bush said.

Early on, it looked as if the Lions were going to find another way to waste chances to win a game and take control of the NFC North.

“It’s easy when you lose a couple games in a row, particularly the fashion that we lost, for people to say, ‘Here we go again,’” Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said. “I’m sure there were some people that were saying that, but they weren’t on our sideline.”

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.

“It’s a step in the right direction for us,” Stafford said. “I’m sure the turkey will taste better.”

The Packers (5-6-1) have a five-game winless streak for the first time since 2008.

“We’re not used to anything like this — not on this team,” Green Bay linebacker A.J. Hawk said. “This is something that is going to make a lot of guys on this team think, and that’s good. We need to find some answers because they just ran the ball down our throats.”

Bush responded from fumbling deep in Green Bay territory to score a 1-yard TD run that gave Detroit a 17-10 lead late in the first half. He finished with 117 yards rushing and 65 yards receiving. Bush‘ backup, Joique Bell, ran for a career-high 94 yards and a score.

The Packers, painfully, are finding out how valuable Rodgers is for the franchise. Rodgers has missed four-plus games since fracturing his left collarbone. Green Bay has tied one and lost four without him.

“We’re a wounded team that got drilled by a good football team,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.

Matt Flynn became the fourth starting quarterback for Green Bay this year and was sacked seven times, once by Ndamukong Suh for a safety.

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