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Tom Oates: Grading Packers' performance in last-second win over Lions
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Tom Oates: Grading Packers' performance in last-second win over Lions

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Packers celebrate win over Lions

Green Bay linebackers Blake Martinez, from left, Oren Burks and Za'Darius Smith celebrate the Packers' last-second win over the Detroit Lions with a Lambeau Leap. 

Wisconsin State Journal columnist Tom Oates grades the Green Bay Packers' performance in their 23-22 win over the Detroit Lions on Monday night at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. 

Offense: C-plus

Aaron Jones fumbled and dropped a touchdown pass, but Jamaal Williams covered for him nicely. Williams runs hard and packs a punch. When Marquez Valdes-Scantling briefly left with an injury, the Packers had four undrafted players at wide receiver. Allen Lazard made some huge catches in the second half. Yes, Allen Lazard.

Defense: C-plus

Kevin King's start was as bad as it gets. He gave up a 66-yard flea-flicker pass on Detroit's first play and a 58-yard pass on the Lions' first play of their second drive. At least the defense held the Lions to field goals — five in all. Otherwise, it would have been a blowout. Dean Lowry was really strong against the run.

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Packers 23, Lions 22
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Packers 23, Lions 22
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Packers 23, Lions 22
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Packers 23, Lions 22
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Packers 23, Lions 22

Special teams: C-minus

Detroit's Jamal Agnew returned the opening kickoff from 5 yards deep in the end zone, a sign of what the Lions think of Green Bay's kickoff coverage. Darrius Shepherd misjudged a punt, tried to catch it late and gave the ball back to Detroit. Mason Crosby was money on three field-goal attempts, including the game-winner.

Coaching: C

Matt LaFleur's script was sabotaged by holding penalties, dropped passes and a fumble. Mike Pettine's defense stopped the run, but at what cost? Wide receivers twice got behind King early and a screen pass erupted for 20 yards when the Packers had no one on that side. Pettine's third-down blitzes kept getting home.

Overall: C-plus

Due largely to their own doing, the Packers started poorly for the first time all season. Lucky to be down by only 13-10 at halftime, they couldn't string enough good plays together until the final drive, never leading until the game's final play. Their 3-0 division record and a 5-1 overall record are mighty impressive.

Contact Tom Oates at toates@madison.com

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