Aaron Jones of the Green Bay Packers celebrates his touchdown run during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions. Photo / AP
While celebrating one of his four touchdowns, Aaron Jones lost a necklace he wears with a small black soccer ball containing some of his late father’s ashes.
That’s about the only thing that went wrong for Jones and the Green Bay Packers versus the Detroit Lions.
Jones caught three of Aaron Rodgers’ four touchdown passes and rushed for a fourth score, and the Packers had a welcome return to par, dominating the second half in a 35-17 victory over the rival of the Lions division on Monday night.
The Packers, who were beaten 38-3 by the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, were more like the team that went 13-3 in each of the coach’s first two seasons. Matt LaFleur. Green Bay (1-1) won their ninth straight home opener.
“I think there’s, even more now than when I first started playing, there’s so much overreaction going on week after week,” Rodgers said. “So it’s good to go out and have a good performance and get rid of the trolls for at least a week.”
Jones became the first Packers running back to catch three touchdowns in a game since Andy Uram against the Chicago Cardinals in 1942. He had 17 carries for 67 yards and six passes for 48 yards.
As for the missing necklace, he hoped to see it again.
“I think the ground crew is about to go out there and watch now,” Jones said. “But if there was one place to lose him, this is where my dad wanted me to lose him, so I know he’s smiling.”
Jones’ father, Alvin Jones Sr., passed away on April 8.
“My dad always taught me as a man, it’s how you react to adversity, how you react is what really makes a man,” Jones said. “I think we went out and did a great job of responding. We played well. We played at a high level.”
Rodgers scored 22 of 27 for 255 yards and passed John Elway for 10th all-time in passing yards with 51,633. Rodgers has followed each of the Packers’ last five regular season losses with four touchdown passes and no interception in his next game.
Jared Goff of Detroit completed 13 of his first 14 assists but struggled the rest of the way as the Lions (0-2) lost a 17-14 lead at halftime. Goff finished 26 of 36 for 246 yards. He connected on touchdown passes to Quintez Cephus and TJ Hockenson, but also threw an interception and lost a fumble.
Green Bay scored touchdowns on his first three possessions in the second half to gain control.
“We kept shooting ourselves in the foot there,” Goff said.
The Packers faced the third and 12th in their first series of the second half when Rodgers completed a 50-yard pass to Davante Adams, who finished the night with eight catches for 121 yards.
Lions rookie cornerback Ifetu Melifonwu injured his thigh on the play, weakening a secondary who previously lost cornerback Jeff Okudah to a ruptured Achilles tendon in the loss of Detroit in the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
Green Bay dominated the rest of the way.
“Sometimes all it takes is a game,” Rodgers said. “I think throwing it over at Davante kind of got us going.”
Rodgers capped the drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Robert Tonyan. Detroit’s next series ended when Goff threw a check at Green Bay 25’s fourth and first.
Rodgers threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jones to take the Packers’ lead to 28-17.
Green Bay’s Krys Barnes recovered Goff’s fumble at Detroit 23 in the Lions’ next snap. Jones scored in a one-yard run and that was it.