Sept. 21 (UPI) — Aaron Jones recorded three touchdown catches and one rushing score while Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown tosses to lead the Green Bay Packers to a win over the Detroit Lions, ending Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season.
The Packers trailed 17-14 at halftime, but scored 21 unanswered in the second half of the 35-17 victory Monday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Jones is the first Packers running back in history to score three receiving touchdowns and one rushing score in a single game.
“He adds a lot to our team,” Rodgers told reporters, when asked about Jones. “He is an exceptional player. … He’s just a different type of back.”
Rodgers, who posted one of the worst games of his career in Week 1, completed 22 of 27 passes for 255 yards and did not throw an interception. He followed his 36.8 quarterback rating from Week 1 with a 145.6 rating on Monday Night Football.
Jones totaled 115 yards from scrimmage on 23 touches, in addition to his four scores. Packers wide receiver Davante Adams recorded eight catches for a game-high 121 yards.
“We came out and did a great job of responding,” Jones said. “We played well. We played at a high level.”
The Lions used a seven-play, 75-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead on the game’s first possession. Quarterback Jared Goff threw a five-yard pass to Quintez Cephus for the first score.
Rodgers responded with an 11-play, 75-yard drive. He threw a four-yard touchdown toss to Jones to tie the game with 3:45 left in the first quarter.
Both teams exchanged punts before the Lions returned to the end zone. Goff connected with tight end T.J. Hockenson on an eight-yard touchdown pass for a 14-7 edge.
Rodgers connected with Jones for a one-yard score on the next drive. Kicker Austin Seibert made a 43-yard field goal on the next possession to give the Lions a three-point lead at the break.
The Packers started their scoring surge with an eight-play, 87-yard touchdown drive to start the third quarter. Rodgers hit tight end Robert Tonyan with a 22-yard touchdown pass to give the Packers a 21-17 lead.
He found Jones for the duo’s third touchdown connection on the Packers next drive. Jones scored a one-yard rushing touchdown 2:18 into the fourth quarter for the final points of the night.
Goff completed 26 of 36 passes for 246 yards, two scores and one interception for the Lions. He also lost a fumble. Hockenson made eight catches for 66 yards and a score.
Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell totaled a game-high 13 tackles, an interception and a pass defensed.
“There are little things we have to clean up, but there are also things I’m encouraged by,” Lions coach Dan Campbell told reporters.
“I see improvement in areas, but not enough. When you play a team like this, you can’t make the mistakes we did.”
The Packers (1-1) face the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3 at 8:20 p.m. EDT Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The Lions (0-2) host the Baltimore Ravens at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday at Ford Field in Detroit.