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Rodgers throws three TD passes as Packers beat Lions

DETROIT -- Aaron Rodgers had Motor City flashbacks, watching the Green Bay Packers blow a big lead against the Detroit Lions.

There was a major difference: Rodgers was playing and Brett Favre was elsewhere.

Rodgers threw three touchdown passes in the first four drives of his second start, helping Green Bay build a big lead it needed in a 48-25 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Green Bay led 21-0 midway through the second quarter, but fell behind by a point with 7:41 left after Calvin Johnson caught his second TD in the fourth quarter.

The Packers went back ahead with a field goal on the ensuing drive, then turned the game back into the rout it had been with three straight interceptions.

Charles Woodson and Nick Collins returned two of the picks for touchdowns, giving Green Bay a lopsided lead again.

"It reminded me of last year," Rodgers said.

Last season in Detroit, Favre helped the Packers build a 34-12 lead in the fourth before holding off a rally.

Green Bay (2-0) certainly will not regret its decision any time soon to stick with Rodgers and trade Favre to the New York Jets after he came out of retirement. The Packers stayed committed to the first-round pick from 2005 despite mounting hype about Favre's possible return during the offseason.

"I think the summer only made our character stronger," Rodgers said.

Rodgers was 24-of-38 for 328 yards, three scores and a fumble in his first start on the road and his first fourth-quarter comeback.

"We just kept pushing the envelope and I think that speaks volumes about the coaches and everybody involved to have confidence with Aaron to stay aggressive," coach Mike McCarthy said.

Greg Jennings caught six passes for 167 yards, including a 60-yard gain to set up Mason Crosby's go-ahead field goal with 5:17 to go.

Donald Driver, James Jones and Jordy Nelson all had TD receptions from Rodgers.

"We have a lot of confidence that he's going to find whichever one of us is open," Jennings said.

The Lions are 0-2 for the fourth time since 2001, when Matt Millen took control as team president beginning a stretch of futility that has sunk the franchise to an NFL-worst 31-83 record.

Coach Rod Marinelli said it was "unacceptable" to fall behind 21-0.

"Then, not finishing after we fought back like that is unacceptable," Marinelli said.

Jon Kitna was 21-of-41 for 276 yards, two TDs and three interceptions.

"Unfortunately when we needed it the most, I didn't get the job done," Kitna said.

Johnson finished with a career-high 129 yards receiving.

Rodgers took a step out of Favre's shadow in his highly anticipated debut last week and moved closer to establishing his own reputation in his first road game.

After a three-and-out, he stepped up in the pocket to avoid a sack, scrambled to the right and threw a sharp pass in the end zone to Jones.

Rodgers looked right and threw left on the next drive for a 2-yard pass to Driver.

He perfectly lofted a pass to Nelson for a 29-yard score to give the Packers a 21-0 lead with 6:47 left in the first half.

Jason Hanson kicked two field goals in the second quarter and another in the third to pull Detroit within 12 points.

Johnson scored on a 38-yard reception, Green Bay punter Derrick Frost let a snap sail through his hands, and Johnson had 47-yard TD to put Detroit ahead 25-24.

But as happened last week in Atlanta -- where the Lions also fell behind 21-0 -- Johnson's spectacular showing came in a loss as the Packers made the key plays late in the game.

"We fought back to get back into the game, and I congratulated them for that, but this league is about winning," Marinelli said. "Big-money players are the ones that make plays at the end of those games."

Game notes
Packers FB Korey Hall (knee), S Atari Bigby (cramps), Lions S Gerald Alexander (concussion) and TE Casey FitzSimmons (thumb) were injured during the game. ... Woodson, who had two interceptions, played with a broken toe and he left Ford Field with a walking boot protecting his right foot. ... Green Bay has beaten Detroit six straight, matching the longest streak in the series since 1954, and 14-2 in the last 16 meetings. ... The Packers have won 19 of their last 22 regular-season games.