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Peete Passes for 271 Yards to Lead Lions Over Packers

From Associated Press

Barry Sanders returned to the Detroit lineup and made everyone better, especially Rodney Peete.

Peete attempted a career-high 38 passes Sunday, completing 25 for 271 yards, and Robert Clark had 10 catches for a career-high 143 yards as the Lions defeated the Green Bay Packers, 23-14.

A week earlier, the two teams had combined for three points in losses.

“Just having a guy like Barry in the lineup gives you such a threat on offense,” Peete said. “He’s not 100% healthy, and I think we all can see that. But the defense has to know where he is at on every play.”

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Sanders missed the Lion opener with a rib injury and gained only 42 yards in 18 carries against Green Bay. But he scored the Lions’ first touchdown, and that set the stage for everything that followed.

“The linebackers have to hold up to see if he gets the ball, and that opens up the passing game,” Peete said. “Having Barry just in there helps our offense.”

Peete threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Willie Green, and Eddie Murray kicked field goals of 41, 27 and 36 yards for the Lions (1-1). Vince Workman scored on a one-yard run, and Don Majkowski scored on a two-yard keeper for Green Bay (0-2).

“Right now, we’re just not scoring enough points,” Majkowski said. “We move the ball OK. We’re just not scoring. I think we’re a better team. I know we are. ‘Frustrating’ is another good word.”

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Packer Coach Lindy Infante credited the return of Sanders.

“I said all week we could see a different team than the one that lost to Washington,” Infante said. “They just got into one of those situations last week. That doesn’t mean they’re not going to be a good football team, just like us being 0-2 doesn’t mean we’re not going to be good.”

The first touchdown, with 2:16 left in the first quarter, was vintage Sanders. From the four, he cut around left end, broke a tackle and slithered across the goal line at the orange pylon.

“I thought our first drive was great,” Sanders said. “All those plays. That was impressive. The first drive really got our confidence up. We felt after that we could get the ball in the end zone.”

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