The Detroit Lions lost another game to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field and that's disheartening for a team with playoff visions.

But the 22-9 setback offers some reason for optimism as well. Because frankly the biggest reason the Lions lost this game is Calvin Johnson's left knee.

And he's not going to be out forever. He probably won't even be out next week.

Make no mistake viewer discretion is advised when Johnson doesn't play. The Lions (3-2) gained just 286 yards against Green Bay (2-2) their worst output since 2011 and didn't score a touchdown until garbage time.

Reggie Bush was signed to take advantage of the huge underneath seams created by all the attention given to Johnson downfield. But with no Johnson to double team Green Bay single-covered all Detroit receivers and honed in on Bush.

No receiver made Green Bay pay downfield and Bush finished with just 44 yards rushing. It was a stinker for Detroit offensively.

Johnson is the pin that holds together the offense. Pull him out and the rest self-detonates.

But that's part of what was dare I say impressive about the Lions. They lost the most critical player on their team and were clearly outgunned against Green Bay yet hung around for much of the game.

The reason of course was defense.

Playoff-caliber defense.

"This (loss) is on the offense" Bush said. "We'll take this one on our shoulders. The defense played well today."

Green Bay entered with the third-best offense in the NFL yet managed just a pair of field goals in the first half. The Lions trailed just 6-3 at halftime despite an offense that couldn't maintain possession.

They finished with just two series of at least three-and-a-half minutes.

The Packers finally pulled away late in the third quarter with a 83-yard bomb to James Jones that made it 16-3. And even that was the only touchdown allowed by Detroit despite being put in so many tough positions because of the offense.

"We got to understand if they're not scoring on offense we can't let them score on defense" safety Glover Quin said. "We held up for most of the game but we gave up some plays in the second half that changed the outcome."