The Detroit Lions' defensive line took the field as a unit, rather than individually, during pregame introductions. It was a sign of solidarity after they were called scumbags by Green Bay.

Then they absolutely, completely and unequivocally shredded the Packers.

Detroit sacked Matt Flynn seven times, allowed just 126 yards of offense and cruised to a 40-10 throttling of Green Bay on a festive Thursday at Ford Field.

The victory ends the Lions' nine-game losing streak on Thanksgiving, a franchise worst, and avoids a three-game losing streak that could have sent this season into a downward spiral.

Detroit improves to 7-5 on the season and preserves its tenuous hold on first place in the NFC North -- a race that is critical, since it's unlikely that the division won't berth a wild-card team.

The game was tabbed a must-win by Detroit, and they got it -- and then some.

The Lions' defense battered Green Bay (5-6-1) in convincing fashion. Rookie defensive ends Ezekiel Ansah and Devin Taylor both had two sacks, while Stephen Tulloch, Ndamukong Suh and Louis Delmas each added one.

Willie Young and C.J. Mosley both recovered fumbles, while linebacker DeAndre Levy added an interception. Detroit had three takeaways, after not forcing any the past two weeks.

That helped Detroit overcome its early turnover woes of its won.

The Lions turned over the ball on three of their first four possessions, one of which was a Matthew Stafford sack-fumble that was returned by safety Morgan Burnett for a 1-yard touchdown.

Detroit trailed 10-3 at the time, despite more than quadrupling Green Bay in offense.

It had outgained Green Bay by 297 yards by halftime -- and had 7.9 times the offense -- but led just 17-10 due to the comedy of errors.