David Montgomery entered a familiar Lambeau Field setting Thursday night.
He was donning a new uniform, though, and he ended the evening with a feeling he'd previously never experienced.
After going 0-7 against the Green Bay Packers as a member of the Chicago Bears, Montgomery rushed for a career-best three touchdowns to drive the Detroit Lions to a 34-20 win on Thursday Night Football.
"It definitely felt great," Montgomery told reporters about getting his first win over the Packers. "You know I haven't been able to do that, but to come here with the group of guys that I'm able to play with, it's a blessing."
Montgomery was the definition of a workhorse on Thursday, piling up 32 carries, which matched a career high and stand as the most for any player this season in the NFL.
He scored on runs of 3, 2 and 1 yard in the first, second and fourth quarters, respectively. All told, he had 121 yards on the aforementioned 32 carries for an average of 3.8 yards per carry. The latter is hardly a celebratory statistic, but he was able to ground and pound the Packers, helping to propel Detroit to a 27-0 run in the first half before quelling any comeback hopes with a score with six minutes to go. According to Next Gen Stats, Montgomery battered and bruised the Packers with 113 yards after contact -- the most in a single game in his career.
"He does get better throughout the game," Lions quarterback Jared Goff said. "He gets better the more he gets hit. The more that he's able to see the holes and see what's going on -- and yeah, he did get better. I think there was two types of runs like where the lane was wide open, and he was running right through them doing his thing. Then, there was runs where there wasn't much there and he kind of made something out of nothing. That's when you know your guy is in the zone a little bit. You try to keep feeding him and he did his thing tonight."
The impact made by Montgomery, along with his workload, was all the more impressive considering he'd missed Week 3 with a thigh injury and was questionable to play Thursday.
Nonetheless, head coach Dan Campbell and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson fed Montgomery early and often. He didn't find big chunk gains and fans are still likely to clamor for more from first-rounder Jahmyr Gibbs, who averaged five yards on his eight carries for 40 yards. The plan was for Montgomery to batter the Packers, and he did that steadily for 60 minutes.
"You could just see the look in his eyes," Campbell said. "He just looked ready to go. He was ready to go. You could tell his body looked ready to go. So certainly we were going to take him where we could take him as far as he wanted to go or his body would let him and it was certainly ready to go."
Unfamiliar to defeating the Packers, Montgomery is also foreign to where he put the Lions on Thursday night, which is atop the NFC North. During his time with the Bears from 2019-2022, Montgomery's squads never finished better than second.
He figures to be a driving force going forward this season if the Lions are to remain in first.
The end result Thursday night was special for Montgomery. After years of being on the wrong end of the final score versus the Packers, he led the way as Detroit bested Green Bay for the fourth consecutive time.
"It felt real different coming in," Montgomery said. "With the group of guys that I'm with, like I said, 'I'm blessed.' To come out here with these guys and get the dub, that's big for me. I could tell my son that I beat the Packers. So, I'm excited to say that. I'm really excited to be part of this team."