Detroit Lions outlast Packers, despite missing playoffs

Well, this wasn’t a Detroit Lions win-and-in game, because the Rams suck. But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t have something to play for. The Green Bay Packers still needed to win, so playing spoiler was on the table.

Detroit Lions made a statement in Green Bay

First Quarter

The Packers started with the ball and drove down the field, aided by a defensive pass interference call, that gave them a first and goal. The Lions’ defense stood up to the challenge and forced a Mason Crosby field goal. The Lions went with an uninspired three-and-out, then the defense made a HUGE fourth-down stop to give the ball back deep in the Packers’ territory. Michael Badgley tied the game with a 37-yard field goal. On the ensuing, Aidan Hutchinson recorded a sack on third down, giving the Lions an NFL record for sacks by rookies.

via Kyle Meinke on Twitter

Crosby added his second field goal of the quarter to put the Packers back on top. The Lions were forced to punt at the end of the quarter after a huge catch by Amon-Ra St. Brown was overturned.

The Offense got off to a very sluggish start, only picking up one first down in the quarter after the defense stood on its head and kept Green Bay to only field goal attempts. Not the best start for the offense, they were 0-3 on third down and Goff was 2-7 for only 18 yards.
First Quarter Score: Green Bay 6 – Lions 3
First Quarter Stats:

Detroit Lions

Second Quarter

The second quarter started the exact same way the first quarter did with yet another Mason Crosby field goal. On the ensuing drive, the Lions had a touchdown to Jameson Williams, on a flea flicker, that was called back due to a holding call. However, they rebounded nicely on the drive and drove into Packers territory, but came away with nothing on a missed field goal attempt.

The Lions forced a huge fumble with the Packers driving and 1:16 left on the clock, a huge play toward the end of the half. The Lions turned the turnover into three points, after a bizarre penalty on the Packers that turned a 48-yarder to a 33-yarder.

A sloppy first half by the Lions’ offense that only netted 135 yards. Goff struggled but was better toward the end. And the defense has done a great job bending but not breaking. The offense needs to get the run game going, having only rushed for 25 yards. However, Jamaal Williams did eclipse 1,000 yards on the season in the first half.
Second Quarter Score: Packers 9 – Lions 6
Second Quarter Stats:

Detroit Lions
via ESPN

Third Quarter

The Lions started with the ball in the third quarter and it was more of the same. Goff was off target and the drive stalled as quickly as it began. The Packers, for their part, drove a bit, but Crosby missed a 53-yard field goal off the cross-bar. Two plays into their next drive, Goff found Kalif Raymond for a huge 43-yard gain. Jamaal tied Barry Sanders with 16 rushing touchdowns, giving the Lions the lead for the first time tonight.

The Packers put together a much-needed drive and Aaron Rodgers found Alan Lazard for a touchdown. A three-and-out by the Lions gave the ball right back to Rodgers and the Pack. Kerby Joseph almost had this third pick against Rodgers, but it was nullified by another penalty.

The Lions absolutely killed themselves with untimely penalties to this point. Some of them (like the one on Joseph’s INT) were iffy, but mistakes like these are a curse to teams trying to win a game.
Third Quarter Score: Packers 16 – Lions 13
Third Quarter Stats:

via ESPN

Fourth Quarter

The Packers punted to open the quarter, after failing to convert on third down. The Lions took the ball and drove down the field, converting on fourth-and-two to keep the drive alive. Eventually, Jamaal punched it in from the one-yard line, breaking the Lions’ single-season touchdown record, and giving the Lions the lead again.

Kerby Joseph, on the next drive with the Packers moving, got Aaron Rodgers for the third time this season on the following drive, this time it stood. The “Sun-god” made a ridiculous catch on first down, as the Lions looked to milk the clock.

On second-and-seventeen, after a holding call (that really wasn’t!), Ben Johnson called a hook and ladder to D’Andre Swift, leaving the Lions with a third-and-three to seal the game. Picking up two yards, Dan Campbell left the offense on the field for fourth down. Goff completed a second fourth down to D.J. Chark, and that’s all she wrote for the Packers!
Final Score: Packers 16 – Lions 20
Final Stats:

via ESPN

Written by AJ Reilly

A.J. is a lifelong baseball fan and an avid storyteller. His debut novel, The Askren Boys, won the Literary Classics Gold Medal and Seal of Approval in November of 2018. When not writing, he is spending time with his wife Jessica, son Jack, daughter Nora, and new arrival Teddy. A.J. lives in Metro Detroit.

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