Aaron Rodgers too much as Detroit Lions fall to Green Bay Packers
Detroit – The Detroit Lions fought a tougher-than-expected match against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, but ultimately didn’t have enough answers for quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the 31-24 loss that sealed a second straight title for the opposition.
Rodgers, a front runner for his third MVP award, showed why with three touchdown passes and a duel for victory. The win secured the NFC North title for Green Bay (10: 3), the seventh crown for Rodgers as the starter of the franchise.
“We knew this thing was going to be a dog fight, and we were dealing with one of the best quarterbacks ever in the league,” said Lions coach Darrell Bevell. “In order to have possession right there at the end of the game, I was really proud of the guys and the way they fought.”
Half-tied, the Lions were loosened from the locker room by a disastrous stretch.
Unlike the last meeting of the two teams in Week 2, it wasn’t a 75-yard run held at the Lions, but a methodical 14-game touchdown drive that started the breakup.
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After Amani Oruwariye extended the drive after a defensive holding call against cornerback, the Packers were able to overcome two offensive holds and convert three more third downs. Rodgers ended the series by crawling into the end zone in third place from 6 yards.
BOX SCORE: Packers 31, Lions 24
Detroit’s defenses barely had time to catch their breath after the offensive failed three times and Green Bay was able to ride the length of the field again.
Rodgers kept the majority of the series on the floor, putting the finishing touches to 12-game possession with a 4-yard touchdown pass to end Robert Tonyan and Green Bay’s lead of 28-14 early in the fourth quarter to expand.
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“We have to react and give our defenses good time to rest and we didn’t,” Bevell said. “The three of us went and put them back out there and I think they had a long way to go. Luckily we made it there, but that was a big turnaround in the game.”
Thanks in part to the four defensive sentences imposed by the Packers, Lions responded. The Packers cut resulted in a score of less than seven minutes.
The Lions almost scored much faster, but a retest confirmed the on-field decision that Marvin Jones was out of bounds as he tried to bring both feet down within the sideline just before the end zone.
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“When I caught the ball, my feet were down. When I got up and he said it was incomplete, he tossed me for a loop,” said Jones. “Especially when I saw it on the big screen. I mean, both of my feet were down when the ball was in my hand. You know, I don’t know if I can say too much without getting into trouble or something something, but I definitely think it was a catch. “
It took six more snapshots and nearly three minutes of play before Kerryon Johnson tumbled over the goal line from three meters and scored 28-21.
More importantly, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was shaken before Johnson’s touchdown run. He sustained a rib injury while looking for an initial relegation and was unable to return to the game.
The Packers reduced their lead to 10 with a 57-yard field goal from Mason Crosby, but Jamal Agnew kept the Lions’ hopes up with a 71-yard return of the following kickoff.
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Chase Daniel, who took over for Stafford, quickly got the Lions into the red zone with a 23-yard pass to Jones. But a holding call against the right tackle against Matt Nelson erased a touchdown from Daniel and left the Lions satisfied with a 32-yard field goal from Matt Prater.
“Look, as a backup quarterback, you should be ready at all times,” Daniel said. “It was a pretty important part of the game so for myself I was just trying to keep warm on the sidelines, stretching. I mean, we waited 57 minutes there or whatever it was in the game, but like I said , Life of a backup. “
In less than two minutes, the Lions attempted an onside kick but were unable to recover before crossing the line. Safety Miles Killebrew went to great lengths to secure the perimeter ball, but a retest again confirmed the decision on the field.
“We gave ourselves a chance and that’s what we were looking for,” said Bevell.
It took Rodgers one defeat to seal victory. He rolled out and found Tonyan to convert to finish him off.
While the Packers seemed to be in control in the second half, the teams went head-to-toe for two quarters.
The Lions opened the scoring with the opening start and moved 75 meters in 11 games. Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu had two catches for 37 yards en route, including a 21 yard reception that kept the chains moving.
With the second goal from the 1-yard line, TJ Hockenson scored an inside scoop pass and brought the Lions 7-0 up.
It only took the Packers three games to respond. Rodgers found star receiver Davante Adams on a short throw near the right sideline, where the receiver immediately released from the grip of Oruwariye before passing Duron Harmon for the 56-yard touchdown and knotting the game at seven.
Adams finished with seven catches for 115 yards and the touchdown. It was the sixth time that he exceeded the mark of the century this season.
After a Lions punt, the Packers took their first lead with a 12-play drive. Rodgers finished his eighth straight pass to start his afternoon, finding Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the second game of the second quarter – also with Oruwariye in cover – for the 13-yard hit.
“I talked about it last year but I think (coach) Matt (LaFleur) does a really good job with some openers and we know about them early on and what he thinks about calling and it allows us to talk about these games ponder and visualize them the night before, the morning of, in the locker room before the game, “Rodgers said. “So you’ve been going through these games in your head many times before, or at least I’ve been, and I assume other people are doing the same kind of routine. But I think it really helps us get locked up from the start.” to be. “”
The two teams exchanged possessions before the Lions managed to tie the game before break. Quarterback Matthew Stafford completed screen passes for a total of 50 yards for each of his three running backs, starting a 3-yard touchdown from D’Andre Swift with a 1:27 remaining in the quarter.
The Lions actually got the ball back 35 seconds ahead and all three time outs, but were expelled from the outside edge of the field goal area when Stafford was released.
With the loss, the Lions drop to 5-8 in the season. They’ll be on the streets for the last time next week when they travel to Tennessee to play the Titans.