To add insult to injury for Jim Schwartz's team, this was Detroit's fifth consecutive loss.
Detroit tried to make things interesting with seven seconds left on the clock. Jason Hanson hit a field goal to put the team within a touchdown, but the Lions failed to recover the onside kick.
The Lions did get off to a hot start in the first half, though. Matthew Stafford's four-yard run with just over seven minutes left in the first quarter gave his team a 7-0 lead, and he would follow that with a three-yard touchdown toss to Tony Scheffler at the beginning of the second quarter to give his squad a 14-0 lead.
Mason Crosby answered the Scheffler score less than two minutes later with a 49-yard field goal to make it 14-3, and then Stafford did this to really send momentum in Green Bay's direction:
That fumble was recovered by defensive end Mike Daniels and taken to the house on a 43-yard return to close the gap to four for Green Bay.
Detroit attempted to get something going, but Stafford threw an interception into the hands of Sam Shields, and the half finished with the Packers down 14-10.
Less than three minutes into the second half, Aaron Rodgers finally got involved on offense. He broke containment and scrambled 27 yards for a touchdown to give Green Bay its first lead of the night at 17-14. It would be relatively short lived, though, as Hanson hit a 46-yard field goal just over three minutes later to tie the game once again.
DuJuan Harris broke the tie at the 10:49 mark in the fourth quarter with a 14-yard run to give the Packers a 24-17 lead, and the team didn't look back. Crosby tacked on another field goal later on to give the team a 10-point advantage, and that was that.
Detroit attempted its late comeback, but Green Bay used its home-field advantage to shut the door.
It wasn't all bad for Detroit. They had a few big plays:
But a few costly mistakes made the difference, much like they have all year.
Green Bay proved that its winning formula is simple, too. Protecting Rodgers is key, even though the Lions managed to shut down the big play for most of the night.
The win puts Green Bay in the driver's seat in the NFC North as it enters a huge clash with the Bears next Sunday. For the Lions, it just made a forgettable season even worse.
Pride of Detroit provided us with an interesting tidbit after the Lions took a 14-0 lead in the first half:
Quite a stat from NBC: This is the #Lions biggest lead in Wisconsin since Nov. 20, 1988.— Pride Of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) December 10, 2012
Selfish penalty by Suh… So stupid— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) December 10, 2012
Lions.com reporter Tim Twentyman mentioned this after Rodgers ran in his 27-yard touchdown in the third quarter:
That was the longest TD run for the Packers this season.— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) December 10, 2012
Pro Football Weekly shed some light on Calvin Johnson's newest milestone:
Calvin Johnson joins Marvin Harrison and Andre Johnson as only players to have 1,500 yards receiving in back to back seasons.— Pro Football Weekly (@ProFootballWkly) December 10, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times reporter Sean Jensen supplied a very interesting statistic from NBC's telecast:
Amazing stat by Michaels. 45 of 53 on Packers roster have only played for Packers.— Sean Jensen (@seankjensen) December 10, 2012
SportsCenter pointed out a streak that Rodgers couldn't keep alive in the winning effort:
Aaron Rodgers' streak of 35 games in GB with a TD pass in serious jeopardy.Rodgers would improve to 8-0 vs DET with a win.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 10, 2012
Player of the Game: Alex Green
I could have gone with Randall Cobb here, seeing as he always seems to have a big catch in him, but Green made the difference for me Sunday night.
He only finished with 69 yards on 13 carries and zero touchdowns, but he provided enough balance to keep Detroit's defense honest. Because of his efforts, the Lions couldn't pin their ears back and attack Rodgers as much as they would have liked.
The Packers haven't had any semblance of a run game for the entire season, but Green provided a solid boost versus Detroit. It may not look like much in the box score, but the Packers appreciate any solid production out of the backfield.
If Green can find a way to build on this effort, Green Bay's offense will only get better.
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