Packers Hold Off Lions; Win Second Straight NFC North Title
Green Bay 31, Detroit 24
–Aaron Rodgers threw for three touchdowns and ran for another score as the Packers held on for a win over the Lions and clinched the NFC North Division title for the second year in a row.
The Lions opened the scoring on the day – driving 75 yards in 11 plays, capping the drive with a short touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to TJ Hockenson to make it 7-0. It would take the Packers three plays and just 1:24 to answer, with Rodgers tossing a 56-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams to make it a 7-7 game.
Rodgers would toss his second touchdown of the day to open the third quarter – this one a contested 14-yard pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 14-7 lead with 14:11 to play before halftime. Detroit would drive 80 yards in 11 plays to tie the game going into halftime thanks to a short touchdown run from rookie De’Andre Swift.
The next two scores belonged to the Packers – with Rodgers running in from six-yards out with just over six minutes to play in the third quarter to regain the lead at 21-14. Rodgers would then connect with Robert Tonyan for four-yard touchdown pass for a 28-14 lead.
The Lions still had life in them – getting another long touchdown drive – this one 13 plays and 75 yards, setting up a short touchdown run by Kerryon Johnson to make it a one-score game at 28-21 with 6:30 left in the game.
The teams would trade field goals late in the 4th quarter – with Mason Crosby nailing a 57-yarder to make it 31-21, and Matt Prater knocking through a 32-yarder with 1:52 left to make it 31-24. Detroit would try an onside kick, but the kick went out of bounds and the Packers were able to run out the clock to seal the win and the NFC North title.
Passing: Aaron Rodgers – 26/33, 290 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Aaron Jones – 15 carries, 69 yards
Receiving: Davante Adams – 7 catches, 115 yards, 1 TD
Passing: Matthew Stafford – 24/34, 244 yards, 1 TD
Rushing: De’Andre Swift – 7 carries, 24 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Danny Amendola – 6 catches, 66 yards
The Packers have won three in a row and five of their last six games to improve to 10-3 on the season. They’ll host the Carolina Panthers on Saturday night – kickoff is 7:15 PM. Detroit falls to 5-8 with the loss and plays at Tennessee on Sunday.
Other NFC North Action:
Tampa Bay 26, Minnesota 14
–Tom Brady threw for 196 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Buccaneers beat the Vikings at home. Kirk Cousins threw for 225 yards and a touchdown in the loss for Minnesota, who saw their kicker Dan Bailey miss three field goals and an extra point in the loss. The Vikings fall to 6-7 with the loss and will host Chicago on Sunday.
Chicago 36, Houston 7
–Mitchell Trubisky threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns as the Bears routed the Texans at home. Chicago snaps a six-game losing streak and improves to 6-7 on the season.