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Packers Lose Rodgers; and the Game – Fall to Lions 7-3 in Detroit

The bright side – the Bears were blasted at home by the Patriots.

Other than that, it was not a good day for the Packers franchise, as the team lost their franchise QB to a concussion, and they also lost a game that just about everyone had marked as a “W” in the schedule, falling 7-3 to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

Aaron Rodgers started his 45th straight game in the regular season since replacing Brett Favre in 2008, but he was hit hard by the Lions in the contest, having to leave after being hit from behind by Landon Johnson with 2:43 left in the first half.

Matt Flynn replaced Rodgers and completed 15- of-26 passes for 177 yards while getting picked off once for Green Bay, which has lost two of its last three. Rodgers, who had owned the Lions, wasn’t having that great of a day before leaving, as he was just 7-for-11 for 46 yards and was sacked twice with throwing a pick.

“We moved a little bit and did some good things, but obviously we didn’t do the things to win the game and I’ll take credit for that,” Flynn said.

The Lions (3-10) snapped a five-game losing streak overall, a 10-game slide against Green Bay and a 19-game skid against the NFC North in what was the NFL’s worst slump within a division since the merger four decades ago. Detroit’s last division win was October 28th, 2007, at Chicago.

Drew Stanton threw for the game’s lone touchdown late in the fourth quarter for what proved to be the winning score. It was a 13-yard pass to Will Heller with 7:55 left.

Stanton ended the game with 117 yards on 10-of-22 passing with two interceptions for the Lions. Maurice Morris had 51 yards on 11 carries while Calvin Johnson had one catch for 44 yards in the win.

Rodgers had been a beast against the Lions, entering the game with a 5-0 record with 14 touchdown passes and a 105.3 passer rating. But he found himself on the sideline for the entire second half after the injury.

The Lions’ game-winning march spanned 80 yards and was highlighted by 3rd- and-2 conversion pass to Brandon Pettigrew to keep the drive going. Four plays later, Stanton found Will Heller on a tight end screen and he rumbled in for a 13-yard touchdown to gave the Lions a 7-3 lead.

“We had the right play call when we needed it,” Stanton said. “Will (Heller) did a heck of a job executing it and we got into the end zone. That’s why this is the ultimate team game.”

Green Bay tried to answer back despite having no offensive flow throughout the game. The ensuing drive was thwarted after Flynn was sacked on first down at Green Bay’s 12-yard line.

The Packers were given one more chance to mount a comeback with just under four minutes remaining after a Detroit three-and-out, but Flynn’s 4th-and-1 pass to Greg Jennings fell incomplete in the end zone. The turnover on downs with 57 ticks left effectively ended the game as Detroit ran out the clock.

Mason Crosby opened the scoring with a 42-yard field goal during the first drive of the second half. The field goal was set up by a seven-yard catch by James Jones, who went out of bounds at the 24-yard line.

The Packers looked to get some offensive flow during their next possession when Flynn connected with Jennings for a 32-yard pass that put them on the Detroit 35-yard line. The momentum was halted four plays later when Flynn threw a pass into the middle of the end zone that was picked off by DeAndre Levy and returned to the nine-yard line.

The Lions were able to build off the turnover with a 44-yard catch from Calvin Johnson. The play set up a 48-yard field goal attempt that Dave Rayner pulled wide left to keep the score at 3-0 with 1:17 left to play in the third.

Green Bay fumbled on its first possession of the game, and the Lions gave it right back after Stanton avoided a sack and heaved the ball into the end zone from midfield which was plucked out of the sky by Tramon Williams.

The turnovers continued through the end of the first quarter when Rodgers appeared to hit a wide-open Jennings, only to have the ball bounced off his hands into Amari Spievey’s. He returned it to the Green Bay 43-yard line, but an illegal block put the Lions on their own 45 with 1:47 left in the opening quarter.

The interception party resumed during the second quarter as Stanton overthrew an open Tony Scheffler and was picked off by Charlie Peprah for his first career interception. Neither offense capitalized on the turnovers in a scoreless first half.

The loss by the Bears puts them at 9-4, while the Packers are at 8-5, still just one game back with a game against Chicago to play on the final weekend of the season. Next Sunday the Pack are in New England for a Sunday night battle with the 11-2 Pats.

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