The Green Bay Packers’ receiving corps was decimated and truth be told, they didn’t play well against the Detroit Lions on Monday night.
But you just knew Aaron Rodgers would find a way.
Throwing to a mostly anonymous crew of receivers, Rodgers rallied the Packers from a 22-13 fourth-quarter deficit to take a controversial 23-22 victory.
The Lions wanted the Packers to score at the end, to give Matthew Stafford some time, but Jamaal Williams took a seat at the 3-yard line to bleed the clock. Mason Crosby came on and won the game with a short field goal on the final play, and got boosted into the crowd for a Lambeau Leap, if you can call it a leap. The Packers are 5-1, and the Lions fell to 2-2-1.
The Packers’ comeback was nice. But the Lions will feel like they got robbed by multiple calls, including a pair on defensive end Trey Flowers.
Lions will be angry about some missed calls
Three calls — actually two penalties and one missed call — upset the Lions. On one, Flowers was called for illegal hands to the face on a third-down sack. Replay showed that Flowers had his hands up high on left tackle David Bakhtiari’s shoulder pads, but not on his facemask. It was a missed call. Another hands to the face call on Flowers in the final two minutes was bothersome. It looked like another missed call, with Flowers’ hands on Bakhtiari’s shoulder pads and not his neck. That came on a third-down incompletion and extended what would be Green Bay’s game-winning drive. ESPN analyst Booger McFarland was apoplectic about the missed calls on the broadcast. Lions fans presumably were angry too. Also in the fourth quarter Stafford threw deep to Marvin Jones and Packers safety Will Redmond’s left arm hit Jones early. The pass was incomplete but no pass interference call was made.
The Lions also had another horrible penalty that was the right call. The Packers were lining up for a field-goal attempt in the first half, but the Lions had 12 men on the field and the penalty gave the Packers a first down. They scored a touchdown to finish that drive. That helped keep Green Bay in the game despite a sluggish first half.
The Packers will be thrilled with the win. But the Lions will leave Green Bay thinking they had that win stolen from them.
Packers rally in fourth quarter
The Packers had to grind out a victory. They got some breaks with the bad calls, but they do deserve credit for persevering.
They came in shorthanded. Davante Adams missed his second straight game. Then it got worse when Marquez Valdes-Scantling left briefly with a leg injury, and Geronimo Allison was ruled out as he was evaluated for a concussion. Valdes-Scantling did return, but Rodgers wasn’t working with much.
Allen Lazard stepped up. Who? Exactly. Lazard, undrafted in 2018, had one catch for seven yards in six career games before Monday night. On Monday night he had four catches for 65 yards and a nice touchdown grab in the fourth quarter to cut the Lions’ lead to 22-20. Rodgers led a slow game-winning drive over the final six minutes, which was capped with Crosby’s kick.
The Packers hold onto first place in the NFC North with the win. They got an assist from the officials.
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