Packers beat Lions to clinch NFC North crown
Aaron Rodgers passed for 290 yards and three touchdowns — including a record-setting score to Davante Adams — and ran for another score as the visiting Green Bay Packers clinched their second straight NFC North title with a 31-24 victory against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Green Bay (10-3) vaulted into possession of the top seed in the NFC with the New Orleans Saints’ loss at Philadelphia. The Packers, who own the tiebreaker against the Saints, play two of their final three regular season games at home.
Detroit (5-8) saw its flickering NFC playoff hopes take a hit as quarterback Matthew Stafford exited the game with a rib injury late in the fourth quarter. Stafford was shaken up on a hit by Kenny Clark one play before Kerryon Johnson scored on a 2-yard run to bring the Lions within 28-21 with 6:30 remaining and was later replaced by Chase Daniel.
Packers placekicker Mason Crosby kicked a 57-yard field goal on the ensuing possession before Matt Prater’s 32-yarder brought the Lions within the final margin with 1:49 to go. Detroit’s onside kick attempt after the Prater field goal went out of bounds, and the Packers closed the game with a first down.
Green Bay raced to a near perfect start, with Rodgers completing each of his 10 throws on the team’s first two possessions for 119 yards and touchdowns to Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Adams’ 56-yard catch and run marked the eighth straight game in which he has caught a touchdown, breaking Hall of Famer Don Hutson’s franchise record. Adams has 14 touchdown receptions this season, tied with Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs for tops in the NFL.
Stafford was 24-for-34 passing for 244 yards and a touchdown to T.J. Hockenson. Danny Amendola led the Lions with six receptions for 66 yards, while D’Andre Swift ran for a touchdown in his return to the lineup after a three-game absence.
Adams had seven receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown while Valdes-Scantling had six catches for 85 yards and a score. Rodgers opened the second-half scoring with a 6-yard touchdown run to cap a 14-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that swallowed 8:49 of clock time as Green Bay took a 21-14 lead.
Aaron Jones paced the Green Bay ground game with 15 carries for 69 yards.
The Packers’ defense sacked Stafford four times.
The teams entered halftime tied at 14, with Rodgers and Stafford both turning in sparkling first halves. Rodgers was 12-for-15 for 149 yards and two touchdowns in the first 30 minutes while Stafford was 17-for-22 for 203 yards and a touchdown.
–Field Level Media