Live Updates: Packers Earn Improbable Victory Over Lions on Mason Crosby's Field Goal
The Green Bay Packers earned the most improbable of victories, 23-22 over the Detroit Lions.
Mason Crosby made a 23-yard field goal as time expired. He did a Lambeau Leap – helped into the stands by long snapper Hunter Bradley – as Green Bay improved to 5-1 by overcoming a 13-0 deficit and finding their way out of a 3-0 hole on the turnover table.
Trailing 22-20, the Packers took possession at their 18 with 6:46 remaining. Aaron Rodgers had to go way into the depth chart with Davante Adams inactive and Geronimo Allison lost in the third quarter. On the final drive, he hit Allen Lazard for three completions. Rodgers also scrambled for 12 yards.
Rodgers was 24-of-39 passing for 283 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Lazard, who had one career catch, led the team with four receptions.
Score: Lions 22, Packers 20. Despite trailing 3-0 in turnovers, the Packers had a chance to take the lead after safety Will Redmond broke up a deep pass to Marvin Jones on second down and Jaire Alexander broke up a pass to Jones on third down. Green Bay took possession at its 18 with 6:46 to go.
Score: Lions 22, Packers 20. One play after a deep incompletion to receiver Allen Lazard, Aaron Rodgers went back to Lazard, with Lazard making a tumbling, 37-yard touchdown catch against cornerback Justin Coleman for the touchdown with 9:03 to play.
Key plays: Rodgers had to turn to a depleted perimeter group with Davante Adams (toe) inactive and Geronimo Allison out (chest and potential concussion). There were two big plays. First, Rodgers bought time to his right and hit tight end Marcedes Lewis for a gain of 25. Then, on third-and-10, Rodgers was sacked but defensive end Trey Flowers was flagged for illegal hands to the face. The touchdown to Lazard was Lazard’s second career catch; he had one for 7 yards last year.
Score: Lions 22, Packers 13. Matt Prater drilled a 54-yard field goal with 12:17 remaining.
Key plays: What a reversal of fortune. A 46-yard completion from Aaron Rodgers to Marquez Valdes-Scantling put the Packers in scoring position. On third-and-7 from the 12, Rodgers fired into the flat to undrafted rookie receiver Darrius Shepherd for what should have been a first down at the 2. Instead, Shepherd slipped, the ball hit him in the helmet and bounced into the waiting hands of cornerback Justin Coleman. His 55-yard return put the Lions into instant scoring position. The Lions could have kept the drive alive but Kerryon Johnson couldn’t corral a swing pass. The play initially was ruled a completion and fumble but was overturned on a challenge by coach Matt LaFleur.
The Packers dug their way out of a 13-0 hole but Lions kicker Matt Prater connected on a pair of field goals to give Detroit a 19-13 lead heading into the final period. Green Bay linebackers Preston Smith had one sack and shared another with Kyler Fackrell on a pair of third-down plays.
Score: Lions 19, Packers 13: Matt Prater drilled a 51-yard field goal with 3:27 to go.
Key plays: Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford found Kenny Golladay for a toe-dragging 19-yard completion to Green Bay’s 48 on the first play of the drive. Packers coach Matt LaFleur had his challenge flag but elected not to throw it.
Score: Lions 16, Packers 13: Matt Prater hit a 41-yard field goal with 9:01 remaining.
Key plays: The Packers’ surge of momentum continued when Preston Smith sacked Matthew Stafford. However, Darrius Shepherd misjudged the punt and was drilled by cornerback Dee Virgin. Safety Tavon Wilson recovered at the Packers’ 25. Green Bay’s defense held firm, though. On third-and-8, cornerback Kevin King was in perfect position on a deep pass to receiver Kenny Golladay.
Score: Lions 13, Packers 13. Mason Crosby’s 48-yard field goal hooked through to tie the score with 12:35 remaining.
Key plays: On the first play, Aaron Rodgers threw incomplete to Geronimo Allison, with safety Tracy Walker flagged for unnecessary roughness for his collision with Allison. It was a bad call, with Walker going for the ball. With Allison in the medical tent, Rodgers hit tight end Marcedes Lewis for a gain of 25 to put the Packers into scoring range. On third-and-1 from the 30, Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis got through on a blitz and forced an incompletion.
The Packers survived a devastatingly bad start and trailed only 13-10 at halftime.
Detroit hit the Packers with a pair of haymakers – a 66-yard completion to Kenny Golladay on the first play of the game and a 58-yard completion to Marvin Hall on the first play of the second drive. Meanwhile, Packers running back Aaron Jones – one of the heroes of last week’s win at Dallas – fumbled and dropped an easy touchdown pass. The Lions, however, couldn’t connect for the knockout, with a pair of drives dying inside Green Bay’s 10 to leave it a 13-0 game.
The Lions had a 236-200 edge in total yardage and quarterback Matthew Stafford was 12-of-16 for 219 yards. Packers running back Jamaal Williams had 107 total yards – 79 yards on eight carries and 28 yards and one touchdown on three reception after getting literally knocked out of the game against Philadelphia on Sept. 26.
Score: Lions 13, Packers 10. Mason Crosby hit a 37-yard field goal with 7 seconds left in the half.
Key plays: On the final play before the 2-minute warning, Aaron Rodgers converted a third-and-8 with a 17-yard completion to receiver Geronimo Allison. One play after the 2-minute warning, Jamaal Williams blasted through a big hole created by center Corey Linsley and left guard Elgton Jenkins for a gain of 45 to the 10. In his third season, Williams’ previous longest run was for 25 yards. The drive died on first down, however, when Allison was flagged for offensive holding on a completion to receiver Darrius Shepherd.
Score: Lions 13, Packers 7. Aaron Rodgers flipped the ball to an in-motion Jamaal Williams for a 5-yard touchdown with 7:31 left in the half. Williams dodged two tacklers on the way to the end zone.
Key plays: The Packers overcame holding penalties on left tackle David Bakhtiari and left guard Elgton Jenkins and dropped touchdown passes by running back Aaron Jones and tight end Jimmy Graham. The drop by Graham in the end zone on third-and-5 set up a 31-yard field goal by Mason Crosby. However, the Lions lined up with 12 men on the field, handing the Packers a first-and-goal at the 8.
Score: Lions 13, Packers 0. Matt Prater kicked a 22-yard field goal with 13:28 remaining.
Key play: On the first play of the second quarter, Matthew Stafford flipped a screen to running back Kerryon Johnson for a gain of 20 yards to Green Bay’s 8. Safety Adrian Amos was the only player with a chance to make a tackle, but he missed the tackle while being blocked to the turf. Fortunately for the Packers, their red-zone defense stiffened to keep it a two-score game. On second-and-goal from the 2, tight end T.J. Hockenson lost a potential touchdown catch as he hit the turf while being covered by Amos.
The Lions led 10-0 after the first quarter and were on the move again as the period ended. Green Bay’s first possession ended on a drop by Geronimo Allison and its second possession ended when Aaron Jones fumbled away the ball on a strip by defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson that was recovered by linebacker Christian Jones. The Lions had a 188-45 edge in yardage.
Score: Lions 10, Packers 0. Kerryon Johnson allegedly found his way into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 1 with 6:35 remaining. One official signaled it was a touchdown and another official signaled it was the Packers’ ball. The touchdown stood upon review.
Key play: Once again, Matthew Stafford went after cornerback Kevin King. On first down from the 26, Stafford threw a bomb to Marvin Hall. A backpedaling King fell and Hall had a catch-and-run gain of 58 to the 16.
Score: Lions 3, Packers 0. Matt Prater kicked a 26-yard field goal with 12:41 remaining in the quarter.
Key play: On the first play of the game, Detroit offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell dialed up a flea-flicker, with running back Kerryon Johnson flipping the ball back to quarterback Matthew Stafford, who hit receiver Marvin Jones for a gain of 66 against cornerback Kevin King. The Lions managed only a field goal, though, as Stafford collided with fullback Nick Bawden on first down and fumbled for a loss of 5, then slipped and fell on the third-down pass.
The Packers won the toss and have deferred. Green Bay started Will Redmond at safety for Darnell Savage and B.J. Goodman continued to start ahead of Oren Burks at inside linebacker.
Pregame extra points
Here are a couple nuggets that didn’t make it into the World’s Best Preview.
-- The Packers have scored 21 points on their first possession and 82 points in the first half. It’s a vastly different story in the second half, though, with 28 points in the third quarter and just nine in the fourth quarter.
The problem is easy to pinpoint if not easy to solve. According to Inside Edge’s weekly “Remarkable” notes, the Packers have a third-down conversion rate of 23.3 percent in the second half and 18.8 percent in the fourth quarter. Both marks are the third-worst in the league.
-- Green Bay’s third-down woes won’t be fixed until this stat is fixed: The Packers have faced 35 plays of third-and-long – defined as third-down plays requiring at least 7 yards to convert. That’s tied for the fourth-most in the league.
Rodgers hasn’t been efficient in those situations. While he’s completed 15-of-24 passes for a respectable 62.5 percent, he’s moved the chains just seven times on a combined 34 passes, sacks and scrambles. Sixteen quarterbacks have made more plays to move the chains. Green Bay’s receivers have only three first downs in those situations – two by Marquez Valdes-Scantling and one by Davante Adams.
There were no surprises for either team. For Green Bay, the inactives are receiver Davante Adams (toe), running back Dexter Williams, safety Darnell Savage (ankle), cornerback Tony Brown (hamstring), guard Cole Madison, guard/tackle Adam Pankey and tight end Robert Tonyan (hip).
The Lions’ inactives are led by safety Quandre Diggs and reserve defensive linemen Mike Daniels and Da’Shawn Hand.
With Tonyan out, the Packers activated Evan Baylis from the practice squad and released kickoff returner Tremon Smith.
With Savage out, Will Redmond will get the start at safety. The video below is of defensive coordinator Mike Pettine talking about Redmond.