Live Updates: Green Bay Packers Clinch Bye by Beating Detroit Lions at Buzzer

The Green Bay Packers rallied past the Detroit Lions to clinch a first-round bye.
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DETROIT – Follow the action from today’s game between the Green Bay Packers (12-3) and Detroit Lions (3-11-1) at Ford Field, with the latest updates at the bottom, and join the conversation.

PREGAME

What’s at stake?

With a victory, Green Bay will secure a first-round bye and a divisional-round home game. With a win and a Seattle victory at home against San Francisco on Sunday night, the Packers will be the No. 1 seed.

The Packers lead the series 99-72-7. Only two teams have beaten their rival 100 times: the New York Giants have 102 wins against Washington and Chicago has 101 wins against Detroit.

Inactives

As expected, running back Jamaal Williams (shoulder) and fullback Danny Vitale (knee) are inactive. The others: receiver Ryan Grant, safety Will Redmond and offensive linemen Alex Light and John Leglue. With Williams being inactive, sixth-round rookie Dexter Williams could get some action. He’s played in three games. All six offensive snaps – and all three carries for 2 yards – came in Week 7 against Oakland.

The Packers will need to list only six players as out after releasing cornerback Tony Brown on Saturday. Without Brown, rookie Ka'Dar Hollman is up. The sixth-round pick has played in three games and played four snaps on defense against Oakland.

For Detroit, right tackle Rick Wagner and defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson are out. The Lions have been crushed by injuries.

World’s Best Preview

How did the Packers get to 12-3? Here’s a seven-part series to correspond with the end of the 2019 calendar year. One: Fabulous free agentsTwo: The Matt LaFleur eraThree: Dominant win over the VikingsFour: Aaron Jones starts record runFive: Opening statement at ChicagoSix: Leaping past the LionsSeven through 10: Clutch when it’s close (and more)

Inside the LionsDetroit’s mangled rosterDifferent kind of greatness from Rodgers

Final thought

When the Packers lost at Detroit in Week 5 of last season, kicker Mason Crosby had a day that will live in infamy. He went 1-of-5 on field goals and missed his only extra-point attempt. That was five missed kicks. However, he made his final 26 extra points and 17-of-19 field-goal attempts to end the season, then followed that with arguably his best season. He’s 38-of-39 on extra points – he missed last week at Minnesota – and 19-of-20 on field goals with 16 consecutive conversions since missing against Denver. Added together, Crosby has made 64-of-65 on extra points and 36-of-39 on field goals, for a total of 100-of-104 overall.

“That’s sometimes the hardest thing to do in any sport and, honestly, anything in life is, when something happens, when you make a mistake, whenever things aren’t going your way, overcorrecting, overdoing things can actually lead to more mistakes,” Crosby said this week. “So, just really cleared my mind, went back to it and luckily guys like Aaron (Rodgers), teammates that I have and this organization, they don’t make big, hard, rash decisions.”

*****

Video: 'That was a tough game, man'

GAME TIME

FIRST QUARTER

Packers 0, Lions 0 (12:13 remaining)

Green Bay gave up a couple first downs on Detroit’s opening possession – a roughing-the-passer penalty on Za’Darius Smith gave the Lions a quick 15 yards – before forcing a punt. On the Packers’ first play, Aaron Rodgers threw a dart to tight end Jimmy Graham but Graham dropped the ball, erasing a potential gain of 25-plus yards. The series ended with a three-and-out punt.

Lions 7, Packers 0 (7:59 remaining)

The score: It didn’t work last week, with Stefon Diggs just missing Kirk Cousins, but it worked for the Lions. The ball was given to receiver Danny Amendola on an end-around to the left. He stopped and threw the ball across the field to quarterback David Blough for a 19-yard touchdown.

Key plays: On third-and-8, Blough rifled a pass to stud receiver Kenny Golladay for 17. On the next play, Za’Darius Smith drew a hold to set up first-and-20, but the Lions got 15 yards on a run by Bo Scarbrough after defensive tackle Kenny Clark was blown out of the hole. The Lions have started fast all season. According to STATS, the Packers are plus-59 in first-quarter scoring and are 8-1 when leading after the first quarter. The Lions are plus-30 in first-quarter scoring but just 1-7 when leading after the first.

Lions 7, Packers 0 (2:27 remaining)

The Packers, set up by a 33-yard kickoff return by Tyler Ervin, got going on Aaron Rodgers’ 17-yard gem to Davante Adams on third-and-10. On fourth-and-1 from the Lions’ 31, Aaron Jones broke a tackle and fought for the first down. However, Green Bay went in reverse. On third-and-6, Adams was flagged for pass interference, which eliminated a first-down completion to Jones. Then, the Packers were flagged for 12 men in the huddle. Suddenly, it was third-and-21 from the 40. Marquez Valdes-Scantling was wide open for a completion that would have set up an easier field goal. Instead, Rodgers’ throw was behind Valdes-Scantling and he dropped it. Green Bay punted.

SECOND QUARTER

Lions 7, Packers 0 (12:45 remaining)

By converting a third-and-4 with a flare pass to Aaron Jones on the first play of the quarter, the Packers had a first down at the Lions’ 43. Needing a handful of yards to get into field-goal range, the Packers instead went backward for the second consecutive possession. Aaron Rodgers’ 17-yard completion to Davante Adams was overturned by Detroit’s replay challenge. On third-and-8, Rodgers was sacked by blitzing safety Will Harris. Rodgers is a woeful 2-of-9 for 29 yards.

Lions 7, Packers 0 (9:05 remaining)

Starting at the 33, Aaron Jones had a 14-yard run to start the drive but Rodgers couldn’t connect on corner routes to Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

Injury update: Lucas Patrick replaced Corey Linsley at center. Linsley (back) is questionable to return.

Lions 14, Packers 0 (3:13 remaining)

The score: Kerryon Johnson plowed in from about a foot away on fourth-and-goal. Suddenly, the Packers’ grasp on a first-round bye was incredibly precarious.

Key plays: On the second play of the drive, David Blough hit Kenny Golladay with a deep ball against Jaire Alexander for a gain of 42 to the Packers’ 31. On the next play, the Lions were flagged for holding but, for the second time today, it didn’t matter. An unnecessary-roughness penalty on Jaire Alexander gave the Lions a first-and-goal at the 7.

Injury update: Golladay is in the concussion protocol.

Lions 14, Packers 3 (20 seconds remaining)

The score: Mason Crosby made a 32-yard field goal.

Key plays: As was the case during the first half last week, the Packers kept shooting themselves in the foot. On third-and-goal at the 14, Aaron Rodgers extended the play to his right. Running back Aaron Jones broke open late for what should have been an easy touchdown but Rodgers threw it too far. The big play on the drive, otherwise, was a 33-yard completion to Davante Adams on the first play after the two-minute warning.

Injury update: On the first play of the drive, Rodgers overthrew Jones, who came up empty on a head-long attempt at the ball and got his hand stepped on. On third-and-4 from the 14, he re-entered the game.

Lions 17, Packers 3 (0:00 remaining)

The score: Matt Prater kicked a 42-yard field goal as time expired.

Key play: The Lions were content to sit on a 14-3 lead when they got the ball at their 25 with 20 seconds remaining. Instead, Ty Johnson broke into the clear, broke Darnell Savage’s tackle attempt and took off for a 40-yard run. Thirty of those yards came after the missed tackle.

HALFTIME: Lions 17, Packers 3

With an abysmal performance from Aaron Rodgers and a shoddy effort from a defense that had dominated Minnesota on Monday, the Packers trailed by two touchdowns at halftime. Rodgers was 6-of-18 for 90 yards, with a barrage of overthrown passes that included what should have been an easy touchdown to Aaron Jones late in the first half. Lions quarterback David Blough, who is 0-4 as the starter, was 9-of-16 for 115 passing yards and added a touchdown catch. The Lions have outrushed the Packers 117-57.

THIRD QUARTER

Lions 17, Packers 3 (11:04 remaining)

Mason Crosby missed wide left from 51 yards. Aaron Rodgers’ horrendous game continued. He had a chance for a big completion to Allen Lazard on the second snap of the half but overthrew him – one of numerous overthrows. Later, on third-and-7, Rodgers went deep to running back Tyler Ervin but overthrew him, too. Crosby missed on the next snap. The Lions get the ball at the 41 for what might be the biggest defensive series of the game.

Injury update: Lions receiver Kenny Golladay is out with a concussion.

Lions 17, Packers 10 (3:10 remaining)

The score: On third-and-10 from the 20, Adams torched cornerback Amani Oruwariye on a post-corner route. Adams was wide open and Aaron Rodgers, who had struggled with accuracy all day, hit him with a perfect ball.

Key plays: After Rodgers overthrew deep ball after deep ball in the first half, Green Bay went back to some of the short passes that worked last week. Allen Lazard had two catches for 28 yards on a drive that didn’t include a single third-down play until the touchdown.

Injury update: Right tackle Bryan Bulaga is being evaluated for a concussion. Jared Veldheer took his spot in the lineup. Meanwhile, Corey Linsley is out.

FOURTH QUARTER

Lions 17, Packers 13 (12:07 remaining)

The score: Mason Crosby made a 40-yard field goal.

Key plays: Aaron Rodgers hit Davante Adams on an out against Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay for 10 yards on third-and-6. On the next play, Aaron Jones broke two tackles for a gain of 11. However, the Lions’ defense stiffened with breakups by safety Tavon Wilson, who delivered a big blow to Jones on a wheel route, and defensive back Tracy Walker on an end-zone shot to tight end Jimmy Graham.

Injury update: Lions linebacker Devon Kennard, who entered the game tied for the team lead with seven sacks, is out.

Lions 20, Packers 13 (11:08 remaining)

The score: Matt Prater boomed a 56-yard field goal.

Key play: On the first play, Jaire Alexander stumbled and tackled receiver Chris Lacy, resulting in a 30-yard penalty for pass interference.

Lions 20, Packers 13 (10:36 remaining)

The Packers went three-and-out, with Aaron Rodgers overthrowing Davante Adams on a deep ball, throwing incomplete to Marquez Valdes-Scantling with Tyler Ervin wide open and throwing slightly behind tight end Robert Tonyan and having the pass broken up.

Lions 20, Packers 13 (7:52 remaining)

Lions quarterback David Blough finally made a mistake. After stepping up in the pocket to avoid Za’Darius Smith, he threw deep but the pass was woefully underthrown and intercepted by linebacker Blake Martinez. He returned the ball to Green Bay’s 45; a personal foul tacked on 15 more yards, setting up the offense at the Lions’ 40.

Packers 20, Lions 20 (5:19 remaining)

The score: Aaron Rodgers had a miserable day but he threw a dart to Allen Lazard for a 28-yard touchdown against tight coverage by Darius Slay. Rodgers threw a perfect pass just before getting decked by Romeo Okwara.

Key play: On fourth-and-1, Matt LaFleur kept the offense on the field. It was a sprintout to the left, with Rodgers hitting Davante Adams for a gain of 3.

Packers 20, Lions 20 (3:34 remaining)

Za'Darius Smith made up for a missed tackle on the first play, which resulted in a run for 20, by pressuring David Blough into a third-down incompletion.

Packers 20, Lions 20 (1:40 remaining)

The Packers had a chance to mount a winning drive but offensive pass interference on Jake Kumerow ruined that. A third-and-20 bomb to Kumerow was intercepted at the 26 by Amani Oruwariye. Green Bay got a three-and-out, though, giving it a last chance at its 17 with 1:20 to go.

FINAL: Packers 23, Lions 20 (0:00 remaining)

The score: Mason Crosby made a 33-yard field goal. The Packers rallied from a 17-3 halftime deficit to win the game and clinch a first-round bye.

Key plays: On the first play from the 17 with 1:20 remaining, the Packers got a gift when Rodgers scrambled for 2 but Lions safety Tavon Wilson was flagged for unnecessary roughness. Completions of 4 yards to Geronimo Allison and 11 yards to Marquez Valdes-Scantling set the stage for the game’s biggest play. With Rodgers under pressure, he checked it down to Jones near midfield. He broke two tackles en route to a 31-yard gain to the Lions’ 20.