The Packers are back and are rolling through the competition. After posting a gritty, tough 24-20 win in Detroit on Sunday, the Green Bay Packers stand at 7-3 and are closing in on first place of the NFC North fast. In a back and forth battle at Ford Field, Green Bay needed its quarterback to step up when it mattered most, and got some much needed help on defense. In a game that featured six lead changes, the final blow was delivered from the arm of Aaron Rodgers, who hit Randall Cobb on a 22 yard heave late in the fourth quarter to put the Packers ahead of the Lions for good, dropping them to 4-6 and struggling to stay afloat in the playoff picture.
This game was highlighted by many big plays and big mistakes, from both sides and at the most inopportune times. Neither team had much trouble moving the ball, accruing a combined 676 yards on the day. Detroit struck first on a field goal from Jason Hanson, but Green Bay responded shortly after in the second quarter. The Packers set up a screen to the right, drawing all attention to that side as tight end Jermichael Finley slipped across the middle, uncovered as he ran through the open space for a 20 yard touchdown. Detroit responded with a 1 yard run, until it committed its first critical error of the game. Up 10-7, Matthew Stafford tried to hit Tony Scheffler, but threw behind him enough to have it deflect off his hands into M.D. Jennings’ arms, and he ran back the interception 72 yards for a touchdown. Stafford atoned for his error by hitting Calvin Johnson in the end zone with 3 minutes left in the third, on a pass that probably should have been intercepted as well, just slipping through Nick Harris’ hands. After another field goal put them up 20-14, Aaron Rodgers had less than 5 minutes to lead the Packers back. He promptly hit Finley, who broke several tackles on a big gain to set up the game winning touchdown to Cobb.
Green Bay is now firmly in control of its own playoff fate. It stands at 7-3 on the season, and still is not even firing on all cylinders. Their running game needs to be fixed, and they will be pleased to have Clay Matthews back, as the middle of their defense was exploited by Tony Scheffler and Brandon Pettigrew. However, its defense stepped up when it mattered, forcing four turnovers and returning one of them for a touchdown. On a day when Aaron Rodgers was not perfect, the defense stepped up when it needed to to secure this victory. Next up for Green Bay is a road trip to the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, who look to bounce back after their bye week at home. Green Bay will certainly be fired up for this one, as the Giants ended their season last year in the second round of the playoffs. Stay tuned for more about the Green Bay Packers, and enjoy your week and Thanksgiving!