Sunday's top game: Rodgers will be ready for Lions
Tampa, Fla. — Nothing Aaron Rodgers does as a quarterback surprises the Packers.
The NFL's top-rated passer shrugged off the flu and played most of Sunday with a strained left calf, leading Green Bay to a 20-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — clinching at least a wild-card playoff spot.
The win set up a showdown with Detroit for the NFC North title next Sunday at Lambeau Field. The winner also will receive a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Rodgers threw for 318 yards and one touchdown and Eddie Lacy scored on a 44-yard run for the Packers (11-4).
"I'll be OK for next week. I hurt my calf pretty good, but the training staff helped me kind of get through it," Rodgers said, adding he was injured on Green Bay's second offensive possession.
"It got really tight about halftime. Came in and got a little treatment, it loosened up just a tad, but it was still pretty tight. … I was able to move in short segments in the pocket, which was all I needed to do today."
Lacy finished with 99 yards rushing on 17 attempts. Jordy Nelson caught a 1-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter and had nine receptions for 113 yards, while Rodgers completed 11 throws to Randall Cobb for 131 yards.
"I've obviously been with Aaron the whole time. You see him do things on the football field, as far as making plays and this and that. I think the last couple of days, you see the kind of warrior he is," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "He battled whatever illness he's had the last couple of days and then goes out and strains his calf the first or second series. He didn't want to come out. … Really a gritty performance by Aaron."
As for the showdown with the Lions (11-4), McCarthy added:
"We've won six out of seven games, so I'd like to classify that as playing a lot of solid football, that's for sure," McCarthy said. "We'll clean this game up tomorrow; we'll be on it. We'll also start on Detroit. I like where we're at, and I really like this football team. … I feel good about the offense, defense and special teams."
Rodgers rebounded from last week's loss to Buffalo, the only game this season in which he's failed to throw for a touchdown, completing 31 of 40 passes without an interception. He threw 24 yards to Nelson on third-and-13 to extend the drive that produced Lacy's TD run, and a 19-yard completion to Nelson set up Rodgers' 36th TD pass of the year.
"I battled the flu the past couple of days pretty bad, and that's why I was surprised I hurt my calf because I hydrated like no other (week)," Rodgers said.
"Unfortunately, the calf kind of gave up on me there. But it was a good win for us. The defense played great. Offensively, it wasn't pretty, but we had enough points to win."
The Bucs (2-13) have lost five straight and remain in contention for the first overall pick in the 2015 draft. Their sputtering offense was held to a season-low 109 net yards.