Recap: Lions hang on for 31-23 win over Packers

By Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News
Lions' Marvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay celebrate Jones' touchdown in the second quarter.

Final leaders


DET - Matthew Stafford: 14/26, 183 yds., 2 TDs

GB - Aaron Rodgers: 32/52, 442 yds., 3 TDs


DET - Kerryon Johnson: 12 atts., 70 yds.

DET - LeGarrette Blount: 12 atts., 22 yds., 2 TDs

GB - Aaron Jones: 7 atts., 40 yds.


DET - Kenny Golladay: 4 recs., 98 yds., TD

GB - Davante Adams: 9 recs., 140 yds., TD

Late Packers push falls short

Aaron Rodgers' throw on first down is incomplete, and is second-down throw to Adams goes for a gain of 3. Aaron Jones catches a 12-yard pass on third down before getting pushed out-of-bounds by Jarrad Davis.

Jimmy Graham catches a 5-yard pass and steps out-of-bounds with 0:20 remaining. Equanimeous St. Brown springs free for a 44-yard reception that'll make it first-and-10 at the Detroit 23.

Mason Crosby will try a field goal with hopes of recovering an onside kick to give Rodgers one last shot at the end zone.

Crosby's try from 41 yards out is good. Sarcastic cheers pour out of the stands.

31-23 Lions (0:02 4th)

Marvin Jones recovers the onside kick attempt.

One Matthew Stafford knee puts the Packers away. Lions win.

31-23 Lions (FINAL)

Lions bleed clock late in fourth

LeGarrette Blount reaches the 49-yard-line with a 3-yard run. 

Timeout Green Bay (3:30 4th)

Matthew Stafford is sacked on second down by Blake Martinez for a loss of 4.

Timeout Green Bay (3:24 4th)

On third-and-11, Stafford fires a pass completed to Golden Tate for a gain of 14 that'll move the chains. First-and-10 at the Green Bay 41.

Timeout Green Bay (3:13 4th)

Blount runs for a gain of 2 on first down and gets 3 more on second down.

Two-minute warning

Blount is wrapped up for a loss of 1 on third down.

Timeout Detroit (1:15 4th)

Sam Martin's punt is downed at the Packer 3-yard-line.

31-10 Lions (1:04 4th)

Detroit defense comes up with biggest stop of day

Injury: Lions running back Kerryon Johnson is questionable to return with an ankle injury.

Green Bay's drive gets off to a great start after being pushed back to the 25 with a penalty on the punt return. Aaron Rodgers completes a pass to Ty Montgomery that goes 23 yards to the Packer 48-yard-line.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling hauls in a 9-yard reception that'll move Green Bay into Detroit territory, and Montgomery gives the Packers a new set of downs with a 10-yard run.

Davante Adams is ruled to have made a diving catch at the Detroit 3-yard-line, but will most likely be overturned after Matt Patricia fires the challenge flag.

Injury: Jamal Agnew is hurt on the play and is gingerly helped off the field by the training staff.

The call is overturned. Second-and-10 coming up at the 33.

Injury update: Packers cornerback Kevin King is questionable to return with a chin injury.

Timeout Detroit (4:00 4th)

Rodgers' check-down to Montgomery is bobbled and falls to the turf. The Packers catch Detroit off guard with hurry-up offense and complete a 12-yard pass to Graham. They're flagged for illegal shift, however, and that'll make it third-and-15. 

Jarrad Davis makes a huge play to send Rodgers' throw end-over-end and make it fourth-and-15. 

Despite his terrible day, Mason Crosby will be out to try a 56-yard field goal.

He misses. Detroit will take over at the 46.

31-20 Lions (3:34 4th)

Penalties end Detroit drive before it begins

Mason Crosby's kick goes for a touchback.

Matthew Stafford's throw on first down to Golden Tate is complete, but Tate's only able to get back to the original line-of-scrimmage.

A false start penalty on Marvin Jones makes it second-and-15. 

Jones then catches a 6-yard pass on second down, but is called for pass interference. It'll be second-and-25 at the 10-yard-line. Theo Riddick takes the next two handoffs, gaining a total of 4 yards. Sam Martin will be out to punt.

Tramon Williams advances the punt return 7 yards. An illegal block in the back will move the Packers back to the 25.

31-20 Lions (5:47 4th)

Packers respond with Adams touchdown

Green Bay will start its drive at the 25.

Aaron Rodgers completes it on first down to Davante Adams for a gain of 8. Equanimeous St. Brown gets to the Detroit 49-yard-line on an 18-yard reception to give Green Bay a first down.

Jimmy Graham catches a pass heading toward the sideline for a gain of 10 that'll give the Packers another first down. Jamaal Williams gets 11 yards on the next play to make it first-and-10 at the 28-yard-line.

Williams plows ahead for a gain of 4 on the next first-down play. He then catches a pass from Rodgers in the flat and gets 12 yards upfield to reach the Detroit 12.

Rodgers' throw to Adams on first down misses the mark. His second-down throw to Adams is on the money, however, and Adams reaches the end zone for a Packer touchdown. 

Mason Crosby's PAT clanks off the left upright to officially make this a career day in the worst way imaginable.

31-20 Lions (9:01 4th)

Golladay touchdown puts Lions up three scores

The Lions take Mason Crosby's kick for a touchback.

Injury update: Teez Tabor is questionable to return with a groin injury.

Matthew Stafford gets it to Golden Tate on first down, and he fights ahead for a gain of 13 despite having a hand in his face mask. A 15-yard personal foul will make it first-and-10 at the Green Bay 47.

Kerryon Johnson runs for a gain of 5 on first down. Two Packers jump offside on second down, giving Stafford carte blanche to take a shot downfield to Marvin Jones. Jones makes an admirable diving effort on the play, but is unable to hold onto the ball as he goes to the ground.

The 5-yard penalty will make it second-and-1.

LeGarrette Blount is stopped for no gain on second down. That'll do it for the third quarter in Detroit.

24-14 Lions (End 3rd)

Blount gets the carry again, and this time he breaks free for a gain of 6. It'll be first-and-10 at the Green Bay 32.

Stafford's first-down attempt to Tate falls incomplete. Johnson gets to the edge with a lot of room to run, picking up 24 yards on his way to the Green Bay 8-yard-line.

Blount gets to the 5-yard-line with a gain of 3 on first down. Stafford takes the shotgun snap and puts it right on the mark to Kenny Golladay for a 5-yard touchdown reception.

31-14 Lions (12:55 4th)

Packers cut deficit to 10 with Kendricks touchdown

After Prater's missed field goal, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense will take over at the Detroit 45.

Aaron Rodgers' first-down throw to Marquez Valdes-Scantling falls incomplete.

Injury: Lions cornerback Teez Tabor was hurt on the play.

Rodgers finds Davante Adams wide open in space on second down, and Adams gets up to the Detroit 36 with a gain of 19.

The Lions brings the heat on first down and Rodgers is forced to throw it at his running back's feet. Adams had a step on Slay on his second-down route, but Rodgers misses his man long. Huge third-and-10 coming up.

Adams hauls in the completion on third down and, but Slay pulls him down 3 yards short of the first down marker. The Packers will go for it. 

Rodgers steps back and the line splits like the Red Sea. Rodgers seizes the hole and darts forward for a pickup of 6 that'll make it first-and-10 at the 24.

Ty Montgomery rushes for 1 yard on first down. Valdez-Scantling catches a pass over the middle and cuts to the outside, picking up 9 before getting pushed out-of-bounds at the 14 by Glover Quin.

Montgomery runs for another gain of 1 on first down. On second down, Valdez-Scantling catches a pass at the 3 and reaches forward for the goal line. He drops the ball in the process, and recovers his own fumble in the end zone. Touchdown Packers.

The play will be reviewed. It appears his elbow may have been down before he reached across the goal line/dropped the ball.

After review, the touchdown is reversed and Green Bay will have it first-and-goal at the 1.

Rodgers fakes the handoff and gets the pass away quickly to Lance Kendricks for a Packer touchdown. For real, this time. Another two-point attempt coming up.

Rodgers' throw on the two-point attempt falls incomplete.

24-14 Lions (1:14 3rd)

Prater misses long field goal, Detroit gives ball back 

Ameer Abdullah takes Mason Crosby's kick for a touchback. An offsides penalty gives Detroit 5 free yards, so it'll start at the 30.

Kerryon Johnson gets the ball and runs for a gain of 2. 

"Go Pack Go" chants have begun to ring out in Ford Field.

Matthew Stafford's second-down throw to Marvin Jones falls incomplete. Third-and-8 coming up. Stafford throws to Kenny Golladay, who's defended nicely by Tony Brown as the pass falls incomplete.

Brown gets flagged for taunting after the play, giving the Lions 15 yards and extending the drive.

Stafford is pressured on first down and fires a frozen rope to Golden Tate, who was streaking down the left sideline; the pass is just out of Tate's reach. Stafford gets it to Johnson on second down, and the rookie halfback dances up the sideline to the Green Bay 41, giving the Lions a first down.

Johnson runs up the middle on the next play. He's stopped for a gain of 2. Green Bay not giving much up the middle. Stafford's throw to Levine Toilolo falls incomplete to make it third-and-8 for the second time this drive. Stafford escapes pressure and completes it to Jones for a gain of 9, but Jones is called is called for pass interference. It'll now be third-and-18. Theo Riddick is the target on third down, and he picks up 12. 

Matt Prater is out to try a 55-yard field goal. 

Prater's try is no good. 

24-8 Lions (5:55 3rd)

11-play drive gets Green Bay on board

Green Bay will get the ball to start the second half. Ty Montgomery lets the kick bounce out of the end zone, and Green Bay will start at the 25.

Aaron Rodgers' first-down pass is complete to Jimmy Graham for a gain of 14 that'll move Green Bay to the 39.

Rodgers has nowhere to go with the ball on the next play, and with the pocket closing, decides to get rid of it. He takes from the shotgun and hits Davante Adams on a crossing route; Adams gets up-field to pick up a total of 23. It'll be first-and-10 at the Detroit 38-yard-line.

Devon Kennard forces his way through the line and takes down Rodgers for a loss of 10 on first down. Rodgers drops way back on second down, and with the pocket closing again, is tripped up by Romeo Okwara as he looks for room to run. It'll be third-and-23. Quandre Diggs wraps up Marquez Valdes-Scantling after a gain of 12 to make it fourth-and-11. 

Green Bay will go for it. Rodgers fires it complete to Adams for a gain of 17 that'll keep the drive alive with a new set of downs at the 22-yard-line.

Slay is called for holding. The penalty is declined.

Rodgers's first-down throw to Graham is incomplete, but he finds his tight end on second down for a gain of 12 that'll make it first-and-10 at the 10.

Jamaal Williams catches the check-down pass and cuts through the second level for a gain of 7.

Green Bay calls a masterful play that leaves Valdez-Scantling wide open for a Packer touchdown. Rodgers and the offense are staying on the field, hoping to get back in this one with three scores.

The two-point conversion is successful with a pass to Williams.

24-8 Lions (9:40 3rd)

First half leaders


DET - Matthew Stafford: 8/15, 127 yds., TD

GB - Aaron Rodgers: 9/19, 141 yds.


DET - Kerryon Johnson: 8 atts., 37 yds.

DET - LeGarrette Blount: 5 atts., 6 yds., 2 TDs

GB - Aaron Jones: 7 atts., 40 yds.


DET - Kenny Golladay: 3 recs., 93 yds.

GB - Davante Adams: 2 recs., 52 yds.

Packers run out second quarter clock

Ty Montgomery takes a knee in the end zone on Sam Martin's kick.

Aaron Rodgers takes a knee to end the dismal first half for the Packers.

24-0 Lions (End 2nd)

Lions add to lead before half

Matthew Stafford fires to Kenny Golladay for a gain of 15 on first down. A face mask penalty on Kevin King adds 7 yards to the end of the run, making it first-and-goal at the 7.

Stafford's throw to Golladay falls incomplete on first down. Theo Riddick gets his first carry of the afternoon on second down and is stuffed for a loss of 1.

On third-and-goal, Marvin Jones loses King in the end zone and Stafford fires a strike to the open Lions receiver for a touchdown.

Matt Prater's PAT is good.

24-0 Lions (0:15 2nd)

Lions strip Rodgers again

The Packers have 85 yards to reach the end zone with 1:30 remaining and no timeouts.

Aaron Rodgers kicks it to Jimmy Graham on first down for a gain of 11 yards and then throws to Marquez Valdes-Scantling on the ensuing first down for a pickup of 9.

On second-and-1, Da'Shawn Hand strips Rodgers and recovers the fumble to give the Lions the ball at the Green Bay 32.

17-0 Lions (0:53 2nd)

Lions miss opportunity to extend lead late in second

After the missed field goal from Crosby, the Lions will take over at the 28.

Kerryon Johnson gets the handoff on first down and has nowhere to go. He jukes left to avoid a loss on the play and get back to the line-of-scrimmage. Johnson gets the ball on second down and gains 4. 

Timeout Green Bay (2:51 2nd)

Stafford throws a completion to Golden Tate, his first catch of the day, and he spins forward on his way to the ground for a gain of 11. It'll be first down at the Detroit 43.

Levine Toilolo is flagged for a false start. It'll be first-and-15 at the 38.

Two-minute warning

At the two-minute warning, the Lions have two timeouts remaining and 62 yards between them and the end zone.

Stafford is pressured on first down, scrambles, and throws to Golladay, who drops the pass near the original line-of-scrimmage. Stafford overthrows Marvin Jones on an out-route near the right sideline. Stafford executes a nifty bubble screen to Tate, but Green Bay contains the Detroit receiver to just a 4-yard gain.

Timeout Green Bay (1:37 2nd)

Sam Martin's punt is fair caught at the 15-yard-line.

17-0 Lions (1:30 2nd)

Crosby misses third field goal of day

Aaron Rodgers throws just over the coverage of Quandre Diggs to tight end Jimmy Graham, who's taken down at the 36-yard-line for a gain of 24.

Rodgers goes to Davante Adams next, this time completing a pass of 22 yards that'll make it first-and-10 at the Detroit 42.

Rodgers tests Nevin Lawson with a 40-yard throw to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and the Detroit corner makes a good play on the ball to force an incompletion. Jamaal Williams rushes for a gain of 3 on second down to make it third-and-7. Rodgers smoothly works his way out of a closing pocket and fires downfield to Adams for a gain of 30 yards. It'll be first-and-goal at the 9.

Williams is the ballcarrier on first down and picks up 5. The Packers go with a four-wide set; Rodgers attempts a back-shoulder fade to Graham that sails out of the end zone to make it third down. Rodgers has absolutely nowhere to go with it on third-and-4. He's tripped up by Romeo Okwara and throws it out-of-bounds. Mason Crosby will attempt his third field goal of the day.

And Mason Crosby misses his third field goal of the day, a 38-yard kick that sails wide-right.

17-0 Lions (3:35 2nd)

Penalties and sacks spell doom for Detroit drive

Matthew Stafford is sacked on first down, making it second-and-14 at the 28. Stafford finds Golladay streaking across the field and puts his throw right on the money for a gain of 18 to give Detroit a first down at the 46-yard-line.

Kerryon Johnson pushes forward for a gain of 2 on first down. Stafford leads Marvin Jones down the right sideline for a gain of 

Each team received a penalty on the play, and they'll do second down over again.

The redo favors Green Bay, as Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is able to sack Stafford for a loss of 5. Theo Riddick catches a pass for a gain of 8 on third down, about 5 yards short of the line-to-gain.

Sam Martin's punt is fair caught by Tramon Williams at the 12-yard-line.

17-0 Lions (7:19 2nd) 

Packers drive stalls in Detroit territory

Sam Martin's kick goes through the end zone for a touchback. Green Bay will start at the 25.

Aaron Rodgers takes from under center, fakes the handoff, and kicks it out to Marquez Valdes-Scantling for an easy completion good for 14 yards. 

Aaron Jones goes up the middle for 8 yards on first down, and on the next play, gets the edge for a pickup of 18 that'll make it first-and-10 at the Detroit 35-yard-line.

Jones takes the handoff again on first down for a gain of 5; he's hit hard by Jarrad Davis as he approaches the sideline. Jones rushes up the middle for 6 more yards on the next play to give Green Bay a first down at the 24. 

Rodgers goes play-action and rolls out, running an identical play that Green Bay ran on the opening play of the drive. This time he misses his receiver. Rodgers goes to the end zone on second down, and sails it again. Third-and-10 coming up.

Good coverage downfield gives Rodgers nowhere to go and allows the Lions D-line time to chase down the Green Bay quarterback, who's forced to throw it away. Mason Crosby will try a 42-yard field goal.

Crosby's try goes off the right upright and falls into the end zone. The Lions will get the ball at the 32.

17-0 Lions (11:19 2nd)

Three-and-out still yields field goal

Matthew Stafford gives to Kerryon Johnson on first down. He's stuffed at the line for a gain of 1 to end the quarter.

14-0 Lions (End 1st)

Stafford continues to throw Golladay's direction, but his second-down pass sails through the end zone. Stafford has four Green Bay defenders in his face upon snapping the ball on third down, forcing a throw into the turf. Matt Prater will try a 39-yard field goal.

Prater's attempt is through the uprights.

17-0 Lions (14:48 2nd)

Okwara forces Packer fumble in Green Bay territory

Because of the penalty on the PAT, Matt Prater will kick off from the 50-yard-line. Ty Montgomery fields the kick and returns it 8 yards to the 14.

Montgomery gets the handoff on first down and picks up 3. 

Timeout Detroit (0:24 1st) 

Aaron Rodgers' throw to Marquez Valdes-Scantling is incomplete. On third-and-7, Romeo Okwara chases down a scrambling Rodgers and swings a tomahawk fist from behind to jar the ball loose. Devon Kennard recovers the ball for Detroit at the Green Bay 22-yard-line.

14-0 Lions (0:09 1st)

Blount extends lead with second touchdown 

Kerryon Johnson picks up 4 yards on a first-down run up the middle. Stafford throws deep to Kenny Golladay on second down, placing the ball perfectly over a Packer defender. Golladay takes it all the way to the Green Bay 5-yard-line before getting wrapped up by Josh Jackson.

LeGarrette Blount rushes for a gain of 1 on first down. He goes left with the ball on second down, this time reaching the end zone and extending Detroit's lead to two scores.

Prater is blown up on the PAT, but puts it through the uprights nonetheless.

14-0 Lions (1:06 1st)

Lions get stop; Crosby misses field goal

Ty Montgomery returns the kick for Green Bay, slices through a handful of Lions defenders, and takes it all the way to the Detroit 34-yard-line.

A holding penalty brings Montgomery's return back to the Green Bay 12.

Aaron Rodgers hands it to Jamaal Williams for a gain of 4 on first down. Aaron Jones is the ballcarrier on second down; he's stuffed by the Lions defensive line for a gain of only 1 to make it third-and-5. Rodgers overthrows Equanimeous St. Brown on third down. Teez Tabor is called for pass interference, however, and that'll give the Packers a first down at the 38-yard-line.

Rodgers rolls out and misses Jimmy Graham with a first-down throw, and Williams runs to the left for a gain of 6 on second down to make it third-and-4. 

Timeout Green Bay (7:50 1st)

The Lions rush just three on third down, giving Rodgers all day to throw. It costs them a defensive stop, as all the defenders downfield allows Rodgers to scramble to the first down marker and keep the drive alive.

The Packers are called for illegal formation on a fist-down run, making it first-and-15. Williams is swallowed on the next play for a loss of 1. Rodgers hits St. Brown on a crossing route for a gain of 17. It'll be first-and-10 at the Detroit 40.

Lance Kendricks catches a pass that's good for 7 yards on first down, and Jones picks up 7 more on a second-down reception that'll give the Packers a new set of downs at the 26.

Jones goes up the middle on first down for a gain of 3. He throws to Williams on the next play, but Jarrad Davis makes a nice play in coverage as the ball arrives to force an incompletion. Da'Shawn Hand penetrates the line and forces Rodgers to get rid of it for an incomplete pass. 

Mason Crosby's field goal attempt from 41 yards out is no good, giving Detroit the ball at the 23-yard-line.

7-0 Lions (3:22 1st)

Wild opening drive lands Lions in end zone

Detroit will get the ball to start the game. 

Ameer Abdullah fields Mason Crosby's kick at the goal line and takes it to the 29-yard-line.

Matthew Stafford throws to Marvin Jones on a 12-yard route that slips through the receivers hands on first down. Kerryon Johnson gets the ball on second down and gets to the edge on his way to a 16-yard pickup that'll move the chains to make it first-and-10 at the 45.

Stafford is pressured on his first-down throw and slings it sidearmed to Johnson for a gain of 3. Johnson gets the handoff on second down and picks up 6 to make it third-and-1. LeGarrette Blount takes his first carry of the game and gets just enough for a first down at the Green Bay 45-yard-line.

Blount is handed the ball again on the next play and loses a yard. Stafford takes it in the shotgun on second down and throws back-shoulder to Theo Riddick, who's unable to come up with it. Third-and-11 coming up. Stafford is pressured on third down and launches one deep to Kenny Golladay, who makes a magnificent catch while diving backward into the end zone. 

Frank Ragnow is called for illegal use of the hands, however, so the play is void and it'll be third-and-21 at the Detroit 44-yard-line.

Injury: Packers defensive lineman Kenny Clark remains down after the play.

With a mile to reach the first down marker, it's Johnson on the draw for a gain of 4. 

Sam Martin's punt rolls off Green Bay blocker Kevin King after a bounce and is picked up by Jamal Agnew at the 1-yard-line, making it Lions ball with first-and-goal coming up.

Mike McCarthy throws the challenge flag, thinking it may have touched a Lions player. The play will be reviewed.

After further review, the play stands. Lions ball at the 1.

Blount gets the ball and barrels his way into the end zone for his first touchdown as a Detroit Lion.

7-0 Lions (10:30 1st)

Receivers rolling

The trio of Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Golden Tate have each recorded over 50 receiving yards since Week 17 of the 2017 season, marking the first time in NFL history that three teammates have put up over 50-or-more yards of receiving each in five consecutive games.

Welcome to the North

Matt Patricia looks to become just the third Lions head coach since 1977 to pick up a win in his head coaching debut against vs. an NFC North opponent. 

Jim Caldwell led the Lions to a 19-7 home victory over Green Bay in his NFC North debut in 2014, and Detroit squashed the Chicago Bears 32-7 at Soldier Field in Bobby Ross' 1997 debut. 

With a win, Patricia would also become the fifth head coach to win his debut against the Packers.

Despite not capturing a division championship since 1993, the Lions have the best record (20-10) against divisional opponents in the NFC North over the past five seasons.


Detroit: Safety Tavon Wilson, linebacker Eli Harold, offensive linemen T.J. Lang and Andrew Donnal and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah are inactive for the Lions.

Green Bay: Wide receiver Randall Cobb, cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Bashaud Breeland, safety Jermain Whitehead offensive lineman Alex Light and wide receiver Geronimo Allison are inactive for the Packers.

The Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers square off in a big NFC North Division game on Sunday at 1 p.m. Follow the action here with live updates throughout the game by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.


Kickoff: 1 p.m. Sunday, Ford Field, Detroit

TV/radio: Fox/760 AM

Records: Lions 1-3, Packers 2-1-1

Line: Even


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