Packers win over Bears would clinch NFC North
Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Next game: Sunday, December 16th at Chicago
Packers Gameday at 10:00 a.m. on Newsradio 620 WTMJ with postgame coverage on Live at 5 and 10 on TODAY'S TMJ4 in Milwaukee and NBC26 in Green Bay; download our FREE Packers "Gameday Extra" App
Daniels on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Packers OT:" "I forgot all about the touchdown. The Lambeau Leap was so ugly."
From Packers Twitterverse:
McCarthy to Larry McCarren:
"We had a lot of different players making plays...our guys did a good job (on the line of scrimmage)."
"I was just real impressed with our football team, the way our players kept battling."
"Good football teams find ways to win games. We're a real good football team."
On Daniels TD: "We might have to look at him at fullback."
10:36 p.m. Packers' 4th Drive :07
Pooch kick. Out of bounds. Packers win. 60 minutes from division title.
10:30 p.m. Lions' 4th Drive 1:59
Green Bay 27, Detroit 20
Hanson 34 yd FG
Garbage-time yardage. 13 yard pass. Durham. In bounds. That's OK.
Heller. 9 yard pass. In bounds. OK again.
Bomb to Megatron...nope...but yellow hankies. Way overthrown, and I think they may get Johnson. NO? Williams? What kind of call is that? "Superstar call." - Wayne Larrivee
Stafford. Bell. Over the middle. Green Bay 44. That's OK. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
Stafford. Long. Scheffler. NO. Williams knocked away the bomb as part of triple-coverage.
Stafford. Bell. 34 yard line. Tick. Tock. Clock the ball. :17
Stafford. Johnson. Finally, out of bounds. Red zone, but :12 left. Not enough time...unless they kick the field goal now.
10:23 p.m. Packers' 3rd Drive 2:21
Inside run. Time out. Repeat.
Rodgers with a 10-yard loss...the most stumbling, bumbling loss of his career. Very Jim Del Gaizo-like. Only time you'll ever read that. Ever.
10:12 p.m. Lions' 3rd Drive 4:02
Near pick by Shields. Underthrown back shoulder throw by Stafford. Pick would have clinched it.
3rd-9 at DET 30: Johnson makes a textbook Megatron catch between defenders. Easy pitch and catch.
Johnson showing why he's the best receiver in the NFL again. "He is a magnifient talent." - Wayne Larrivee. "He's a freak." - Larry McCarren. 13 yards.
ALMOST PICKED AGAIN! Hayward had victory in his hands, and didn't get it done. Charles Woodson encouraged him on the sideline.
3rd-10 at GB 44: Nope. Back shoulder throw fail, as Scheffler didn't turn around properly.
4th-10 at GB 44: PICK! McMillan! BALLGAME!!
Well, not really a pick. The ball hit the ground. But that helps the Packers in terms of field position.
9:59 p.m. Packers' 2nd Drive 7:11
Green Bay 27, Detroit 17
Crosby 41 yd FG
"Folks, this game is there for the Packers to take." - Larry McCarren
Rodgers. Deep. Nope. Triple coverage, and Rodgers slipped before throwing. Plus, Rodgers threw it to Crivitz.
3rd-11 at GB 36: Against eight pass defenders, Rodgers has forever - YES! COBB! Tackle breaking! 36 yards! That is an MVP kind of play.
Now, knock the clock down. Drain it. Second by second. Two minutes left and a two-score game, and it's dagger time.
3rd-7 at DET 23: Nope. ARod missed Jennings. Crosby. Must. Make.
9:51 p.m. Lions' 2nd Drive 10:45
Yes, that was Ron Burgundy-I-mean-guy-who-uttered-Baby-Jesus...oh, heck. Will Ferrell, singing Roll Out The Barrel.
Detroit starting to feel the pressure here, potentially.
3rd-1 at DET 42: Bell. Up the middle. Money. Easy.
PHEW! Shields was pushed down by Durham, but a bad throw, worse catch saved them on 1st down.
3rd-8 at DET 44: Stafford to Scheffler. Nope. Too deep of a throw. Big defensive win. BIG defensive win.
9:44 p.m. Packers' 1st Drive 14:49
Green Bay 24, Detroit 17
Harris 14 yd TD run
3rd-2 at GB 49: Green - 1st down and a boatload more. 10 yards. Draw play and it worked beautifully. Saturday with great block, along with Finley.
Green! Nine yards. What Lions did early in this game, Packers are doing now.
GRANT! WOW! "Welcome back, Ryan Grant!" - Wayne Larrivee. 13 yards.
Packers' O-line is dominating the way the Lions' did earlier.
Harris. Another run. Five yards.
December football at Lambeau Field, and the Packers are owning the run game.
YES!!!!!!!!! Harris! O-line dominated.
9:42 p.m. Lions' 1st Drive 15:00
3rd-4 at GB 33: Stafford bombing...nope. Durham and Shields engaged. Hanson to boot 51-yard bomb.
Short. Maybe blocked?
9:36 p.m. Lions' 3rd Drive 3:24
Lions see Packers in nickel defense with 2-4-5 formation and run.
Yellow hankies. Holding. Love it when it's against the Lions.
3rd-6 at DET 46: Missed tackle leads to Bell getting a first down. Brad Jones at fault.
9:32 p.m. Packers' 3rd Drive 4:25
Green Bay 20, Detroit 17
Crosby 52 yd FG
WOW! Cobb! One-handed snag. His left hand must be bigger than Shawano to catch that.
3rd-10 at DET 26: Sack. Air goes out of balloon. Fairley. An ugly big-boy dance. And it's out of realistic field goal range?
Yardage? Yes. Accuracy? No. Left.
9:27 p.m. Lions' 2nd Drive 5:25
Raji wins that line of scrimmage battle and holds Bell to a yard. Bell claims face mask. Nothin' doin'.
3rd-9 at DET 20: Stafford MISSES Durham. Rare 3-and-out.
9:17 p.m. Packers' 2nd Drive 8:57
3rd-9 at GB 25: JAMES JONES! Monster first down. Great step-up by Rodgers to buy time and he gave Jones time to get open.
Alex Green gets smashed by Tulloch, who does the belt routine in front of Rodgers, almost looking right at him. Class. NOT.
3rd-6 at DET 44: Rodgers. Nothing. Field position win. That's all.
9:09 p.m. Lions' 1st Drive 11:54
Green Bay 17, Detroit 17
Hanson 46 yd FG
3rd-7 at DET 30: Huge.
Stafford to Johnson, first down, and Burnett nailed Johnson high. Flaggage. Star system? Burnett seemed to not hit helmet on slo-mo replay but it looked like it at full speed, so I get why the refs called it. But they were wrong.
3rd-1 at DET 27: A rare third-down failure. At worst, tie game with 972-year-old Jason Hanson.
8:59 p.m. Packers' 1st Drive 15:00
Green Bay 17, Detroit 14
Rodgers 27 yd TD run
Huge drive. Momentum drive.
James Jones. Square out. 12 yards. Easy pitch and catch. Like stealing.
UH OH! Ball loose! Green! Big boy Barclay got it back. Phew.
3rd-5 at GB 40: Flaggage. Rodgers deep...COBB! Wide open and he DROPPED IT! Huge gain if he catches it...but there's as many flags on the field as snow falling.
Two defensive calls, including roughing the passer - two steps, and shoved QB into ground. Suh. Of course.
Cobb. A play that didn't work much earlier in this game, but this time, it gets six yards. One man screen this time, and the blocker helped. To the 27.
3rd-4 at DET 27: Scramble! Rodgers! WOW! ALL THE WAY! HUGE!
8:40 p.m. Lions' 4th Drive :59
Bell FINALLY gets stacked up, and Brad Jones and Jerel Worthy own him.
3rd-5 at DET 15: Stafford downfield and Calvin Johnson...clockwork. "There's nobody on the planet who can cover him." - Wayne Larrivee
8:34 p.m. Packers' 2nd Drive 2:42
Uh oh. Cobb barely gains a yard, and could have had a big loss with retreating yardage as the Lions knew what was coming on a WR screen.
3rd-15 at GB 40: A useless completion to Cobb, an attempt at a WR screen that had zero chance. Useless drive. Completely useless drive.
8:28 p.m. Lions' 3rd Drive 6:15
Just remember: momentum in football is only as strong as your line play. Packers must own that now.
First couple plays: Lions win that battle.
Blitz...and that helped alter a throw to Megatron, with Williams getting enough of a tip to stop the first down.
3rd-5 at DET 38: Bell. Wide open. Too much of that on 3rd down in this game.
Leshoure and a 10 yard gain. Packers getting gashed in run game.
PICK! Sam Shields! If thet Lions own line of scrimmage, turnovers will be critical for Packers to win this contest, and the Packers have their second of the quarter.
8:16 p.m. Lions' 2nd Drive 10:52
Detroit 14, Green Bay 10
Daniels 43 yd fumble return TD
Defense must step up. Big. And quickly. A three-and-out would help.
3rd-1.5 at DET 35.5: Stafford to Heller. That was a "HELP ME, I'M BEING PRESSURED" throw, and Heller gave Stafford the escape.
BALL LOOSE! Stafford during a slide...and the Packers got the ball back, but the refs say the runner was down by contact. Referee: "At the time he slides, the quarterback is dead...uh, the ball is dead" - Referee.
3rd-1 at DET 48: Stafford has forever, enough time for Durham's second diving catch of the first half. Good pass protection. No. Great pass protection.
BALL LOOSE! DANIELS! BIG BOY GO TO THE END ZONE!
8:08 p.m. Packers' 1st Drive 12:47
Detroit 14, Green Bay 3
Crosby 49 yd FG
First big play of the day for Green Bay - Jennings wide open down the right sideline. They need any sort of positive momentum they can get.
Great eight yards by Green, but it's negated. Holding.
Made worse by Jones with his first dropped pass of 2012. Horrible drop.
Green! There's a penalty-maker-upper. Fantastic blocking to the right side to get Green some green space to run over. (Not yet white snowy space.)
3rd-6 at DET 31: Missed Kuhn. Rodgers under pressure, barely got the pass away. Still in field goal range because of Rodgers' fast-thinking throw.
8:02 p.m. Lions' 1st Drive continued from 1st Qtr
Detroit 14, Green Bay 0
Stafford-Scheffler 3 yd TD pass
ONE HANDED CATCH by someone not named Megatron. Chris Durham. 6' 6", and a hlighl8ight film catch. He beat House. Badly.
1st-goal at GB 6: Bell. Three yards. Lions again win the battle of the line of scrimmage.
2nd-goal at GB 3: Scheffler. Easy. Uh oh.
7:54 p.m. Lions' 2nd Drive 3:35
You'd think the Packers' might want to put more bodies in the box to stop a Lions run game that owned Green Bay the first drive.
But to do that, you risk Calvin Johnson burning you - unless Tramon Williams can win a one-on-one battle.
Stafford to Scheffler ,13 yards, and that's the other dangerous Lions pass target.
Bell with good yardage again. He burned a Packers defender and got another first down run. Explosive runner.
"The Lions are winning the battle up front." - Wayne Larrivee
3rd-2 at GB 41: Stafford with forever, and Scheffler had no one within five yards guarding him. Five yards free, two yards fora first down...not a good defensive formula.
7:45 p.m. Packers' 1st Drive 7:15
DuJuan Harris at running back...unusual call. First run and it's darn good. 10 yards. Great blocking on the flanks.
The Packers' D-line will need rest. Long drives may not be such a bad thing. But that means a low-possession game, so the Packers secondary may need a turnover or two.
3rd-2.5 at DET 49: Rodgers battles a blitz and runs himself in first down territory. He attempted to slide, but Fairley got him with a legal hit.
Green. Hole. Power run. Nine yards. Three tacklers carried. Barclay is a dominant run blocker when he needs to be.
Rodgers to COBB! 20 yards. Rodgers had to scramble, stumbled left, but still had enough dexterity to turn his hips and make a proper throw instead of trying to make a dangerous throw.
FUMBLE! Uh oh. Lions get it. Jackson smashed Rodgers. Blind side hit. Nothin' he could do.
7:30 p.m. Lions' 1st Drive 15:00 left in 1st Qtr
Detroit 7, Green Bay 0
Stafford 3 yd TD run
LeShoure gets the first carry. Five yards, as snowflaks fall softly onto Lambeau Field. Looks like a fast track, for now. Key words, for now.
3rd-2 at DET 28: This may happen a lot - Calvin Johnson wide open. He's good. Very good.
House makes a darn good open field tackle on a pass to the outside flat. Just four yards. Hold a team passing to four yard gains, you're doing well.
Uh oh. Leshoure. "Got running room." Those words from Wayne Larrivee can be doom...oh wait. It's not Adrian Peterson. Still, nine yards and a first down.
The Lions are methodically getting yardage. Bell with 11 yards and a first down. Left tackle smash, and huge hole. Problematic, especially with only four healthy linemen for Green Bay on defense.
Johnson. Wide open. That's because he tossed down Williams and committed offensive pass interference.
But they're calling offsides as well on Moses - his second neutral zone infraction on the drive.
REVERSE! Thomas inside the 15 yard line. Packers' interior got fooled, and Stafford cut-blocked Zombo to free up Thomas.
3rd-inches at GB 3 as snow falls harder: Leshoure...dive over the pile...uh...did he? did he? He disappeared into the pile like a ship disappears into the fog over the horizon.
Nope. Fourth down. And the Lions are going for it. A healthy body advantage on the line of scrimmage.
"First turning point of the game." - Larry McCarren.
Play action...Stafford...easy...TD bootleg. No outside contain from Zombo. Easy.
From our Greg Matzek: "Well, the weather here at Lambeau Field is December-like. Steady snow, temps around 30, but very little wind."
Detroit wins the toss, and will receive to start the game. Again, that helps the Packers because Green Bay owns the second half momentum.
McCarthy w/Wayne Larrivee:
On preparing for two games against the Lions:
"You definitely plan for two games. We do it every year...and then obviously playing so late, you have more in-season information before your first game."
On Ryan Grant's presence:
"I thought he looked very natural coming back. I feel like he's on top of the game plan. I will not hesitate to use him tonight."
On T.J. Lang's availability tonight:
"T.J. Lang, we're going to work him in pregame, and then make a decision."
Check out the start of our Packers photo gallery: see these by Lance Allan & Wayne Larrivee.
Key Packers injury updates:
Bad news: Mike Neal is inactive. The Packers have four active D-linemen.
Good news: T.J. Lang will be active at RT.
If the Packers win their next two games, they will be NFC North champions.
Thanks, Minnesota Vikings, for knocking off the Chicago Bears to make that happen.
And yes, the Packers would clinch in Chicago. Sounds sort of like the NFC Championship Game of 2010, doesn't it?
NBC's Michele Tafoya reports that T.J. Lang's status is a game time decision. If he can't go, next man up = Don Barclay.
Forget the two decades-plus of dominance in home games over the Detroit Lions. Forget the fact the Green Bay Packers have won all but one of the meetings against the Lions since 2005.
Forget the fact that the Packers have everything to play for, and the Lions only have pride and professionalism to play for.
There is ample evidence to believe that the Lions, if fully stocked and healthy, can give the Packers major trouble tonight.
The question comes in the health of defensive tackle Nick Fairley. If he's able to play at his normal level despite a quad injury, the Packers' offensive line could get a severe test.
"That's why it will probably be a lot closer than people think it will," said Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Voice of the Packers, Wayne Larrivee on "Wisconsin's Morning News" this week.
"The Detroit defensive tackles, Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, are one of the best tandems of defensive tackles in the league today. They're athletic. They're big. They're strong. They dominated at the point of attack when these teams met up in Detroit. The Packers, because of their perimeter game and Detroit's malfunctions in the secondary, were able to get a win. That's going to be the challenge right there."
The Packers know all about Detroit secondary malfunctions.
Matt Flynn threw for 480 yards against that malfunctioned secondary on Jan. 1, 2012 before departing to become a backup in Seattle.
Aaron Rodgers threw for enough late in the teams' first meeting this season to produce a 24-20 comeback win.
Give Aaron Rodgers time, and this game will be much more lopsided.
Don't, and the Packers have a challenging contest on their hands.