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Packers fall to Lions in finale, 35-11

Posted Dec 31, 2017

Green Bay ends 2017 season at 7-9


DETROIT – The Packers’ 2017 season came to an end in disappointing fashion on Sunday with a 35-11 loss to the Lions at Ford Field in Detroit.

With the defeat, the Packers finished 7-9, just the second sub-.500 record in Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s 12-year tenure. The Lions, who finished 9-7, swept Green Bay in the season series for the first time since 1991.

After an erratic start, Detroit QB Matthew Stafford was nearly flawless, completing 20-of-29 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns for a 140.4 passer rating. WRs Golden Tate (seven catches, 104 yards), Marvin Jones Jr. (4-81) and Kenny Golladay (2-80) each caught a TD pass.

For the Packers, QB Brett Hundley was 14-of-24 for 177 yards with one TD and two interceptions for a 60.6 rating before being replaced late in the fourth quarter by Joe Callahan. RB Jamaal Williams had 22 carries for 82 yards, and WR Randall Cobb had four catches for 50 yards and a score.

Here's a recap of the action.

First quarter:

The Packers and Lions traded field goals in the first quarter, but Green Bay had two other scoring chances that ended in turnovers in the red zone.

The Packers won the toss and deferred, but then began the game with an onside kick that S Jermaine Whitehead recovered at the Green Bay 49.

After a pass to WR Geronimo Allison and a run by RB Jamaal Williams converted a pair of third-and-1s, Williams couldn’t haul in a slant pass on third-and-6 into the red zone, and the deflection went right to Lions LB Jarrad Davis for the interception. Williams was open and the pass was slightly behind him, but he got two hands on it and tipped it right to Davis.

An illegal block on Davis’ return put the Lions on their own 10 to start. Green Bay’s defense started with a three-and-out, as rookie CB Lenzy Pipkins got his first start and broke up a third-down pass for WR Kenny Golladay on third down.

QB Brett Hundley scrambled for 5 yards and then ran a read-option for 6 and a first down. A 27-yard screen pass to Williams put the Packers on the Detroit 28 and a defensive holding call gave Green Bay another first down on the 23. Hundley’s third-and-10 pass over the middle to WR Jeff Janis was just out of his reach near the goal line, and the Packers settled for a 41-yard field goal by K Mason Crosby.

On the first play of Detroit’s next series, QB Matthew Stafford went deep off play-action and hit WR Marvin Jones Jr. for 56 yards to the Green Bay 18. A defensive holding penalty on LB Blake Martinez moved the ball to the 13, but the Packers’ defense held there. A fade for TE Eric Ebron in the end zone was underthrown, with Martinez in coverage, and a third-down pass for Ebron at the goal line was tightly guarded by S Josh Jones. Lions K Matt Prater was good from 28 yards out, tying the game at 3.

On third-and-5 on Green Bay’s next series, Hundley scrambled out of a sack and fired deep to WR Randall Cobb, who couldn’t hang on following a big hit from Lions DB Quandre Diggs, who was flagged for contact to Cobb’s helmet. Hundley promptly hit WR Trevor Davis down the right sideline for 29 yards to the Detroit 26.

After a 6-yard run by Williams, Hundley ran a read-option for the first down, but S Glover Quin knocked the ball out, and LB Tahir Whitehead recovered the fumble for the Lions at the 16.

Second quarter:

The Packers’ sloppy play continued and the Lions took command in the second quarter, grabbing a 20-3 halftime.

Stafford misfired for Ebron over the middle on third down, and the Lions punted. Davis returned the punt 18 yards to the Green Bay 42.

Williams ran 14 yards up the middle on a draw play to get across midfield, but the drive stalled there as Williams dropped a screen pass on third down. P Justin Vogel’s punt was bobbled and fair-caught at the 12.

Ebron hurdled Whitehead on a third-down completion to move the chains. A 9-yard pass to RB Theo Riddick, followed by a 2-yard Riddick run, picked up another first down. After an 11-yard completion to RB Ameer Abdullah, the Lions faced third-and-10. Stafford found Golladay wide open on a post route over the middle for a 54-yard touchdown, and the Lions led 10-3 with 7:27 left in the half.

Davis brought the kickoff out of the end zone but only got to the 10. A false start and a sack by DE Ziggy Ansah had the Packers punting from their own 2. An illegal block on a nice return by CB Jamal Agnew prevented the Lions from starting in the red zone, but they began on the Green Bay 40 nonetheless.

On third-and-7 from the 37, LB Clay Matthews sacked Stafford for an 8-yard loss, pushing the Lions out of field-goal range. But on the Detroit punt, as Davis called for a fair catch, Packers rookie CB Donatello Brown was blocked into Davis, and the ball was muffed. The Lions recovered at the Green Bay 14.

An 11-yard pass to WR Golden Tate followed by a 3-yard TD pass to Jones put the Lions up 17-3 with 2:20 left in the half.

From his own 14, Hundley was under pressure from Ansah and was called for intentional grounding on the first play of the ensuing series, putting the ball on the 1. The Packers didn’t get out of the hole, and Vogel’s 45-yard punt was returned 11 yards by Agnew to the Green Bay 35.

A 15-yard pass to Tate and a defensive holding call on Pipkins against Jones put the ball on the 15, but the Packers’ defense held there. Prater tacked on a 30-yard field goal with 31 seconds left in the half to make it 20-3.

Third quarter:

The Lions tacked on another touchdown on a big play, taking a 27-3 lead over the Packers into the fourth quarter.

On the second play of the second half, Hundley connected with newly promoted TE Emanuel Byrd on a 29-yard catch-and-run out to midfield, but Ansah sacked Hundley on the ensuing third down, and the Packers punted.

A 14-yard pass to Jones and another 14-yard pass to TE Darren Fells got the Lions across midfield. After a 9-yard pass to RB Tion Green, Packers DT Mike Daniels sacked Stafford on third down for a 10-yard loss, knocking the Lions out of field-goal range.

The Packers went three-and-out, with Ansah getting his third sack of the game for the Lions. Vogel’s punt was downed at the Green Bay 49, but Detroit went three-and-out as well.

Green Bay went three-and-out for the second straight drive, and this time it was DTs Akeem Spence and A’Shawn Robinson sharing the third-down sack for Detroit.

On the first play of the Lions’ next series, Stafford found Tate all alone behind the defense, and Tate took it 71 yards in all for the score to make it 27-3.

Two runs by Williams gained 11 yards and a 10-yard pass to WR Randall Cobb ended the period.

Fourth quarter:

The Packers began the fourth quarter with a trick play, as Cobb took a pitch and threw a pass back to Hundley for a 10-yard gain. Cobb then drew a pass interference penalty downfield, giving Green Bay a first down on the Detroit 22.

Four plays later, on fourth-and-5 from the 17, Cobb snuck out of the backfield, caught Hundley’s short pass, and took it into the end zone for the touchdown. A quick pass to Cobb was good for the two-point conversion, pulling Green Bay within 27-11 with 11:27 to go.

An 8-yard pass to Jones and a 10-yard run by Green got the Lions across midfield. Stafford threw a sideline fade for Golladay against Pipkins, and it was initially ruled that Golladay was out of bounds. The Lions challenged and the call was reversed to a catch for a first down at the Green Bay 15.

Following an offside call on LB Ahmad Brooks, RB Ameer Abdullah took a pitch around the left side for a 7-yard touchdown. A reverse pass from Tate to Stafford was good for two points, and the Lions led 35-11.

Passes of 21 yards to Davis and 17 yards to Cobb got the Packers moving again, but Hundley’s next pass was picked off by NFL interception leader CB Darius Slay, his eighth of the season.

After a Detroit punt, QB Joe Callahan came into the game for Green Bay to finish up.

 
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