GREEN BAY – The odds were not in the Packers’ favor Monday night after Matt Prater made his fifth and final field goal from 54 yards in the fourth quarter of Green Bay’s eventual 23-22 win over the Detroit Lions.
And then Allen Lazard came into the picture.
According to numberFire's win probability model, which takes into account team strength, score, time left and possession, the Packers’ chances of winning hovered around 15% when the Lions’ veteran kicker extended Detroit’s lead to 22-13 with 12 minutes, 17 seconds remaining.
The Packers’ win probability spiked to 41.09% percent thanks to Lazard’s 35-yard touchdown cutting the deficit to two points and Green Bay’s defense forcing the Lions to punt with 6 minutes, 53 seconds remaining.
On the 14-play, 77-yard game-winning series that culminated with Mason Crosby's 23-yard field goal, Green Bay’s odds grew to 45.83% with Lazard’s 12-yard catch on second-and-8 at the Green Bay 23 and 74.36% after his 15-yard reception on second-and-8 at the Detroit 37.
56.06% win probability
Lions 3, Packers 0 (12:41 remaining in Q1)
Detroit opened with a flea flicker on the very first play of the game. QB Matthew Stafford hit WR Kenny Golladay for a 66-yard completion, with CB Jaire Alexander dragging Golladay down at the Green Bay 11 to prevent a touchdown. The Packers’ defense held its ground in the red zone, forcing a Matt Prater 26-yard field goal.
39.3% win probability
Lions 10, Packers 0 (6:35 remaining in Q1)
The Lions retook the ball at their own 26 after forcing a quick Green Bay three-and-out. Stafford again dented the Packers’ defense with an explosive play at the start of the driving, finding WR Marvin Hall for a 58-yard pass to the Green Bay 16. The Lions chipped away until officials ruled RB Kerryon Johnson had crossed the end zone on a fourth-and-goal dive from the Packers’ 1-yard line.
30.74% win probability
Lions 13, Packers 0 (13:28 remaining in Q2)
Green Bay’s offense advanced into Detroit territory for the first time before DT A’Shawn Robinson forced a fumble of RB Aaron Jones at the Lions’ 43-yard line, which LB Christian Jones recovered. Detroit engineered an 11-play, 64-yard scoring series off the turnover, highlighted by a 20-yard screen pass to Johnson. However, the Lions again stalled out in the red zone, leading to a 22-yard Prater field goal.
41.75% win probability
Lions 13, Packers 7 (7:31 remaining in Q2)
A 21-yard pass to WR Geronimo Allison got the offense going, while RB Jamaal Williams began to heat up with four carries for 23 yards and finally a five-yard touchdown pass from QB Aaron Rodgers. The drive initially stalled at the Detroit 13, but the Lions were flagged for too many players on the field on Mason Crosby’s 31-yard field goal attempt. The miscue gave the Packers the necessary yards for the fourth-and-5 conversion to continue the 14-play drive.
49.68% win probability
Lions 13, Packers 10 (0:07 remaining in Q2)
Green Bay’s defense earned its first sack of Stafford when LB Za'Darius Smith dropped the Lions’ quarterback for a five-yard loss on third-and-13, forcing Detroit to punt for the first time. Starting from their own 6, the Packers worked their way down the field behind a 17-yard pass to Allison on third-and-8 at the two-minute warning and a 45-yard Jamaal Williams run, the longest of his NFL career. A holding penalty at the Detroit 10 halted the drive, but Crosby was good from 37 yards to cut the deficit to three at halftime.
53.44% win probability
Packers 13, Lions 13 (12:39 remaining in Q3)
After an unnecessary roughness penalty on Tracy Walker committed against Allison moved the ball to the Detroit 37, Rodgers delivered a 25-yard pass to Marcedes Lewis along the sideline for the Packers’ longest passing play up until that point. Four plays later, Crosby tied the game with a 48-yard attempt.
48.29% win probability
Lions 16, Packers 13 (9:04 remaining in Q3)
Green Bay’s defense forced a three-and-out to start the second half, with LBs Preston Smith and Kyler Fackrell combining to sack Stafford for a 9-yard loss on third-and-9. However, the Lions retook the ball at Green Bay’s 25-yard line after PR Darrius Shepherd muffed Sam Martin’s 48-yard punt. The Packers’ defense responded with another three-and-out, but Detroit retook the lead with a 41-yard Prater field goal.
36.21% win probability
Lions 19, Packers 13 (3:31 remaining in Q3)
Detroit got the ball back after a three-and-out and moved into scoring territory with a 16-yard pass to Golladay and Jamal Agnew’s 9-yard sweep. It eventually settled for a 51-yard Prater field goal.
15.12% win probability
Lions 22, Packers 13 (12:22 remaining in Q4)
The Packers threatened to take their first lead of the game after a 46-yard pass from Rodgers to WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling at the start the fourth quarter put the Packers at the Detroit 12. However, Rodgers’ pass to Shepherd on an out route bounced off the rookie receiver and into the arms of Lions cornerback Justin Coleman, who returned it 55 yards to the Green Bay 43. The Packers’ defense forced yet another three-and-out to set up Prater’s fifth and final field goal from 54 yards.
31.44% win probability
Lions 22, Packers 20 (9:03 remaining in Q4)
Another 25-yard pass to Lewis kicked off a must-have drive for Green Bay. An illegal hands to the face penalty on Trey Flowers wiped out a sack of Rodgers on third-and-10 and gave the Packers a new set of downs at the Detroit 40. With Allison being evaluated for a concussion, the Packers’ passing game looked to Lazard for a spark. Facing third-and-5, Rodgers threw a beautiful over-the-shoulder pass to the first-year receiver for a 35-yard touchdown to keep Green Bay’s hopes alive.
100% win probability
Packers 23, Lions 22 (Final)
Green Bay’s defense clamped down one final time to force the Lions to punt with 6 minutes, 53 seconds remaining. Detroit would not touch the ball again. Rodgers found Lazard three times on a critical 14-play, 77-yard series to get into field-goal range for Crosby. Another illegal hands to the face penalty on Flowers allowed Green Bay to run out the clock, with Williams capping his second career 100-yard rushing day with an 8-yard carry on first-and-10 from the Detroit 11. After Williams smartly gave himself up three yards short of the end zone, Crosby made the game-winner from 23 yards to give Green Bay its first lead of the night and the team’s fifth win of the season.