Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of Sunday’s game with another calf injury, going down while throwing the first of two touchdown passes to Randall Cobb in the second quarter.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback would get treatment at halftime and return in the 3rd quarter to throw another scoring strike to Cobb and lead the Packers to a 30-20 win over the Detroit Lions, securing their 4th straight NFC North Division title and a first round bye in the NFC playoffs.
Rodgers second quarter touchdown pass extended the Packers lead to 14-0. By the time he returned, the Lions had tied the game on a pair of Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson scoring strikes.
Rodgers said after the game that he was hoping to give his team a jolt by returning. He got some help from the 78,408 fans on hand, who chanted “MVP, MVP, MVP” upon his return.
Rodgers return to the field certainly didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates, who didn’t expect their leader to return.
The Packers sent the Lions back to Detroit with their 24th straight loss in Wisconsin, a losing stretch that now covers 23 years.
Rodgers also scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak. After the game, he expressed confidence in his ability to heal with two weeks off instead of one.
Packers returnman Micah Hyde returned a punt 55-yards for the games first touchdown, his third return for a score in his two seasons in Green Bay.
Eddie Lacy also rushed for 100 yards on 26 carries, the first single back to hit 100 yards in a single game against the Lions this season.
The Lions dropped all the way to a six-seed and will travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys this weekend. If Dallas wins that game, they’ll come to Green Bay to face the Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers are perfect at home this season (8-0), while the Cowboys haven’t lost on the road at all this season.
But the Packers will also be trying to fend off recent history in which they have lost games at home when favored three times in the last seven years.
Aaron Rodgers finished 17 of 22 for 226 yards and two touchdowns. His quarterback rating for the game is 139.6.
Jordy Nelson caught 6 passes for 86 yards and went over 1,500 yards for the season, passing Robert Brooks’ single season record. Randall Cobb caught four passes for 80 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Tight end Richard Rodgers had five catches for 40 yards and Eddie Lacy three receptions for 26 yards.