The Green Bay Packers had everything to play for with a first round playoff bye on the line, but it looked like the Detroit Lions were the team that had a sense of urgency.
The Lions jumped out to an early lead and took a 17-3 advantage at halftime before falling to the Packers 23-20 in the regular season finale at Ford Field.
The Packers (13-3) came out flat and managed just 136 total net yards in the first half. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed just 6 of 18 for 90 yards and a passer rating of 50.7 in the half.
Rodgers struggled with overthrows, finishing with 16 overthrown balls for the game. That is a career high and a NFL high for overthrows.
Rodgers finished 27 of 55 for 323 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He connected on less than half of his pass attempts for the second time this season and finished with his second lowest rating (72.0) of the season.
“Too many missed throws,” said Rodgers. “I felt good about the throws. That’s the crazy thing. We were just a little bit off at times.
“When we had to make a play, we made the play.”
With the score tied 20-20 late, Aaron Rodgers threw a short screen pass to Aaron Jones. Jones went 31-yards and into field goal range. Mason Crosby took over from there, booting a 33-yard game winning field goal as time expired to give the Packers a first round bye.
Crosby’s game winner also sent the Lions to their ninth straight loss and a 3-12-1 season.
David Blough was 12 of 29 for 122 yards with an interception. He also had a 19 yard touchdown reception as the Lions used a trick play to score. Blough handed off to receiver Danny Amendola, who then threw back across the field to Blough for a touchdown.
Kerryon Johnson also scored on a fourth down, 1-yard touchdown run late in the first half to put the Lions up 14-0.
Rodgers tossed a pair of touchdown passes, 20-yards to Davante Adams and 28-yards to Allen Lazard as the Packers won their fifth straight game.
Aaron Jones finished with 100 yards on 25 carries, moving past 1,000 yards rushing for the first time in his career. Jones entered the game needing just 16 yards to reach that mark. Jones didn’t add to his touchdown total, finishing with 19 for the season, which is one shy of the franchise record of 20 held by running back Ahman Green.
Adams led the Packers in receiving with 93 yards and a score, but finished three-yards shy of 1,000 yards receiving for the season. It’s the second time in his career that Adams has finished a season with 997 yards receiving. He missed four games during the season with a turf toe injury.
The Packers became just the second team in NFL history to go 2-0 against an opponent despite not holding a lead in regulation. Crosby also made the game winning kick at the end of regulation in the Packers’ Week 6 win over the Lions.
The Packers are playing in the postseason for the first time since 2016 and are the NFC’s two-seed. It gives them a first round bye. The Packers will face either New Orleans, Seattle or Philadelphia in the divisional playoffs on Sunday, January 12 at Lambeau Field. That game will kick off at 5:30 p.m.
On the injury front, center Corey Linsley (back), tackle Bryan Bulaga (concussion) and linebacker B.J. Goodson (neck) were hurt during the game and didn’t return. Runnning back Jamaal Williams (shoulder) and fullback Danny Vitale (knee) were both inactive.