24. 24 games is the amount of consecutive games the Detroit Lions have lost at the hands of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field; that is, until Sunday when the Lions upset the struggling Packers, 18-16. A win that conclusively ended a 24-year losing streak at Lambeau dating back to 1991, a streak that held an NFL record.
Sunday was a different story, as the 1-7 Lions searched for life midway through the season, as the Packers were searching for a revival after dropping their last two games, resulting in a 6-2 record.
Among the many heroes of the Lions feat, stood cornerback Crezdon Butler, who was signed on Saturday as an injury replacement for the ailment of Rashean Mathis. Following a Packers touchdown, and trailing by two, the Packers lined up for the two-point conversion. With the game on the line, Aaron Rodgers found Davante Adams only to see the ball slip away from Adams, due to the interference of Butler. This play by Butler allowed the Lions to maintain their two-point lead, with a crucial onside kick approaching.
Despite fielding the onside kick in the right position, sure-handed wide receiver Calvin Johnson bobbled the kick, allowing for the Damarious Randall and the Packers to recover, providing the Packers with another opportunity to extend their streak against the Lions; an opportunity that came up short in a potential game-winning field goal by Mason Crosby.
“We dropped one today that we felt we had a very good opportunity to win,” head coach Mike McCarthy said, via ESPN.
The story of the game for the Packers was their inability to take advantage of vital opportunities. In particular, the inability to provide a consistent attack through the rushing game, totaling over 47 total rush yards in the games entirety. With Eddie Lacy sidelined due to a groin injury, the Packers relied on James Starks to carry the load in the backfield; carrying 15 times for only 42 yards. The lack of a running game resulted in 61 passes by Rodgers, and little mixture on offense.
In Rodgers’ 61 attempts, he targeted Adams a game-high 21 times, resutling in 10 receptions for 79 yards, a career-high in receptions.
Meanwhile on defense, the Packers allowed a total of 287 total yards, including 242 through the air. Quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 24 of 38 passes on the Packers defense, virtually negating the run game of the Lions.
“I bet nobody gave us a chance, but that’s the way we like it,” Stafford said following the game. “We don’t really care who gives us a chance, because we feel good about ourselves in that locker room and we know what we’re about.”
With this loss, the Packers fall to 6-3 on the season, and give up the top spot in the NFC North. Next weekend, the Packers travel to Minneapolis, MN to take on the current NFC North leaders at 12:00 p.m. CDT.
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