Aaron Rodgers threw three of his four touchdown passes in the second half, lifting the Green Bay Packers to an NFC North-winning 31-24 victory
Aaron Rodgers threw three of his four touchdown passes in the second half, lifting the Green Bay Packers to an NFC North-winning 31-24 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday night.
Detroits Matthew Stafford connected with Anquan Boldin for a 35-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds left, but the Packers recovered the onside kick and Rodgers had only to kneel once to seal the victory.
ThePackers(10-6) closed the regular season with six straight wins, running the table as Rodgers said they could after losing four straight games midway through the season, to win the division for the fifth time in six years. Like his team, Rodgers has been perfect during the streak with 15 TD passes and no interceptions. He will lead fourth-seeded Green Bay at home next weekend against the fifth-seeded New York Giants in an NFC wildcard game.
Detroit (9-7) dropped their last three games after they had a two-game lead in the NFC North, spoiling their shot at winning a division title for the first time since 1993.
The Lions, though, will be in the playoffs for the second time in three years with coach Jim Caldwell because the Giants beat Washingtonearlier in the day. The sixth-seeded Lions will play at third-seeded Seattle on Saturday night in a wild-card game.
Rodgers, who was 27 of 39 for 300 yards, threw a go-ahead, three-yard TD pass to Davante Adams with 9:23 left in the third quarter. Rodgers connected with Geronimo Allison and Adams in the end zone in the fourth quarter to give Green Bay a 14-point lead in a game it trailed 14-7 at halftime.
Stafford put Detroit ahead by a touchdown with a three-yard pass to Golden Tate with 23 seconds left in the second quarter after Zach Zenner tied it with a one-yard run.
Stafford was 26 of 41 for 347 yards with two TDs and an interception. He made somefantastic passesand some he sailed over wide-open receivers.
NFL playoff schedule
Wildcard round (7-8 January):
AFC: Dolphins @ Steelers; Raiders @ Texans
NFC: Lions @ Seahawks; Giants @ Packers
Divisional round (14-15 January):
AFC: Lowest winning seed @ Patriots; Highest winning seed @ Chiefs
NFC: Lowest winning seed @ Cowboys; Highest winning seed @ Falcons