Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/10/12
Two Green Bay Packer rookies scored touchdowns leading to a 27-20 victory over the Detroit Lions Sunday night, marking the 22nd straight year Detroit has lost in Wisconsin versus Green Bay."I was thinking this would be a waste of a beautiful day, to end that streak," Rodgers said. "Playing in the snow, a great crowd. Hopefully we can keep that (streak) going as long as I'm playing here."It was surely a dreamy night for the two Packer rookies that scored touchdowns with temperatures just cold enough for snow to fall and just warm enough for it not to stick. Perfect December weather for the two rookies to make Lambeau leaps.Rookie Mike Daniels scooped up a ball that slipped out of the hand of Matthew Stafford and rumbled 43 yards for the first Packer touchdown that kept the first half close in score."That was a big play. We had all the momentum," Stafford said. "I don't really have much of an explanation for it. I wish I could have gotten on top of it. It squirted away from me again."Head Coach Mike McCarthy agreed. "Daniels' play was the momentum shift for us that we needed," McCarthy said. "That was a big play." His Lambeau leap left much to be desired. "I was too tired," Daniels said.5' 9" Rookie DuJuan Harris, who was just signed eight days ago in the wake of yet another injury to James Starks, ran untouched up the gut for a 14-yard score in the fourth quarter. Harris had seven carries on the night for 31 yardsSandwiched in between was an Aaron Rodgers scamper of 27 yards on the first drive of the second half to give Green Bay their first lead of the game 17-14.Still missing more players than an entire NBA roster Green Bay manages to win and can clinch the NFC North over the fading Chicago Bears next week when it is anticipated both Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews will return. The absence of Matthews is very evident on passing downs as Green Bay just cannot generate much of a pass rush.Green Bay lead the league in sacks before Matthews injury, but had zero on this Sunday night despite 45 passing attempts by Detroit."The main thing is we won," Rodgers said. "We're first in the division by a game and we put ourselves in good position, not only for the division but potentially for a first-round bye. The division is our first goal. ... We can wrap things up next week. It's a tough opponent, a tough place to play. There's a lot on the line."Facing the top ranked passing defense in the NFL, the Packers ran the ball 22 times for 112 yards and the Harris score. Rodgers added another 32 yards on three scrambles including the touchdownDetroit lead at halftime by four points that could have been more, except for two turnovers. Detroit could not put the game away.A first half Detroit dominated as they held the ball for 22:37 and racked up 218 yards, while Green Bay had just 94 yards with only 7:19 of possession. Detroit seemingly moved the ball at will with 16 first downs and were 6-of-7 on third down."We haven't found a way to finish games," Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch said. "That's the highlight of our season. That should be the headline, us not finishing. We play three good quarters of football."Detroit took the first drive 80 yards on 12 plays chewing up 7:44 of the first quarter that was capped by a Stafford naked bootleg for the four-yard touchdown.The Packers were driving to tie the game when Rodgers was hit from behind by Lawrence Jackson while scrambling to his right and fumbled. Stephen Tulloch was able to crawl his way on top of the loose ball.Detroit capitalized, driving 79 yards on 11 plays, and using up another 5:48. Stafford hit tight end Tony Scheffler on inside slant from 3 yards away staking Detroit to a 14-0 lead.Green Bay was able to get on the board on their next drive when Mason Crosby made a 49-yard field goal right down the middle. Even though Crosby would later miss a 52-yard attempt he made this one easily.When Detroit got the ball back they drove 31 yards when Stafford lost the ball and Daniels picked it up for his touchdown closing the gap to 14-10.Sam Shields was back in the lineup for the first time in seven weeks and made sure the score stayed that way. In Green Bay territory, yet again, Stafford threw deep down the middle and was picked off by Shields, who returned the errant throw all the way to the Packer 45-yard line. Green Bay lost two yards before punting.As the best teams do Green Bay came up with the big plays to keep the game close. In the second half it was Green Bay that dominated, scoring 17 points and holding the Lions to just three.The Pack started the half with a 77-yard drive that was capped by the Rodgers run for a touchdown."For him to score from that distance speaks volumes about his athletic ability," McCarthy said. "He's our guy, he's our ace, it's built around him and he played well tonight."Detroit was able to tie the game when Jason Hanson nailed a 46-yard attempt on a drive highlights by a Calvin Johnson 19-yard catch that drew a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on Packer safety Morgan Burnett putting Hanson in range for the game tier.Green Bay scored the next 10 points all in the 4th quarter. The first 4th quarter packer drive started in good field position after Hanson came up short on a 51-yard attempt. 6 plays and 4:00 later Harris ran in for his first ever NFL touchdown.Crosby padded the lead on a 41-yard field goal with 4:02 left. An attempt that was made possible when Randall Cobb made a spectacular one handed grab for the longest Packer play of the night, 38 yards.Detroit failed on a 4th-and-10 from the Packer 44-yard line sealing the victory.Detroit added a field goal with :12 left. The ensuing onside pooch-kick went out of bounds ensuring there was no hail marry attempt to tie the game.It was not the best offensive performance by Green Bay but they found a way to win. Green Bay had just 288 total yards and were 5-of-11 on third down. While Detroit racked up 386 yards, 27 first downs and went 11-of-17 on 3rd down while holding the ball for 37:14.Rodgers had just 173 yards on 14-of-24 passing with no touchdowns or interceptions."You've got to be able to score and you've got to be able to stop them," Hanson said. "Which is hard to do with Aaron running the show there." Stop him you cannot.Alex Green had huge holes to run through on his 13 attempts leading to 69 yards. Ryan Grant was signed just four days ago and had one carry for 13 yards and looked hungry for more. Grant received a nice ovation from cheeseheads when he entered and left the game.Randall Cobb lead the team with 7 catches for 102 yards. No other Packer had more then two catches or 27 yards.Stafford ended up 27-of-45 for 264 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT and a 74.7 passer rating.Johnson had game highs of 10 catches for 118 yards but was unable to make an impact or catch a pass of more than 20 yards.Mikel LeShoure had 49 yards on 14 carries and Joique Bell added another 49 on 12 totes.Green Bay improves to 9-4 while Detroit is now 4-9.
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