Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/18/12
DETROIT -- Aaron Rodgers didn't feel the Green Bay offense played up to its usual lofty standards. It had to rely on the defense most of the way but Rodgers and his receivers got hot at the right time. Rodgers threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb with 1:55 remaining as the Packers extended their winning streak to five games with a 24-20 victory over the Detroit Lions Sunday at Ford Field. "We've won five in a row and beat some good teams along the way," said Rodgers, who completed 19 of 27 passes for 236 yards for Green Bay (7-3). "After (Monday) night, we could be in the driver's seat. Either way, we've positioned ourselves for a run here down the stretch and we know our best football needs to be played in the coming weeks." Cobb caught nine passes for 74 yards for the Packers, who moved within a half-game of Chicago for the NFC North Division lead. The Bears play San Francisco Monday night. Green Bay had just one offensive touchdown before its game-winning drive. "I had one real bad throw and then I threw the ball pretty well but we didn't have any rhythm," Rodgers said. "It was hard to get plays. We didn't have many attempts and that was due to poor third-down conversion." The Lions netted 362 yards but also had four turnovers, compared to one by Green Bay. Matthew Stafford committed three turnovers, including an interception that was returned 72 yards for a touchdown by M.D. Jennings, as Detroit dropped to 4-6. "I was very, very impressed with our defense, particularly our young guys," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "They just keep getting better and better each week and they were obviously key for this victory. Jennings' interception return for a touchdown was probably as big a play and as exciting a play as I've seen in my time in Green Bay." Stafford completed 17 of 39 passes for 266 yards. Calvin Johnson had five receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown, while Mikel Leshoure gained 84 yards on 19 carries. The Lions, who have a tough schedule the rest of the way, will have to get red hot to remain in the playoff race. "To play as well as we did for basically the first 57 minutes of the game and then to lose it like that, it hurts," Lions linebacker Justin Durant said. "We've just got to finish and that's something we didn't do." Jermichael Finley's 40-yard catch and run set up the Packers' go-ahead touchdown. Three plays later, Cobb beat the coverage of cornerback Jacob Lacey and made a twisting catch in the left corner of the end zone. "We played good ball except for five minutes of that whole game and that basically cost us," Detroit defensive end Cliff Avril said. "We can't divide each other. We've just got to keep building and keep fighting." Jennings' 72-yard interception return with 8:31 left in the third gave the Packers a 14-10 advantage. Stafford's pass went through the hands of tight end Tony Scheffler, allowing Jennings to make his first interception this season. He then raced along the right sideline and tumbled over the pylon while being tackled by Titus Young. Stafford erased that giveaway with a 25-yard scoring pass over the middle to Johnson later in the quarter. That was just the third touchdown by Johnson, who had 16 last season. Packers placekicker Mason Crosby pulled a potential tying 38-yard field goal attempt wide left -- his seventh miss in 12 attempts -- with 8:37 remaining. Jason Hanson then extended the Lions' lead to 20-14 with 4:25 left with a 27-yard field goal. But Rodgers had plenty of time left to rally his team. Crosby added a 39-yard field goal with 19 seconds left. McCarthy said he will stick with Crosby despite his struggles. Detroit led 10-7 at halftime despite two late turnovers by Stafford. The Lions reached the Green Bay 3 on their second possession but Stafford was sacked on third down by safety Morgan Burnett, forcing them to settle for a 30-yard Hanson field goal. Finley's 20-yard touchdown reception with 13:56 remaining in the half moved the Packers in front. Finley was wide open over the middle on a blown coverage and cruised into the end zone, completing an 81-yard drive. Leshoure's 1-yard plunge lifted the Lions to a 10-7 lead with 8:06 left before halftime. Johnson had receptions of 21 and 14 yards during the 74-yard drive. The defenses took over from that point, forcing three turnovers in the final 2:15 of the half. Crosby missed a 50-yard field goal attempt on the last play of the half. NOTES: Johnson's 53-yard catch in the first quarter moved him past 1,000 yards receiving for the third consecutive season. ... Green Bay was missing several notable players due to injuries, including linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring), defensive back Charles Woodson (collarbone), cornerback Sam Shields (ankle) and wide receiver Greg Johnson (groin). The Lions played without two defensive starters, defensive tackle Corey Williams (knee) and safeties Louis Delmas (knee). Another starting safety, Amari Spievey, was placed on injured reserve Saturday because of a head injury. ... Veteran Lions offensive tackle Jeff Backus injured his hamstring in the first half and did not return. ... The Packers have won 21 of their past 24 matchups against their division rival. …Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who was ejected during last season's Thanksgiving Day matchup for stomping on offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith's arm, had five tackles.
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