GREEN BAY – The Detroit Lions learned about an hour before their kickoff Sunday night they had been relegated to the role of spoiler against the Packers on Sunday Night Football. Their playoff chances were ended by Seattle kicker Jason Myers' 32-yard field goal in overtime to give Seattle a win over the Rams.
But Lions head coach Dan Campbell preached all week that whether they were playing for a playoff spot or not, they would fight hard and play to win. Well, that's exactly what this Lions team did and in doing so got the satisfaction of ending the Packers' season with a 20-16 win.
Detroit ends their season with a 9-8 record after winning just three games in GM Brad Holmes and Campbell's first season in 2021. That shows Holmes and Campbell have this heading in the right direction, even if it didn't lead to a spot in the playoffs this year. The win sends Seattle to the playoffs in the final spot in the NFC.
Green Bay led 9-6 at the half on three Mason Crosby field goals (22, 49, 48). Lions kicker Michael Badgley hit from 37 and 33 yards, but missed a 46-yarder midway through the second quarter.
Detroit took their first lead of the game midway through the third quarter on a Jamaal Williams 1-yard touchdown run. It was set up by a 43-yard pass from Goff to wide receiver Kalif Raymond the play prior.
Green Bay stormed right back, punching their first touchdown of the game on a 13-yard pass from quarterback Aaron Rodgers to wide receiver Allen Lazard to retake the lead 16-13.
The Lions took the lead for good with just under six minutes to go in the contest on Williams' second 1-yard score of the game. It was his 17th rushing touchdown of the season, which broke Barry Sanders' single-season record of 16 set in 1991.
Detroit was able to ice the game late after Joseph's interception with three minutes and 27 seconds left gave the ball back to Goff and the offense, and they were able to run out the clock. It was Joseph's fourth interception of the season and third off Rodgers.
QB comparison: Goff did exactly what he needed to do in the frigid temperatures to secure the win. He completed 23 of his 34 passes for 224 yards. He didn't throw a touchdown, but he didn't turn the ball over either. The Packers had forced nine interceptions in their last four games. Goff finished with an 85.9 passer rating.
Rodgers was 17-of-27 passing for 205 yards with one touchdown, one interception and a rating of 83.1.
Key moment: Trailing 16-13 early in the fourth quarter, Goff orchestrated a 13-play, 75-yard drive converting two third downs and a 4th and 2, and took a 20-16 lead with just under six minutes left in the game on a 1-yard Williams touchdown run.
The Lions' defense followed up that drive by intercepting Rodgers and giving the offense an opportunity to ice it with a couple first downs.
Rookie sackers: Rookie defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson recorded two first-half sacks on Rodgers, upping his season total to 9.5 sacks, the second most a Lions rookie has ever logged in a season (Ndamukong Suh; 10.0 in 2010). Detroit rookies have now combined for 20.5 sacks this year, a new NFL record for combined sacks from a team's rookies.
(Hutchinson, 9.5; James Houston, 8.0; Josh Paschal 2.0; Malcolm Rodriguez, 1.0)
Injury report: Cornerback Mike Hughes left the game in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury and did not return.