The first half was a poorly-played affair by both offenses, as the teams were tied 3-3 going into the half. While the Lions found some offense in the third quarter and eventually took a two-score lead, the Packers fought back furiously late in the fourth quarter for the second straight game. However, much like in last week's game against the Panthers, the Packers came up just a few yards short and couldn't finish off their comeback.
The Packers received the opening kickoff and picked up a first down on the first offensive play of the game. Aaron Rodgers found Randall Cobb for a gain of 11 before finding Davante Adams on consecutive plays to move the chains again. The drive eventually stalled out across the Detroit 30, however, and Mason Crosby doinked in a 44-yard field goal to give the Packers a 3-0 lead.
Green Bay's defense forced a punt on the Lions' first drive, but the Packers went three and out due in part to a few unusual errant throws by Rodgers. A Lions three and out gave the Packers the ball back quickly, however.
Rodgers found Adams for a big gain on second down over the middle, but the drive stalled once again. Rodgers hit an open Cobb on an out route, but he dropped the ball to set up another punt. Another pair of three and outs set up the Packers inside their own 10.
On that series, Adams made a one handed catch to move the chains early, before Rodgers scrambled for a first down on 3rd and 8. Once again, though, the Packers couldn't continue the drive once they got near midfield and had to punt. Both teams continued the field position game until late in the second quarter, when the Lions started at their own 47-yard line. They picked up 19 yards on a throw to Calvin Johnson and Matt Prater hit a 49-yard field goal to tie the game at three just before the end of the half.
Ameer Abdullah started off the third quarter with a bang, taking the opening kickoff all the way down to the Packers' one-yard line. Three plays later, Matthew Stafford found Brandon Pettigrew for a two-yard touchdown to give the Lions a 9-3 lead. Prater missed the extra point, however.
After trading punts, the Packers took over once again at their own 16. James Starks picked up a first-down on a short run and Rodgers found Richard Rodgers for a gain of 21, but once again Green Bay couldn't pick up a third down conversion across midfield, as Rodgers' pass to Jared Abbrederis was tipped and fell incomplete.
The Lions got the ball deep in the own territory after the Packers' punt, but moved the ball well thanks to some missed tackles by the Packers. One in particular was by Julius Peppers on Theo Riddick on a pass underneath and which resulted in a Lions first down. Shortly after a third-and-one conversion from Stafford to Eric Ebron, the Packers got their biggest play up until that point in the game - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix made a diving interception of a Stafford pass at the Packers' 10-yard line, stopping the Lions' drive and keeping the Packers within six points.
And then the Packers went three and out again.
The Lions, starting from their own 45, picked up one first down to get Matt Prater in position for a 51-yard field goal, which he hit to extend the lead to 12-3.
The Packers finally moved the ball again a bit, but a loss of composure pushed them out of an opportunity to cut into the Lions' lead. Rodgers found Justin Perillo on a seam route up the middle for a big first down on third and 15. However, on a third-and-five from just across midfield, Adams was mugged by Nevin Lawson with no penalty flag called. Instead of having a reasonable fourth and five attempt, Adams blew up and pushed a Lions player, getting called himself for an Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty and forcing the Packers to punt instead. Thankfully, the Packers held Detroit to a three and out to get the ball back once again.
Finally, the Packers entered the red zone for the first time on the day on the next drive. They got big plays from numerous sources on the drive - Randall Cobb made a 20-yard catch on third and 12, Jared Abbrederis hauled in a 32-yard reception to get the Packers down to the four-yard line, and then Richard Rodgers hauled in a 4-yard touchdown from Aaron Rodgers. That score cut the Lions' lead down to 12-10 with six minutes left in the game.
The Lions ran for a yard on first down, then Damarious Randall broke up (and nearly intercepted) a Stafford pass to Calvin Johnson on second down. But on third down, Stafford escaped the pass rush and found Johnson for a first down at the Packers' 34. Golden Tate then picked up 12 on an end-around on the next play. Randall stopped Joique Bell for a loss on first down, then Clinton-Dix and Riddick hit helmet-to-helmet after a pickup of 8. On third and 3, though, the Packers sent a blitz and left Golden Tate wide open over the middle. Stafford found him and he shook off a pair of tackles for a 43-yard gain down to the five. A short run by Bell took the clock down to the two-minute warning. Out of the timeout, Stafford hit Lance Moore right away on a short touchdown to make the score 18-10, but Prater missed his second PAT of the game to keep it a one-score contest.
Rodgers and the offense took over at the 27. James Starks took a check-down pass from Rodgers and appeared to fumble while being tackled, and the Lions recovered. However, upon review it was clear that the ball came out after Starks' forearm touched the ground, and he was down by contact, keeping the ball in Green Bay's hands. T.J. Lang appeared to injure his arm making a tackle, though, and he was pulled out for Josh Walker. Starks took a screen pass on the next play all the way up to midfield, and then Justin Perillo picked up 12 over the middle. Starks got another screen for nine, then Richard Rodgers picked up a first down and got out of bounds at the Detroit 23 to stop the clock with 45 seconds left.
Rodgers threw incomplete to Adams on first down, but then drew an iffy roughing the passer penalty as he was hit low and late by Ziggy Ansah. On the ensuing play, Rodgers found Justin Perillo for an 11-yard touchdown to pull within 18-16. On the two-point conversion attempt, Rodgers lofted a fade to Davante Adams that was a little short and broken up by the Lions.
The Packers weren't done though. Mason Crosby's onside kick attempt was bobbled by Calvin Johnson (!!!) and Damarious Randall was in the perfect spot to recover the kick with 31 seconds left. After moving the ball down to the 34-yard line, Mason Crosby lined up for a winning 52-yard field goal attempt...and shanked it. The ball landed harmlessly short of the end zone as the Lions escaped with an 18-16 win.
Detroit improved to 2-7, while the Packers fell to 6-3.