The Green Bay Packers just won one of the most ridiculous comebacks and final plays in the franchise's recent history, as Aaron Rodgers found Richard Rodgers for a 61-yard touchdown on a hail mary pass to win the game 27-23. The Packers improved to 8-4 on the season with the win, and the Lions dropped to 4-8.
Richard Rodgers had the game of his life tonight, catching eight passes for 146 yards and the winning score, while Aaron Rodgers completed 24 of 36 passes for 273 yards and two scores. The elder Rodgers also added 27 yards and a touchdown on the ground as well, as the Packers fought back from a 20-0 second-half deficit to win the game.
The Packers started off run-heavy behind the replacement right side of the offensive line. James Starks carried the ball on the game's first three plays, picking up a first down early. Following an incomplete pass on second-and-six and an offsides penalty on the next play, the Packers were set up with a third-and-one. They ran a toss play to the left side and Starks was cut down for a loss of two, forcing a punt.
The Lions were able to cash in a bit on their first drive of the game. After starting near their own 35, Detroit moved the ball thanks to a 12-yard run by Ameer Abdullah and a long reception by Calvin Johnson. A false start penalty and a drop by Johnson on a less-than-stellar throw by Matthew Stafford set up Matt Prater for a 53-yard field goal, which he hit comfortably to give the Lions and early 3-0 lead.
The Packers couldn't get a first down on their next drive, as their big gain on first down was wiped away by a facemask penalty on Josh Sitton. Rodgers tried a deep bomb to Jeff Janis, who didn't adjust well to the throw, and a pass to Abbrederis was completed but just short of the sticks and forced another punt.
The Lions extended their lead to 10-0 on their second drive. They got big plays from Stafford on a 12-yard scramble and Abdullah, who ran up the middle for 36, then took advantage of a confused Packers secondary that left Eric Ebron uncovered for a three-yard touchdown.
Disaster struck on the Packers' next series. Following a short Eddie Lacy run, Aaron Rodgers rolled out of the pocket and fired over the middle to James Jones. The receiver went up trying to make a leaping catch, but the ball went off his hands and was caught by Lions safety Glover Quin. The Lions struck immediately, with Calvin Johnson making another incredible catch and tapping both feet for the Lions' second touchdown and a 17-0 lead.
Green Bay looked to be in trouble again on offense after an intentional grounding call against Rodgers early on the drive, but they were bailed out by a pass interference penalty drawn by Richard Rodgers that gave them 40 yards out to midfield. Rodgers then found Rodgers again for a first down over the middle on the last play of the first quarter. The two Rodgerses connected again on the next play for another first down, but the drive stalled out after that. A short run by Eddie Lacy, a short reception by Randall Cobb, and a sack of Rodgers set up Mason Crosby for a 41-yard field goal to get the Packers on the board...and he promptly hit the upright.
Thankfully, the defense forced a three-and-out, which featured a Quinten Rollins pass breakup. Unfortunately, the Packers went three-and-out themselves after Rodgers was again sacked on third down. The defense forced a second straight quick punt though, and set up the offense quickly for a response.
The Packers got to midfield with the help of a pass interference call and a first-down reception by Randall Cobb. But naturally, a penalty (this one on JC Tretter, who entered the game for a banged-up Corey Linsley) slowed the drive and stalled it out, forcing a punt. The defense did its job once again, though, and gave the offense the ball back with just over two minutes left in the first half.
Rodgers found Adams for a gain of four to start the drive and take the clock down to the two-minute warning. Of course, they couldn't pick up the first down and gave the Lions back the ball with barely 15 seconds taken off the clock. Thankfully the defense held for another three-and-out and allowed the Packers to kneel out the clock on the first half.
Detroit received the second-half kickoff, and they began to carve up the Packers' defense like they had in the first quarter. Big gains by Joique Bell, Golden Tate, and Corey Fuller got the Lions into field goal range, but they were stopped on third down just short of the line to gain and had to settle for a Matt Prater field goal and a 20-0 lead.
Green Bay got their first third-down conversion of the game on their first drive of the second half, as Rodgers found Rodgers on a crossing pattern. Meanwhile, John Crockett started the half at running back and picked up a first down of his own on an inside run. Rodgers then found James Starks on a screen for 25 yards for a first down at the eight-yard line. On the next play, Starks ran up the middle and was stripped of the football by Isa Abdul-Quddus. However, the ball bounced into the end zone, where Randall Cobb alertly fell on it for the Packers' first touchdown of the game, which cut the Lions' lead down to 20-7.
Julius Peppers woke up on the next play on defense, as he rushed from the right side and stripped Matthew Stafford. Rookie linebacker Jake Ryan recovered at the Lions' 12-yard line, and three plays later Aaron Rodgers found Davante Adams in the middle of the end zone for Adams' first touchdown of the year. That score made it a one-possession game at 20-14.
The Packers defense was able to force a Lions punt from near midfield on the next series, as they picked up one first down before stalling out. Green Bay took over again at their own 18 just before the end of the third quarter. John Crockett picked up a first down on the ground before the clock expired in the third. Unfortunately, out of the timeout David Bakhtiari was banged up on an incomplete pass to Adams, and his replacement, Josh Walker, was burned for a sack on third down.
The defense all but gave the Lions a chance to extend their lead, however. On third and 13, the Packers got a stop but Julius Peppers was lined up offsides, giving the Lions another chance. That allowed the Lions to pick up the first down, as they picked up six yards on third and eight and another four yards on fourth and two. Eventually, Matt Prater hit a 42-yard field goal to make it a two-possession game at 23-14.
The Packers took over at their own 16, and got going with a scramble by Rodgers and a short run by Starks. With the clock stopped, the Packers had to take a timeout before a fourth-and-one play, which would be important later on. After Rodgers hit Randall Cobb for a conversion on fourth-and-one, he hit Starks again out of the backfield to for another first down up to midfield. After a pair of big gains by Richard Rodgers, Aaron Rodgers set up on third and 11 from the 17 Rodgers was able to escape the pressure to his left, and scampered up the sideline into the end zone to pull the Packers within two points at 23-21.
The Lions needed to pick up one first down to more or less clinch the game, and they got it on a third and 12, as Stafford found T.J. Jones over the middle, just over the outstretched hand of Quinten Rollins. After three more runs, the Lions punted the ball back to the Packers with no timeouts and 23 seconds left on the clock.
That's when the fun began. With six seconds left on the clock, the Packers ran a lateral play that ended with the ball in Aaron Rodgers' hands. He was brought down, the referee ruled, by his facemask, and the Packers got one last shot from their own 39-yard line following the penalty. Rodgers was able to rear back and heave the ball into the end zone, where Richard Rodgers was able to leap in front of the Lions' defenders and come down with the ball for a stunning score and a Packers win.
Here's the winning score: