Rodgers leads Packers to NFC North title
DETROIT -- Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, two to Davante Adams, and the Green Bay Packers clinched the NFC North Division title with a 31-24 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday night at Ford Field.
Rodgers declared that the Packers could "run the table" when they were 4-6 and they did just that, finishing the regular season on a six-game winning streak. Green Bay (10-6) enters the NFC playoffs as the No. 4 seed and will host the No. 5 seed, the New York Giants, in the opening round of the playoffs.
Both teams qualified for the postseason earlier in the evening when Washington lost to the New York Giants. The Lions (9-7), who failed in their bid to win their first division title in 23 years, wound up as the No. 6 seed. They will travel to No. 3 Seattle in the first round.
Rodgers completed 27 of 39 passes for 300 yards. Adams caught six passes for 31 yards, while rookie Geronimo Allison caught four passes for 91 yards and a touchdown. Fullback Aaron Ripkowski had a combined 76 rushing and receiving yards, including a touchdown for Green Bay, which won its fifth division championship in six seasons.
Matthew Stafford completed 26 of 41 passes for 347 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for the Lions. Detroit running back Zach Zenner picked up a combined 110 rushing and receiving yards, including a touchdown, and Golden Tate caught six passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.
The Packers grabbed a 17-14 lead early in the third on Rodgers' 3-yard pass to Adams. Jordy Nelson, held to one catch in the first half, caught three passes on the drive.
Rodgers spun out of trouble and bought time before finding Allison on a 10-yard scoring play with 10:02 remaining. The extra point was missed, leaving the score at 23-14.
Matt Prater's 54-yard field goal with 7:52 left pulled Detroit within six.
A Detroit penalty for too many men on the field extended Green Bay's next possession. Rodgers then clinched the victory with a 9-yard strike to Adams.
Stafford heaved a 35-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin with 13 seconds left. Green Bay recovered the onside kick, ending any remaining suspense.
The Lions led 14-10 at halftime.
The game was scoreless heading into the second quarter. Detroit kicker Matt Prater hooked a 39-yard field goal try at the start of the quarter and Green Bay then drove 71 yards to take the lead.
Rodgers hit tight end Jared Cook twice on the drive and finished it off with a 7-yard scoring pass to Ripkowski. It was Ripkowski's first career receiving touchdown.
Detroit tied the score at 7-all on its next possession. Stafford's 35-yard pass to TJ Jones on a third-and-15 situation set up Zenner's 1-yard scoring run with five minutes left in the half.
The Lions' two-minute offense produced another touchdown. Stafford's 3-yard slant pass to Tate with 23 seconds remaining completed a 69-yard scoring drive.
Mason Crosby nailed a 53-yard field goal for Green Bay on the final play of the half.
NOTES: The Lions played without two of their starting offensive lineman, as RT Riley Reiff (hip) and C Travis Swanson (concussion) were inactive. RB Theo Riddick was placed on injured reserve Saturday with a wrist injury. ... The Packers did not have WR Randall Cobb (ankle) for the second straight week and C JC Tretter (knee) was also inactive. RB James Starks (concussion) was declared out earlier in the week. ... QB Matthew Stafford surpassed the 30,000 career passing yards mark during the first half. He reached that milestone in an NFL-record 109 games, five games faster than previous record-holders Dan Marino and Kurt Warner.