GREEN BAY, Wis. (WWJ/AP) – The Detroit Lions lose the season finale to the Green Bay Packers 45-41 on Sunday and continue an unlucky 21 straight road game losing streak at Lambeau Field.
In a game with more lead changes than a tennis match – the Lions got on the board first with Matthew Stafford throwing to Titus Young for the first touchdown and throwing for 520 yards – in the losing effort.
“We had a chance to score one more point then they did and we failed to do it,” said head coach Jim Schwartz on the disappointing loss. ” We played poorly … we played poorly in coverage … in zone – we played poorly.”
Backup quarterback Matt Flynn threw a touchdown pass to Jermichael Finley with 1:10 left to give the Green Bay Packers the victory over the Lions in a wild regular-season finale in cold and windy conditions in Wisconsin.
According to STATS LLC, it was the first time in NFL history opposing quarterbacks each threw for 400-plus yards and five-plus touchdowns in a game. The teams’ combined 971 net yards passing broke the record of 906 set earlier this season in a Week 1 game between New England and Miami.
Jordy Nelson had nine catches for 162 yards and three touchdowns for the Packers.
Calvin Johnson had 11 catches for 244 yards and a touchdown, and Titus Young had a pair of touchdowns for the Lions.
With Aaron Rodgers resting for the playoffs, Flynn set Packers franchise records with 480 yards passing and six touchdowns. It was an ideal afternoon for the Packers (15-1) who got to rest Rodgers and several other big-name players without losing playoff momentum.
Flynn barely got the Packers past Matthew Stafford, who threw for 520 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions for the Lions (10-6).
With the Lions trailing 24-19 at the half, Stafford got some help from the Packers’ defense in the third quarter. An unnecessary roughness penalty on outside linebacker Erik Walden and a personal foul on linebacker Desmond Bishop helped set up a 2-yard touchdown from Stafford to Young for a 26-24 lead.
Flynn answered right away, throwing a 58-yard touchdown to Nelson to give the Packers a 31-26 lead.
The Lions went back into the lead on a 5-yard touchdown throw to Kevin Smith and a 2-point conversion to tight end Tony Scheffler to put Detroit ahead 34-31.
Ndamukong Suh came up with a third-down sack on the Packers’ next possession, mocking Rodgers’ “title belt” celebration after dropping Flynn to the turf. Suh, of course, was suspended for two games after he stomped on Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith in Green Bay’s win on Thanksgiving.
But the Lions failed to convert on fourth down in Packers territory, and Flynn marched Green Bay for a 35-yard touchdown to Driver to give the Packers a 38-34 lead. Johnson drew a pass interference penalty on Tramon Williams to give the Lions the ball at the Green Bay 28. Scheffler hauled in a one-handed catch to set up first-and-goal on the 2. Johnson then was called for offensive pass interference in the end zone, but Stafford threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Scheffler in the back of the end zone and the Lions took a 41-38 lead with 2:39 left.
Flynn wasn’t finished, finding James Jones for a 40-yard completion to set up first-and-goal at the 6 with 1:19 left. Flynn found Finley to win it. With the Lions threatening again in the final minute, Sam Shields’ interception put the game away.
The Packers got off to a rough start. Flynn was sacked and fumbled on the Packers’ first possession, and Stafford cashed in with an 8-yard pass to Young.
Packers backup returner Pat Lee tried to field the ensuing kickoff in the end zone, but it bounced off him and over the goal line. Lee then tried to pull the ball back for a touchback – but officials ruled a safety that gave the Lions a 9-0 lead.
Flynn then found his rhythm, and the Packers led 24-19 at halftime.
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