|Date of game: 12/28/2014
Recap: Green Bay vs. Detroit
Green Bay, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron Rodgers began to wince on a scramble and went down in pain following a touchdown pass, but everything was ok when his quarterback sneak put the Green Bay Packers comfortably in front.
Rodgers tossed both of his touchdown passes to Randall Cobb and the Packers won the NFC North for a fourth straight year following a 30-20 triumph over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Green Bay (12-4) earned a first-round bye with the win and will be the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
Rodgers re-aggravated his left calf injury suffered last Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers late in the first half and missed two Green Bay possessions. Matt Flynn, who started five games filling in for Rodgers last season due to his broken collarbone, came on to replace him for those two series.
Rodgers began to show effects of the injury during the latter stages of the second. He cringed while tip-toeing on a scramble to move the chains on a 3rd- and-8 and fell down holding his left calf after flipping a 4-yard TD pass to Cobb.
The Lambeau Field faithful cheered when he walked out of the tunnel following Green Bay's initial touch of the third quarter. The Packers ripped off 16 straight points when Rodgers returned midway through the frame.
The 2011 MVP was a limited participant in practice all week and was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.
Rodgers finished 17-of-22, while Flynn fired a 6-yard completion on his only pass attempt in the victory.
Eddie Lacy carried the ball 26 times for 100 yards, Cobb caught four passes for 80 yards and Jordy Nelson hauled in six receptions for 86 yards for Green Bay, which went a perfect 8-0 at home.
The Packers ran for 152 yards against the top-ranked run defense in the league. Detroit came in allowing just 63.8 yards per game on the ground.
Matthew Stafford was 20-of-41 for 217 yards and three touchdowns and Calvin Johnson had four receptions for 39 yards and two scores for the Lions (11-5), who are the sixth seed in the NFC and will face the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card round.
Rodgers re-entered the game after Stafford hit Johnson for a 4-yard TD pass at the 7:34 mark of the third, which tied the game at 14-14.
Rodgers fired a 29-yard dart over the middle to Cobb on his first pass attempt following his return and later hit him for a 13-yard score on a 3rd-and-4 to give the Packers a 21-14 advantage.
Green Bay's defense forced a three-and-out on Detroit's ensuing sequence. Rodgers tossed a 12-yard completion to Nelson on a 3rd-and-18 to set the Packers up in fringe field-goal territory. Mason Crosby's 52-yard kick, however, was blocked.
The Lions failed to capitalize after Joique Bell fumbled the ball on the very next snap. Morgan Burnett made the recovery.
Rodgers flipped a 15-yard completion to Nelson to move the ball to the Detroit 10. Rodgers' sneak with 8:45 to go made it 28-14.
Green Bay added a safety with 2:32 remaining when Stafford was flagged for an intentional grounding in the end zone.
Cobb muffed the ensuing free kick and Cassius Vaughn made the recovery for Detroit. Theo Riddick caught a 6-yard TD pass with 1:45 to play to cap the scoring. The two-point try was unsuccessful.
Earlier, Green Bay was unable to punch the ball across the goal line on its opening touch despite having seven goal-to-go snaps. Lacy was stuffed on a 4th-and-goal from the 1 by a host of Lions.
The Packers, though, found the end zone when Micah Hyde returned a punt 55 yards up the middle and down the left sideline to open the scoring at the 4:49 mark of the first.
Cobb's 4-yard TD catch late in the second upped the advantage to 14-0.
The Lions answered on their next trek when Stafford fired a 20-yard TD pass to Johnson right before the half, trimming the gap to 14-7.Game Notes
Cobb and Nelson are the third pair of receivers to have at least 1,200 yards
receiving and 10-plus touchdowns, joining Randy Moss and Cris Carter from the
1999 Minnesota Vikings and Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker from the 2013
Denver Broncos ... The Lions were seeking their first divisional title since
1993 ... Stafford fell to 0-16 in his career on the road against teams with a
winning record ... Green Bay outgained Detroit 377-313.