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Packers beat Lions 23-20, secure first round bye

The Packers overcame a terrible first half that saw them trail 17-3, and walked off the Detroit Lions to secure their 13th win of the season and a first round bye in the playoffs.

The win guarantees the Packers the number two seed in the NFC playoffs. They'll be the number one seed if Seattle beats San Francisco.

The Packers missed a chance early, when Jimmy Graham dropped a would be big-gain down the seam. Green Bay would punt on a three-and-out.

Detroit made them pay. The Lions capped off an 8-play, 73 yard drive with a little trickery. Danny Amendola, a wide receiver, took a pitch, and found his quarterback David Blough wide open for a 19 yard score to put the Lions up 7-0.

The Packers were on the move their following drive, but stalled out after an offensive pass interference penalty and too many men in the huddle penalty pushed them out of field goal range.

It wasn't all bad news for the Packers in the first quarter. With a four-yard rush to close out the quarter, Aaron Jones eclipsed 1,000 yards on the season for the first time in his career.

While the Packers offensive struggles continued into the second quarter, the Lions were able to put together another impressive scoring drive.

Blough hit Kenny Golladay for 42 yards to set up an eventual one yard touchdown run by Kerryon Johnson to make it 14-0 Detroit.

That seemed to wake the Packers offense up. They drove 76 yards in nine plays, but Aaron Rodgers missed Aaron Jones for a surefire touchdown. Mason Crosby kicked a field goal to give the Packers their first points of the game, and make it 14-3.

The Lions would respond with a field goal of their own in the closing seconds of the first half, giving Detroit a 17-3 lead at halftime.

The Packers offense looked better coming out of the half, but Crosby missed a 51-yard field goal that would've cut the deficit to 11.

After forcing a Lions punt, the Packers offense got cooking. They went 95 yards in 12 plays, and Aaron Rodgers hit Davante Adams for a 20 yard score to make it a 17-10 game.

The Packers followed up that drive with another effective one, driving 51 yards in 12 plays. But they stalled out, and Crosby hit a 40 yard field goal to bring the score to 17-13 Lions.

But a long, but touchdown-saving pass interference call against Jaire Alexander got the Lions close enough for Matt Prater to kick a 56 yard field goal, pushing the back to seven points.

Blake Martinez and the defense delivered on the next drive, sacking Blough one play, then picking him off on the next.

Rodgers and the offense took advantage, driving 40 yards on seven plays. Rodgers found Allen Lazard over the middle for a 28 yard score. That tied the game at 20 with less than 6 minutes to play in the game.

Brad Hanson

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