Monday, January 9, 2023

Lions Drive to Victory at Lambeau Field

 By Eric Goska

Jac Collinsworth and Rodney Harrison brave the cold outside Lambeau Field.
(photos by Eric Goska)

“We don’t want them (the Packers) to go (to the playoffs), so that’s our motivation.”

That was head coach Dan Campbell’s answer to a question posed by NBC sideline reporter Melissa Stark at the end of the first quarter of the Green Bay-Detroit game Sunday night. Prior to kickoff, Campbell and his Lions learned they had been eliminated from playoff contention by virtue of Seattle’s overtime win over the Rams.

No playoffs? No problem!

Playing for pride and a no-nonsense coach, Detroit ended Green Bay’s postseason aspirations by bumping off the Packers 20-16 at Lambeau Field. The win also ensured Detroit (9-8) would finish ahead of Green Bay (8-9) in the standings for just the third time (2005, 2017) since the NFC North Division was created in 2002.

For the resurgent Packers, the game with Detroit came down to this: win and get into the playoffs. After weeks of needing help, Green Bay, winner of four straight, finally controlled its own destiny.

That, apparently, was too much to bear. Green Bay shrank from the moment, its four-game winning streak halted by an outfit it had beaten more often than any other prior to this season.

Detroit didn’t overwhelm Green Bay. Its first six drives produced two field goals and 143 yards of offense on 33 plays (4.3 average).

But the Lions hung around, staying within striking distance. In the final 15 minutes, they piled up 118 yards to the Packers’ 14 to win going away.

In taking control late, Detroit staged a rare, time-consuming, fourth-quarter scoring drive against its rival. Green Bay could do little more than watch as quarterback Jared Goff directed a 13-play, 75-yard advance that took eight minutes, three seconds off the clock and put the Lions up 20-16 with 5:55 remaining.

Seven of the Lions’ 21 first downs were earned on the advance. Goff completed all five of his throws for 30 yards, and Jamaal Williams (23) and D’Andre Swift (17) hewed out another 30 on the ground.

The Packers’ Quay Walker chipped in 15 as well. The linebacker was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and was disqualified after shoving a member of the Lions’ medical staff who was attempting to attend to an injured Swift on the field.

The penalty gave Detroit a first down at the Green Bay 4. Williams scored from a yard out three plays later.

Detroit claimed the ball one more time after safety Kirby Joseph intercepted Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Lions, then, burned through the final 3:27.

Only twice before in the last 130 regular-season games between these two teams have the Lions mounted fourth-quarter scoring drives that lasted longer. They drained 9:03 off the clock on a 63-yard march in in 1976, and they consumed 8:47 on a 78-yard thrust in 1963.

Green Bay did not win either of those games.

And so the Packers’ 2022 campaign mercifully comes to an end. Win and get in gets replaced by one and done – a fitting send off for a team that couldn’t rise to the occasion with its season on the line.


Since 1958, the longest fourth-quarter scoring drives (time of possession) by the Lions in a regular-season game against the Packers. TOP=time of possession. 







Oct. 31, 1976

GB lost, 6-27



Nov. 28, 1963

GB tie, 13-13



Jan. 8, 2023

GB lost, 16-20



Oct. 12, 1986

GB lost, 14-21



Sept. 29, 1968

GB lost, 17-23



Jan. 9, 2022

GB lost, 30-37

1 comment:

  1. From Brian wolf ...

    I dont understand why the Packers didnt pound it more with Jones and Dillon who had 21 carries? It was rare to see Rodgers throw interceptions like that as well, with a penalty negating one of them. What Walker did was incredible.