Balance was the word of the day for the Green Bay Packers on a snowy night at Lambeau Field.
A breakdown of 32 rushing plays compared to 24 passing plays helped the Packers (9-4) overcome the Detroit Lions by the score of 27-20.
Even the famous and tremendously funny Will Ferrell was digging the Packers on this night with his winter knit Packers cap and a performance of “Roll Out The Barrell.”
What It Means: With the win and a Chicago Bears loss on Sunday, the Packers are one win away from clinching consecutive NFC North crowns. It won’t be easy because the Packers will have to travel to Soldier Field for the clincher. However, it could be perfect timing as the Bears are in the middle of a slump (have lost four of five) and key defensive players are set to return for Green Bay. Getting Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews back from injuries will be huge for a unit which has fought and clawed their way through their absence.
Player of the Game: QB Aaron Rodgers (14/24 for 173 yards with 2 rush for 33 yards and a TD)
From a passing standpoint, this was not a great game for Rodgers. In fact his streak of 35 straight home games with a touchdown was snapped. Still, what Rodgers did with his legs and management of the run game was instrumental in the team’s win. All three of the running backs impressed (Alex Green, DuJuan Harris and Ryan Grant), but it was Rodgers’ 27 yard rushing touchdown to begin the second half that set the tone for the rest of the game.
Highlight of the Game: With the Packers down 14-3 in the second quarter, the Lions’ Matthew Stafford gift-wrapped an early Christmas present for defensive lineman Mike Daniels. Stafford lost grip of the ball and Daniels picked it up and chugged it 43 yards to the house. The best part of the entire ordeal was Daniels attempted Lambeau Leap (pictured above). It’s not easy for a near 300 pound guy to get up like that.
Stat of the Game (7): The amount of consecutive games in which kicker Mason Crosby has missed at least one field goal. Crosby botched a 52 yard attempt in the third quarter after the Packers took a sack to turn a potential 44 yard attempt to the much longer field goal. It’s not as bad as it seems though as Crosby did convert from 41 and 49 yards.
What’s Next: As mentioned previously, the Packers will travel to Chicago for the most important divisional match-up of the season. Even if the Packers can’t win the noon kick-off, they still have a great shot at winning the division. In week 2, the Packers beat the Bears 23-10.
What did you think of the Packers’ gritty win over the Lions? Let me know by commenting below.
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice and pretend to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictures courtesy of Packers.com.