The Green Bay Packers faced no small challenge Sunday against a Detroit Lions team with nothing to lose.
While the Packers didn’t put together one of their finest efforts, they put up the winning points when the game was on the line and then stopped the Lions’ dangerous offense en route to a 24-20 win Sunday for their fifth straight win and in effect ending an NFC North Division rival’s playoff hopes.
As Press-Gazette reporter Pete Dougherty writes, the 7-3 Packers are only a half-game behind 7-2 Chicago for first place in the NFC North, with the Bears playing at San Francisco Monday night.
You can read the rest of Dougherty’s game story here: http://tinyurl.com/d4nw4u3
*Despite his recent struggles, the Packers have no plans to pull the plug on kicker Mason Crosby, writes Dougherty in his Packers’ sidebar (http://tinyurl.com/co4u3kg).
* Three of the biggest plays the Green Bay Packers made on defense Sunday against the Detroit Lions came from a rookie second-round pick (Casey Hayward), an undrafted rookie (Dezman Moses) and a second-year former undrafted free agent (M.D. Jennings).
As Press-Gazette reporter Rob Demovsky writes, the Packers’ young guns again produced for a Packers defense without their best defensive player, Clay Matthews (http://tinyurl.com/bqu6o66).
*Leading our Packers’ notebook is an update from Demovsky on the outlook for Matthews, who missed only his third NFL game because of a hamstring injury on Sunday with his status remaining uncertain for next Sunday’s game against the New York Giants (http://tinyurl.com/cu7qftm).
*Packers coach Mike McCarthy showed his players a clip from “Forrest Gump” to help motivate his team prior to Sunday’s game and the offense responded on its game-winning drive, opines Press-Gazette sports editor Mike Vandermause (http://tinyurl.com/cn95bwh).
*In our Packers’ Insider, Demovsky gives a thumps up to Jermichael Finley’s resurgence on Sunday and a thumbs down to Crosby’s continued field-goal woes (http://tinyurl.com/cshvfgm).
*The Packers earned a rare win on Sunday despite not having running a single play inside the Lions’ red zone, writes Press-Gazette correspondent Eric Goska (http://tinyurl.com/bozz9q3).
*The Packers had some questionable play-calling, which is highlighted in Vandermause’s rants and raves (http://tinyurl.com/bngvn4y).
*We chatted with readers at PackersNews.com following the Packers’ 24-20 win over Detroit and Mason Crosby’s rough day remained a popular topic (http://tinyurl.com/c5fjvgb).
*Pete and Rob discuss the Packers’ win and Crosby’s struggles in our post-game video analysis (http://tinyurl.com/bsxx79m).