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Packers back in control of playoff hopes

Dec. 16, 2013
 
Baltimore Ravens defensive end DeAngelo Tyson, left, intercepts a pass intended for Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush during the third quarter of Monday night's game in Detroit. AP/Paul Sancya
Baltimore Ravens defensive end DeAngelo Tyson, left, intercepts a pass intended for Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush during the third quarter of Monday night's game in Detroit. AP/Paul Sancya

Once again, the Green Bay Packers control their own destiny.

And they have 24-year-old Justin Tucker to thank for that.

The second-year kicker made a 61-yard field goal – his sixth of the game – to propel his Baltimore Ravens over Detroit 18-16 on Monday night. The loss dropped the Lions to 7-7 and out of the NFC North division lead.

With the loss, Chicago takes over the division lead with an 8-6 record, but the Packers (7-6-1) could clinch the division with a win this Sunday against Pittsburgh and then another over the Bears in their regular-season finale on Dec. 29.

The Lions had three timeouts and a chance to answer Tucker’s score, but quarterback Matthew Stafford was immediately picked off by Ravens safety Matt Elam on the first play of the final series.

None of this seemed like much of a possibility after Green Bay fell behind by 23 points at halftime on Sunday against Dallas, but Matt Flynn and the Packers’ offense scored five consecutive touchdowns to pull out the 37-36 victory.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he wasn’t planning on watching Monday’s game, instead devoting his time and energy towards Sunday’s game against the Steelers (6-8). It turns out there wasn’t much to watch.

“I really have no interest in watching the game,” McCarthy said. “I’ve got to pay attention to the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

Now, it remains to be seen if they’ll have Aaron Rodgers available for that game.

In the meantime, a few members of the Packers roster took to Twitter to celebrate the Lions’ loss and their renewed playoff chances:

“Just What We Needed! Don't Count Us Out! #GoPackGo,” -Tight end Brandon Bostick

“ Thanks jt” – Left guard Josh Sitton

“ YESSSSSSSSS” -Right guard T.J. Lang

“Thanks @jtuck9 #preciateya” -Center Greg Van Roten

“We're going to put that work IN! #PackerNation” –Tight end Andrew Quarless

“Sooo you're saying there's a chance??” –Tight end Jake Stoneburner

“61 yarder” –Guard Lane Taylor

“What a kick” –Cornerback Micah Hyde

About this blog

Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.

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