Detroit Lions run roughshod over Green Bay Packers, 31-0
By GENARO C. ARMAS
AP Sports Writer
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater lined up for a field goal but seemed a little antsy, gesturing with his arms like a quarterback calling for a shotgun snap.
It turns out that was exactly what it was.
Prater’s 8-yard pass on a fake field-goal try was high and a little wobbly, but Levine Toilolo was so wide open in the end zone that it didn’t matter.
The Lions’ beleaguered season ended on a high note on Sunday, when almost everything went right for Detroit in a 31-0 win over the Green Bay Packers.
“Basically I was trying not to screw it up,” Prater said. “It worked out, so it was fun.”
Not so much for the Packers (6-9-1), who trailed 21-0 at the half and lost Aaron Rodgers early in the second quarter to a concussion. The quarterback was sacked and lost his helmet on the second play of the game.
Rodgers played two more series before departing. The offense never got going even when he was behind center.
“Yeah, it was hard. We just didn’t have any rhythm,” interim head coach Joe Philbin said.
Both teams had long been eliminated from playoff contention. But the Lions (6-10) at least got a little positive push at the end of Matt Patricia’s first season as coach.
Matthew Stafford threw for 266 yards and two scores, both to T.J. Jones. Zach Zenner had a 13-yard touchdown run for the Lions, who have won four straight against their NFC North rival for the first time since 1982-83. That was one bright spot for a last-place Detroit team.
SHORT ON RECEIVERS
The Lions’ passing game clicked despite a depleted receiving corps, with Kenny Golladay missing the relatively meaningless game with a chest injury. The Lions had decisive edges in total yards (261-67) and first downs (16-3) by halftime, with 11 of the first downs coming through the air.
Zenner finished with 93 yards on 21 carries. Stafford was 20 of 32, while rookie Brandon Powell had six catches for 103 yards
OVER AND OUT
Rodgers walked back to the locker room around the same time his teammates were getting over the shock of Detroit’s trick play.
It was unclear exactly when Rodgers got hurt. He was 3 of 5 for 26 yards, not the way he wanted to finish even in a meaningless game.
“I said, ‘How long are you playing?’ He said, ‘I’m going the distance,'” linebacker Clay Matthews said, recounting a pregame talk with Rodgers. “I said, ‘All right, I’ll be out there with you in the fourth.’ But it didn’t play out like that.”