Hail Mary, Hail Rodgers!

It is hard not to start with how the game ended, but stick with me because it was all about the build up that made it the emotional roller coaster it was. Staying up until the early hours is a sacrifice I will happily take for my team, but as the game clock ticked down, I started to wonder if I should have…

As an NFL fan in the UK, you eagerly look at that week’s games and hope that your team is one of the early Sunday games, if it isn’t or it’s midweek, you know you are in for a late night, especially is your team is West coast rather than East coast! So as I joined my community on Twitter in readiness for the game we discussed what the game ahead would entail and how the previous week’s performance would affect our game play this week.

The Packers started with a burst of energy, I thought it was a good sign that we had returned to our former play style of explosive first plays after the shock loss against the Bears the week before, we had not let it get us down, we were moving onwards and upwards! However, it was not so and sure enough the Packers were soon stopped and the ball went to the Lions, and that meant it was the Defense’s turn to step up to the mark. Which they did, only allowing the Detroit Lions to score a field goal after a quick drive.

It was another uninteresting drive from the Packers ending in a Punt that gave the Lions the ball back again, this time they were able to make use of it and the Defense were not outstanding, I will say that, they allowed Matthew Stafford to use his legs to often giving the Lions an extra threat, and they gave up easy yardage with some iffy coverage at times allowing Abdoullah to get his longest run of the season. Sure enough it was a TD to the Lions with less than two minutes on the board for the Packers to answer it.

The next drive was no better for the Packers when it ended abruptly after 2 plays when an Interception by Lions’ Quin changed the possession once again. The Lions had the ball with only 42 seconds left in the 1st quarter, and yet by the time there was only 6 seconds left the Lions had scored yet again. In a matter of minutes it was now 17 – 0 to the Lions, even Crosby was feeling the strain as he missed a field goal after a long drive of the Packers going nowhere fast.

It was possibly the most depressing half of my Packers Fandom, it was half time and we had not put up a single point, against the Lions of all teams! The 2nd Quarter was full of Punts from both teams, no one was able to move the ball significantly.

One thing you should know about me, I have a strange unwavering faith in the Packers, no matter what I am always sure that they can sort it out and come back to surprise us all…oh and sometimes I can predict the future!

https://twitter.com/Fordith/status/672600715722932225

The second half is where it all began, the Lions started with the ball, and although it only ended in a field goal (extending their lead to 20 – 0) they were able to run the clock down using almost 10 minutes of the 3rd quarter on their drive alone. The Packers got the ball back and after a march down the field Starks fumbled the ball into the endzone, only for Cobb to see this and jump on it! The Packers had a Touchdown! It was ugly but it counted and I would take that!

It was definitely the game changer, the momentum seemed to shift at that point, the Lions fumbled the ball that was recovered by the Packers and had the ball back at the Detroit 12 yard line. It was oddly mirroring the first quarter but with roles reversed as the Packers scored yet another touchdown (Adams with the catch) to bring the score to 20-14 to the Lions.

The Defense had clearly woken up at this point, they were keeping the Lions and Stafford busy and unable to make anything of the opportunities they had. Clay Matthews was definitely switched on after the half, barreling straight through the Offensive Line to try and get to Stafford as quickly as possible, forcing the Lions to try for the FG, it was 23 – 14.

There were seven minutes left in the game and it was a two score game, it was finally getting interesting, would the Packers manage it before they ran out of time like in a previous game when it was all left too late?

The answer for that question came in the next drive, after not much help from the rest of the Offense, a penalty on the Lions, and going for it on 4th and 1, Rodgers ran the ball in himself for 17 yards and a touchdown. It was now 21 – 23 to the Lions with 3 minutes to go and they had the ball. It was crunch time for our Defense to stand their ground.

Although they gave us a couple of scares the Defense got it done and stopped the Lions from scoring and gave us some time on the field. The tension was pretty strong as we had only 29 seconds left on the clock…

After two incomplete passes (come on receivers, seriously?) and a lateral pass play that went nowhere, we thought the game was over, for a split second, then we saw a flag had been thrown; Facemask! Although some believe it to be an incorrect call the rules state that the facemask may not be pulled or twisted in any way, and as soon as his thumb goes curves round the mask, whether it was by accident or not, and causes Rodgers head to turn, the call is valid.

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So the Packers had one more shot at winning, one more play with 0:00 on the clock, I cannot put into words the beauty of the play, so please watch the video in all its glory:

Or see it here!

Final Score: Green Bay Packers 27 – 23 Detroit Lions

It was a great game..for the last 20 minutes or so, but my main thought coming out of that game was, why can’t we play with the heart, gusto and determination that we have been seen only in the final quarter of the games recently.

 

Something to bear in mind is that a lot of the Packers’ O Line was injured for this game, and that meant that Rodgers was an easier target than normal for the Lions Defense, but are the injuries the only reason for the Green Bay Packers struggles?

What do you think?

Fordith – @Fordith

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