GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers only led for two seconds yesterday, and that was enough to keep their stranglehold over the Detroit Lions, who haven’t won in Wisconsin since 1991.

Ryan Longwell’s 23-yard field goal gave Green Bay a 16-13 win over the Lions and lifted the Packers (8-5) into first place in the NFC North by a game over Minnesota, which lost at home to Seattle.

The Lions blew a 13-0 halftime lead and also wasted a prime chance to get into the playoff picture in the muddled NFC, falling to 5-8.

Longwell’s third game-winning field goal in five weeks capped a 10-play, 37-yard drive after the Packers got the ball back at the Detroit 42 with 3:27 left and the wind at the their backs.

Gusts up to 35 mph wreaked havoc on passes, punts and long snaps and caused a slew of drops.

Brett Favre completed just 3 of 15 passes for 28 yards in the first half but he was an amazing 16-of-21 in the swirling winds for 160 yards and a touchdown in the second half.

Detroit quarterback Joey Harrington completed just 5 of 22 passes for 47 yards as the Lions relied on rookie running back Kevin Jones, who rushed 33 times for 156 yards and a touchdown.

The Packers had a terrible first half, beginning when Longwell slipped on the opening kickoff. Favre entered the game needing 28 yards to tie Dan Marino’s NFL record of 13 consecutive 3,000-yard seasons, and he had exactly that amount at halftime.

Jason Hanson’s 31-yard field goal was the only scoring either team managed in the first quarter, and Detroit coach Steve Mariucci appeared to make a big blunder when he failed to call timeout before the quarter expired with the Lions at the Green Bay 30.

Jones reeled off a 6-yard run on third-and-2. Instead of a long field goal try, the Lions had the ball at the 24, and Jones ran it in from there, deking safety Darren Sharper, slipping behind center Dominic Raiola and shaking off Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila on his way to scoring the first rushing touchdown Green Bay had allowed in 22 quarters.

Hanson added a 36-yard field goal into the wind for a 13-0 halftime lead.

The Packers committed six penalties for 74 yards in the first half and were flagged at least once on all three of the Lions’ scoring drives.

Packers linebacker Paris Lenon, starting on the weak side for Na’il Diggs (kidney) had a pickoff cradled in his left arm when his teammate, rookie Ahmad Carroll, swiped it away and put it on the grass, resulting in an incompletion instead of an interception in the first half.

The Lions committed five penalties, including three 15-yarders, on the Packers’ opening possession of the third quarter, yet Green Bay couldn’t get into the end zone, settling for Longwell’s 36-yard field goal to pull to 13-3.

Running back Ahman Green’s 79-yard touchdown catch-and-run was negated by head linesman Paul Weidner’s debatable holding call on rookie center Scott Wells.

Pushed back to his own 13, Favre drove the Packers downfield against the wind, capping the drive with a 23-yard touchdown toss to Donald Driver that made it 13-10 late in the third quarter.

Longwell kicked a 28-yard field goal to tie it at 13 with 10:46 left.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.