NFL: Green Bay Packers beat Detroit Lions to close on NFC North title
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 10/12/12 11:17am
Green Bay Packers are just one victory away from winning the slugfest for the NFC North after outlasting the Detroit Lions to win 27-20 at a snowy Lambeau Field.
Their 22nd consecutive victory at home against the Lions was not their easiest, but it was enough for the Packers to hold a one-game lead over the Chicago Bears - who they face next week in the game that could give them the division.
In an all too familiar story for the Lions, they saw a 10-point lead slip away for the third game running, as Detroit dropped a fifth straight game in a fading season.
Aaron Rodgers did not throw a TD at Lambeau for the first time in 36 games, but he did run in his longest rushing touchdown of his career from 27 yards.
DaJuan Harris also ran in a score as he made his Packers debut, while Mike Daniels returned a fumble 43 yards to go along with two Mason Crosby field goals.
Calvin Johnson moved over 1,500 receiving yards for the season with 118 more and Matt Stafford ran in a touchdown and threw one to Tony Scheffler, but once again it was not enough.
"We've been in every single game this year. But being in games doesn't mean (anything) in this league," said Stafford. "It's about getting wins and we understand that as a locker room and as a team.
"It's tough when the ball isn't going your way. But we're not helping it go our way. We're doing it to ourselves as well."
Detroit held 14-0 and then 14-3 lead in the second quarter when Stafford let the ball slip out of his hand as he wound up to throw during the first snow game of the season - and he was punished by Daniel who took it all the way to the house to kick-off the Green Bay comeback.
"That was a big play. We had all the momentum," Stafford added. "I don't really have much of an explanation for it. I wish I could have gotten on top of it. It squirted away from me again."
With Chicago losing against Minnesota, it is now a huge game next week at Soldier Field when the two sides meet with the NFC North on the line.