PACKERS WIN FOR SEVENTH TIME IN LAST EIGHT GAMES, TAKE OVER FIRST PLACE IN THE NFC NORTH
– Green Bay beat Detroit, 27-20, on Sunday night at Lambeau Field to improve to 9-4 on the season. With Chicago’s loss at Minnesota on Sunday afternoon, the Packers hold a one-game lead over the Bears (8-5) and a two-game lead over the Vikings (7-6).
– The Packers have won 21 straight regular-season games against the Lions in the state of Wisconsin, extending the longest regular-season home winning streak against one opponent in NFL history. Including a playoff victory in 1994, Green Bay has won 22 straight in Wisconsin against Detroit.
– The Packers have won seven of their last nine games played on Sunday night and improved to 20-6 all-time in Sunday night contests, a .769 winning percentage that ranks No. 1 in NFL history.
– Green Bay now has a 13-1 record (.929) against Detroit under Head Coach Mike McCarthy.
– With the victory on Sunday night, the Packers extended their franchise-record divisional winning streak to 11 games (previous record was eight-game streaks in 1996-97 and 2001-02). It is the longest current divisional winning streak in the league.
– It marked Green Bay’s ninth straight NFC North win at home, the longest home divisional streak since a 10-game streak from 2000-02.
– The Packers are assured of a winning record in the division for the seventh consecutive season, further extending the franchise record (previous high was five from 2000-04). The Packers and Patriots are the only teams in the NFL to have a winning divisional record each season from 2006-12.
– The Packers have won 19 of their last 20 regular-season games (.950) at Lambeau Field and 25 of their last 27 contests (.926) at home.
– Green Bay will head to Chicago next Sunday to take on the Bears at Soldier Field at noon CST.
OTHER POST-GAME NOTES:
– Tonight’s paid attendance was 70,382. It was the 309th consecutive sellout (292 regular season, 17 playoffs) at Lambeau Field.
– QB Aaron Rodgers’ 27-yard TD run in the third quarter was the longest touchdown run of his career. It was the longest scoring run by a Green Bay quarterback since Brett Favre’s 36-yard TD run at Chicago on Oct. 31, 1994.
– With his 43-yard touchdown return of a fumble recovery in the second quarter, DE Mike Daniels became the first Green Bay rookie defensive lineman to return a fumble for a TD since Ernie Pannell did so at Pittsburgh on Nov. 23, 1941 (according to the Elias Sports Bureau).
– P Tim Masthay placed his 28th punt inside the 20 on the season, which tied Craig Hentrich (28 in 1996) for the second most in a season by a Green Bay punter since the statistic began to be recorded in 1976. Sean Landeta (30 in 1998) holds the franchise record.
– WR Randall Cobb matched his career high for receiving yards with 102 (also at Houston, Oct. 14, 2012).
– RB Alex Green rushed for a career-high 69 yards, topping his previous best of 65 yards at Houston on Oct. 14, 2012.
– RB DuJuan Harris posted the first rushing TD of his career when he scored on a 14-yard run in the fourth quarter. Harris’ 31 rushing yards were a career high.
– Sunday night marked the first time the Packers posted two rushing TDs in a game since they had two vs. Oakland on Dec. 11, 2011.
– With a plus-one turnover differential on Sunday evening, Green Bay has either won the takeaway battle or come out even in 28 of its last 31 regular-season games.
GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY:
(opening statement) “Good victory tonight. I was really proud of the football team. We had a tough start, but the thing that stuck out to me was the way that they kept fighting, kept battling. I thought as the game went on that we got stronger at the line of scrimmage. It’s a real credit to our defense and offensive lineman. Going into the game with four defensive linemen and having different combinations on the offensive line. Offensively, we went no huddle probably two-and-half quarters, almost three quarters, and I thought Aaron did a very good job of keeping us in clean plays. Then we started into a stuttered huddle, trying to run a different combination of running backs in there. We were able to get some production out of that. Defensively, the ability [to create] takeaways was huge. Mike Daniels’ play was the momentum shift for us that we needed in the game. Special teams, I thought we were solid. Mason, with his protection, kicking into the wind, handling the field position, and the way the wind changed and so forth. It was a fun game to play in, a great showing at Lambeau Field tonight with the snow, big division win, and now we put ourselves in position to win the division next week in Chicago.”
(on DE Mike Daniels’ touchdown being the biggest play of the season) “Well, I hope it wasn’t , but it will definitely be one of the top plays of the season. The first [rookie] defensive lineman [to return a fumble for a touchdown] since 1941… Anytime you can say that it’s the first time something happened since 1941 for a Green Bay Packer, that’s a pretty big accomplishment. That was a big play. Not only the ability to scoop it, but to avoid the tackle and score. That’s the second time Mike has done a good job of that. Clearly that was a big momentum swing for us. I was really impressed with our sideline, the guys didn’t blink. Halftime was fine. It didn’t start the way we wanted it to. Statistically, the game was out of balance in times of possession and things like that. Our guys just keep playing, keep punching, and the impressive part about our football team is that it isn’t just a couple guys making a play. We had a lot of different guys making plays tonight. That speaks volumes about the depth and the young guys and everybody contributing.”
(on how he feels his team is situated at this point in the season) “I’m focused on going to Chicago and winning the division. Hopefully, we’ll be healthy tomorrow. After a Sunday night game, our preparation will be cut back a little bit. That’s part of playing on Sunday Night Football. We’ve put ourselves in position to get to 10 wins. We really don’t look around until we get to 10 wins because double digit wins is when things really start to fall in place for you as a football team. Ten wins will give us the division championship and that’s what we’re focused on.”
(on what he likes about RB DuJuan Harris) “I like a lot about him. I like the way he’s worked since he’s arrived here. He’s done a good job. He has a unique skill set. It’s very evident that not everybody has seen him in live action, but we had another opportunity to put him into a regular game. My goal was to try and get him in last week, but it didn’t work out. That’s why I ran him the first play of offense tonight because I wanted to make sure he got in there and try to get him going. I thought Alex Green did a good job of doing the heavy lifting for the running backs, but it was good to get DuJuan and Ryan Grant in there. I know Ryan Grant just had the one carry, but it was good to have those guys back. It’s a little tougher when you’re in the no huddle, but we have some packages and a number of things we didn’t get to tonight. I feel very good about those three guys.”
(on QB Aaron Rodgers’ touchdown run) “Impressive. I thought Aaron made a number of big plays with his feet. Aaron’s touchdown run was a two-minute situation. For him to score from that distance speaks volumes about his athletic ability. But he’s steady…he’s our guy, he’s our ace. It’s built around him and he played well again tonight.”
PACKERS QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS:
(on whether his TD run makes up for ending his TD pass at home streak) “Yeah I guess I’ll just have to start a new streak there. The run was fun. I’m a little embarrassed about the leap, I was pretty tired. It took me most of the next possession when we were on defense to catch my breath.”
(on how they feel about where they’re sitting) “I feel really good. I kind of did some foreshadowing in the last couple weeks about this is how some of these games are going to go. It’s going to be ugly at times, but the main thing is the wins. We’re 9-4 right now, we’re in first in the division by a game (and) putting ourselves in good position, not only for the division, but potentially a first-round bye. Division’s the first goal and getting to 10 wins, we can start talking about the “P” word. We can wrap things up next week, (but it’s a) tough opponent, tough place to play, a lot on the line.”
(on the scoring drive comprised of all running plays) “A couple passes in there would have been nice. Nah, it’s fun. We had three different backs carry the ball on that drive. Alex (Green) did a good job on that third down getting the first down on the draw play. We came back with RG (Ryan Grant), his first carry. The crowd was excited, he busts off an explosive gain and finished it off with DuJuan (Harris) with a very well-blocked play. It’s fun, those three guys offer different things to the run game.”
(on getting contributions from unlikely sources) “You wouldn’t quite expect those guys, but ‘Scrappy’ (Mike Daniels) with the big play there on that fumble recovery … he looked pretty athletic on that play. Then DuJuan (Harris), we’ve kind of been talking about a lot in practice. We wanted to get him some carries last week, but Alex (Green) and James (Starks) ran the ball really well, so we started off the game, gave him the ball (and) he had a big-time run, explosive run for us, ran a guy over and (we) gave him a couple of opportunities. He made the most of them.
(on what he likes about Harris) “He just has unique agility I think. He’s able to make those jump cuts which I can only dream about. It’s pretty impressive to watch him in practice.”
(on the 21-game home win streak against Detroit) “It was actually on my mind when it was 14-0. I was thinking this would be a waste of a beautiful day to end that streak, playing in the snow with a great crowd. We’ve, for whatever reason, been able to come on the right side of the meetings with the Lions the last 21 times (at home), and hopefully we can keep that going as long as I’m playing here.”
(on what the run game does for the offense) “I think we’re just kind of waiting for some one-high coverages. We’ve seen so many two-high coverages this season, teams daring us to run the football. We haven’t run it very well until the last couple weeks, and hopefully this will give us an opportunity to be a more balanced offense going into the playoffs and get some more of those one-on-one matchups, especially when we get Jordy (Nelson) back. We can have all cylinders firing at the same time and then a run game to boot.”
(on them getting healthy at the right time) “We want to be playing the right way at the right time these last few weeks, and I think if we can get healthy as well, I think that’s kind of the recipe – the type of football you’re playing in December and the health of your football team. We’re obviously not there yet. We need to get Charles (Woodson), Clay (Matthews) and Jordy (Nelson) back, and some other guys. And then we’re getting some young guys some good experience right now, so everything’s lining up the way we want it. We’ve just got to take care of business here the last three weeks.”
PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER RANDALL COBB:
(on his personal performance) “It was alright. I still made some mistakes and I still left some plays out there. If I could have made that catch on that free play it could have been a bigger game. We’re always looking to get better.”
(on looking ahead to the final stretch of the regular season) “We’ve got to make sure we take every game one step at a time. We’re looking forward to next week and being able to clinch the division and see where that takes us.”
(on QB Aaron Rodgers’ touchdown run) “He keeps surprising me with his speed. I knew his was fast, but I didn’t know he was that fast.”
(on playing in the snowy conditions) “I think the biggest thing was just extra focus. Whenever it’s snowing and coming down like that, the wind’s moving the ball a little bit, you’ve just got to focus a little bit harder and securing the ball.”
PACKERS DEFENSIVE END MIKE DANIELS:
(on his touchdown) “The touchdown felt good. I was thinking “get the ball.” Then I was thinking “don’t let that guy touch me.” Then I was thinking “score.” I played a little bit of running back in high school. I kind of had to bring back those old skills.”
(on where the touchdown ranks in the most exciting plays in his career) “That’s one of them. That ranks pretty high. I’ve had some pretty great plays at all phases of the game, from little league up until now, but that’s definitely in my top-five. In my pro moments, I’d say that’s number one.”
(on the significance of his touchdown) “Everybody was telling me we needed that. That was a big play. I was just trying to catch my breath because I knew we had to get back on the field, but it was just good to be able to bring that extra juice to help turn things around at a pivotal point in the game.”
PACKERS RUNNING BACK RYAN GRANT:
(on closing out the game running the ball) “I think it sends a message physically. That you’re going to do whatever it takes to run the ball and finish a team the way you want to. It’s good to have those drives at the end of the game like we did. It’s definitely something, confidence-wise, that you can take into next week.”
(on if he heard the ovation from the crowd when he entered the game) “I did not. It wasn’t until after I ran off the field and I was standing on the side that Donald Driver told me how loud the crowd was. I didn’t actually hear it. I’m focused on the game, so I don’t usually hear the crowd too much.”
PACKERS RUNNING BACK ALEX GREEN:
(on RB DuJuan Harris’ touchdown) “That’s excellent. That’s what it’s all about, making the most of your opportunities. He just proved that tonight. Hopefully it leads to him getting more carries in the future.”
(on the Packers’ running game tonight) “That’s what we’ve been preaching since day one – get the running game going and open things up a little bit. That’s what happened tonight and we’ve got to keep that going.”
(on coming back from a 14-0 deficit) “We showed a lot of passion and a lot of heart. We were down 14-0 early on and showed a lot of heart to come back and keep fighting.”
(on DE Mike Daniels’ touchdown) “Any time the defense makes a big play and scores it’s always a good thing for us. Being down by 14, it was definitely a big play, and seeing Mike get the ball and run is quite entertaining. It was a good thing to watch, and see his Lambeau Leap as well.”
PACKERS CORNERBACK TRAMON WILLIAMS:
(on facing Lions’ WR Calvin Johnson) “They do a great job with Calvin, moving him around to different spots, so it’s going to be hard to stop him from catching the ball. He’s going to get his catches, no doubt about it, but we didn’t let him kill us. We kept him in front of us and didn’t let him get big plays.”
(on getting down 14-0) “They just kind of took it to us. Instead of getting 2- and 3-yard carries, they were bleeding us for a little more yardage. We kind of settled down after that and just played ball.”
(on getting CB Sam Shields back) “Sam showed what he can do today and showed what he can bring to this team. I hope he continues playing like he did today.”
DETROIT LIONS HEAD COACH JIM SCHWARTZ:
(on the fumble by QB Matthew Stafford) “I think it was a turning point in the game, but we had plenty of time after that to get things going. Particularly the two turnovers, not just one, but we had more chances after that. It was certainly a turning point in the game.”
(on the go-ahead drive by the Packers that used all run plays) “You can call it whatever you want, but it was poor defense. We got a chance to go out and get a stop and they ran the ball down our throat.”
(on QB Aaron Rodgers’ touchdown run) “We were in a coverage that was susceptible to scramble. We had poor pass rush and we gave up containment. We did a good job of coverage and the reason he’s scrambling is because he had nowhere to go. He’s a very good scrambler, and when he got into the open field he certainly made us pay for it.”
(on the Packers stopping the run in the second half) “They made a concerted effort in the second half to stop the run. They started bringing a lot more run blitzes and packing the line of scrimmage. They changed plans to stop the run and we didn’t take advantage of some chances in the pass game. Those are chances that we have to make.”
(on the injury to TE Brandon Pettigrew) “It’s stuff that happens in the game, but Brandon is a key part of our game plan and we had to do some adjusting when he went out of the game.”
(on losing another close game) “It’s the way the NFL is. We didn’t win them. If we make the key plays then we win. If we don’t, then we don’t win. The Packers made the key plays tonight all across the board. They made the field goal that made it a two-score game at the end. They ran the ball and got a touchdown to get the lead. They intercepted the ball, they scored on defense, they got a big third down conversion… Whatever it is they made those plays and we didn’t.”
LIONS QUARTERBACK MATTHEW STAFFORD:
(on the fumble) “That was a big play, we had all the momentum. I thought we came out in the first half and played really good football, on both sides really. We only gave up three [points] on defense [in the first half], and to have one go their way like that is tough. Obviously the ball was slick out there tonight, but that’s not an excuse. I just wish I got on top of the ball more.”
(on the interception and miscommunication with WR Kris Durham) “I thought he was going to cross his face, and we looked back at the pictures and he made the right decision. We just weren’t on the same page.”
(on where the team goes after this loss) “Fighting tooth and nail to get wins, that’s what we are doing every week. There is no lack of effort out there. Guys are giving it everything they got, playing as a team, doing everything we can. The ball just isn’t going our way right now.”
(on the loss of TE Brandon Pettigrew) “It always hurts to lose a guy that is a really good tight end in this league. I thought Will (Heller) came in and did a heck of a job, made some catches for us on those two-minute drives. It’s one of the great luxuries of having a guy like Will Heller. He can come in and play all those tight end positions when we need him too.”
(on playing in so many close game) “We’ve been in every single game we played this year, but being in games doesn’t mean (expletive) in this league. It’s about getting wins. We understand that as a locker room and as a team, but it’s tough when the ball isn’t going your way and we are not helping it go our way right now.”
LIONS WIDE RECEIVER KRIS DURHAM:
(on his acrobatic catch) “Matthew actually signaled the route to me. He changed it at the line. It was kind of a stop and go. I was able to beat the guy back inside and Matthew put it in the perfect location.”
(on QB Matthew Stafford’s fumble returned for a touchdown) “He has extremely strong hands and a strong arm. I have never seen anything like that with him. I guess the ball may have gotten wet with the way he grabbed it or gripped it.”
(on the season that WR Calvin Johnson is having) “It is unbelievable. He is one of the best players I have ever seen, if not the best. The skill set and just the ability that he has is head and shoulders above anyone that I have ever seen.”
LIONS KICKER JASON HANSON:
(on his missed field goal with the score tied at 17) “I was really disappointed. I know that I had to hit it really good. It was a very good kick, but I didn’t really pound it and that is what I had to have. I was just really disappointed because I thought that I put it on line and I thought it was good.”
(on still being winless in his career at Lambeau Field) “I don’t know what to say. It is just sad. It is not fun to talk about. For a lot of years we didn’t win we weren’t good and you can’t come in here and win. But there were years where we were pretty good and we still couldn’t win up here. It is just a terrible streak. I wish we could have ended it.”
LIONS DEFENSIVE END LAWRENCE JACKSON:
(on his forced fumble of QB Aaron Rodgers) “We all work together as a defensive line. I saw him sitting back there and I just tried to get my arm in a position to get the ball out. I was happy that we got the recovery.”
(on the defense) “We didn’t make enough plays to win the game. We obviously felt like we had momentum (being up 14-0) and we wanted to keep it going. It goes back to making plays. We didn’t make enough plays on defense to sustain the momentum.”
LIONS LINEBACKER STEPHEN TULLOCH:
(on not being able to finish games) “That has been the case all season. We haven’t found a way to finish games. We play three quarters of good football. We come into halftime with the lead in most games and we just don’t finish for whatever reason. We have to be accountable and find a way to get over this. We are the best three-quarter team in the league.”
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