GREEN BAY — For the second consecutive week, a furious Packers late-game rally failed to send the game into overtime, as the Packers suffered an 18-16 loss to the Lions that threatened to drop the Packers out of a first-place tie with the Vikings.
Following a Lions field goal that extended their lead to 12-3, Aaron Rodgers found a new favorite receiver, tight end Justin Perillo. Rodgers completed a key third-and-15 pass to Perillo for 24 yards and a first down. It appeared the Packers were coming to life, until Davante Adams committed a personal foul that forced the Packers to punt. The Lions got the ball back at their 25-yard line with 12:01 to play.
The Lions went into clock-killing mode, but were stopped on third-and-1 and were forced to punt. Once more, the Packers would have a chance to come to life, this time from their 22-yard line.
A pass interference penalty on a third-down incompletion gave the Packers life at their 36. The Packers would face a third-and-2. Rodgers scrambled and threw deep and incomplete, though Bryan Bulaga was flagged for holding. The Lions declined the penalty, and then changed their mind and accepted. The Packers now faced third-and-12.
Rodgers, under a heavy rush, threw to Randall Cobb for a first down at the Lions 46. The Packers were on the move with more than six minutes to play.
Adams dropped a home run ball along the sideline, but on the next play Rodgers hit Jared Abbrederis down the right sideline to the Lions 4. Two plays later, Rodgers threw to Richard Rodgers for a touchdown that cut the Lions’ lead to 12-10 with 5:55 to play in the fourth quarter.
The game was now in the hands of the Packers defense.
On third-and-9, Stafford converted with a scramble and a pass to Calvin Johnson. With about four minutes to play, Golden Tate ran an end around for a first down, and the clock continued to tick.
The clock was inside three minutes when the Lions faced a third-and-3. Stafford delivered a short pass to Tate that Tate turned into a 43-yard gain to the Packers 5.
At the two-minute warning, the Lions were at the Packers 4, second-and-goal. On the first play after the two-minute warning, Stafford threw a touchdown pass to Lance Moore. Matt Prater’s PAT attempt failed, however, and the Packers had a chance to send the game into overtime with a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
A screen pass to James Starks gained 19 to midfield. A slant to Perillo gained 12 with a minute to play and the Packers holding two timeouts.
Another screen to Starks gained 9, and the Packers called timeout with :51 to play.
On third-and-1 at the 29, Rodgers threw to Richard Rodgers and the latter stepped out of bounds at the 23, stopping the clock at :45.
Roughing the passer moved the ball to the Lions 11.
On the next play, Rodgers found Perillo for a touchdown with :32 to play. Overtime was riding on the Packers’ two-point try.
Rodgers’ pass for Adams fell incomplete … but the Packers clung to hope when they recovered an onside kick.
Mason Crosby’s 52-yard field goal attempt was blocked.
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