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Week 17 Game Recap: Green Bay Packers 23, Detroit Lions 20


What you need to know

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers beat the Detroit Lions 23-20 to improve their record to 13-3 on the season, earning the #2 seed in the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers completed 27 of 55 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Aaron Jones rushed 25 times for 100 yards and caught two passes for 43 yards. Davante Adams caught seven passes for 93 yards and a touchdown, and Allen Lazard caught four passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught two passes for 19 yards and Geronimo Allison caught three passes for 17 yards. Jimmy Graham had his best game in quite a while, catching four passes for 49 yards.

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions nearly upset the Packers on Sunday in a close loss. David Blough struggled at quarterback outside of a touchdown reception on a gadget play, while Kerryon Johnson and Bo Scarbrough had strong performances running on the interior, with Johnson scoring a short touchdown. Kenny Golladay had a long reception on a deep post that salvaged his fantasy day.

Green Bay Packers

QB Aaron Rodgers, 88 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 55 - 323 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 1 - 0
Aaron Rodgers completed 27 of 55 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns with one interception in the Packers win over the Lions on Sunday. Rodgers was largely ineffective for most of this game and was not the accurate passer we have become accustomed to. He missed Jones and Tyler Ervin for what should have been easy touchdowns, which would have put a different spin on this game, as the Packers offense continued to look like the shaky group weíve seen in weekís past. Coming into this game, Rodgers was averaging 34.2 attempts per game, so the 55 attempts was not only his most of the season, but way out of character for the Packers offense. Missing Jamaal Williams didnít help, but the offense was able to make enough plays in the fourth quarter to gut out the win. Rodgers first touchdown pass came in the third quarter with the Packers facing a third and 10 from the Detroit 20 yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and his offensive line gave him enough time to wait out Adams who was running a deep double move from the inside to the right sideline of the end zone. Adams was lined up on the right side of the formation and then stutter stepped breaking to the inside of the field before cutting hard to the outside and leaving his defenders in the dust. Rodgers threw a perfect ball that floated to the right side of the endzone and landed in-stride with Adams. This cut the Packers deficit to seven points, with the score being 17-10 deep in the third quarter. Rodgers final touchdown pass came with the Packers facing a third and ten from the Detroit 28 yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and faced a collapsing pocket quickly with an aggressive Detroit pass rush. Rodgers leaned on his back foot and threw a pass up the field to Alan Lazard who was running a deep post route. The pass was Rodgers best of the evening, placed perfectly in a spot where Lazardís defender had no chance of making a play. Lazard on the other hand, was able to jump up and catch the ball at the apex of his leap before falling down hard in the end zone for the touchdown. This tied the game at 20-20 and paved the way for a late Mason Crosby field goal to win the game and earn the Packers the #2 seed in the playoffs and home field advantage against anyone but the 49ers.

RB Aaron Jones, 75 offensive snaps, Rush: 25 - 100 - 0, Rec: 2 - 43 - 0 (6 targets)
Aaron Jones rushed 25 times for 100 yards and caught two passes for 43 yards in the Packers win over the Lions on Sunday. Jones was able to make enough plays to move the Packers offense on a day when Rodgers was not sharp. His 25 carries was a high mark for Jones on the season, as he averaged only 14 carries prior to this game. The 100 yards put Jones over 1,000 on the season, with the star running back finishing with 1,084 yards with 16 rushing touchdowns, and 49 receptions for 474 yards and three touchdowns. Jones flipped back and forth between short gains and explosive plays, gaining five or more yards on nine of his 27 touches. Jones came through when it counted, making a clutch catch on the final drive of the game that set up the Packers winning field goal. ON a first and 10 from their own 49 yard line, Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and was immediately faced with an aggressive Lions pass rush that forced him to escape to his right out of the pocket. As he was falling down, Rodgers hit Jones who was stationed just in front of the line of scrimmage in a crowd of Packers offensive lineman. Jones caught the pass and was able to pivot around and take off up-field without being touched by a Lions defender. Jones then weaved his way through the Lions secondary and was very close to breaking the run for a touchdown, but a Lions defender was able to just put a hand on Jones back foot and trip him up. The play was perhaps the biggest of the game for the Packers offense, as there was only 45 seconds left in the game, with the score tied.

RB Jamaal Williams
Williams was injured and held out of the Packers final pre-season game, being replaced by Tyler Ervin, who finished with only two touches in the game.

WR Davante Adams, 78 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 93 - 1 (13 targets)
Davante Adams caught seven passes for 93 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets in the Packers win over the Lions. Once again, Adams saw double digit targets and was Rodgers most trusted target when it counted. With the Packers facing a fourth and one from the Detroit 31 yard line, Rodgers looked to Adams on a short quick pass that went for a first down and set up the tying touchdown for the Packers. Adams long gain of the night came with the Packers facing a second and five from the Packers 37 yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and after a quick three step drop, fired a pass down the sideline to Adams who was running a straight go-route. The pass was pin-point, landing just to the outside of Adams right shoulder. Adams made a savvy play on the ball, waiting for the pass to get almost to his body before sticking his hands up and catching the pass, which allowed him to avoid his defender from breaking up the play. Adams touchdown catch was a thing of beauty, displaying his knack for route-running and showcasing why he has become one of the best receivers in the game. Adams lined up in the inside-right slot position and initially stutter-stepped and broke to the inside like he was running a slant route. Adams then threw a quick faked and broke back to the outside, running through two Lions defenders, leaving them in the dust before Adams dropped a pass in=stride for the 20 yard touchdown. Adams did lost a fumble in the first half, but other than that, he played a fantastic game and played a big part in the Packers gutting out the win. He finished with 997 yards on 83 catches with five touchdowns in 12 games.

WR Allen Lazard, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 69 - 1 (8 targets)
Allen Lazard caught four passes for 69 yards and a touchdown on 8 targets in the Packers win over the Lions on Sunday. Lazardís eight targets were second only to Adams 13, which has followed the pattern of the previous 10 games. Lazard has carved out a role on the Packers offense and has clearly become the #2 receiver for Green Bay. Lazardís touchdown catch tied the game at 20-20 in the 4th quarter. With the Packers facing a third and 10 from the Detroit 29 yard line, Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and faced a collapsing pocket quickly with an aggressive Detroit pass rush. Rodgers leaned on his back foot and threw a pass up the field to Lazard who was running a deep post route. Lazard ran a clean route, breaking hard to the middle of the field and gaining inside position on his defender despite the fact that his defender had his shoulders facing to the inside. The pass was Rodgers best of the evening, placed perfectly in a spot where Lazardís defender had no chance of making a play. Lazard made an excellent play on the ball, jumping up on a full run and snagging the ball at the apex of his jump. Lazard then crashed down and fell over the goal line. The play was reviewed and upheld and tied the game for the Packers, which paved the way for a Crosby field goal to win the game deep in the 4th quarter.

WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, 20 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (7 targets)
Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught two passes for 19 yards on 7 targets in the Packers win over the Lions on Sunday. The seven targets were the second highest of the season for Valdes-Scantling, and matched his total from the previous five games combined. Four of his targets were deep passes and it seems as though that is where he is best suited in the Packers offense. His two catches did not make much difference in the game and Valdes-Scantling has been reduced to splitting time with Allison when the Packers go to three and four receiver sets.

TE Jimmy Graham, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 49 - 0 (7 targets)
Jimmy Graham caught four passes for 49 yards on seven targets in the Packers win over the Lions on Sunday. Grahamís four catches were his most in six games and his seven targets were a season high for Graham. Rodgers looked Grahamís way on several second downs where the Packers needed to pick up yards and set up advantageous situations for Rodgers on third down. Graham did have two long gains, an 18 yard reception and a 20 yard reception on a third and nine from the Packers 30 yard line. Graham made a nice catch and run on the 20 yard gain where Rodgers passed the ball to him at the line of scrimmage and Graham broke to the outside where he was able to take off up the sideline. Grahamís season was largely a disappointment, as he finished with 38 receptions for 447 yards and three touchdowns. It will be interesting to see whether the Packers bring back Graham and use him in the same way they did this year.


Detroit Lions

QB David Blough, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 12 - 29 - 122 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 11 - 0, Rec: 1 - 19 - 1 (1 targets)
David Blough struggled against the Packers on Sunday in a loss. Blough has been consistently held back by limited arm strength this season in place of starter Matthew Stafford. Blough was held back by some drops, including a drop by Chris Lacy in the end zone, but his struggles were largely his own fault. Blough was inaccurate, particularly when throwing to the perimeter, and held onto the ball too long. His interception was a late throw over the middle that was an easy interception and had another ball nearly intercepted on the perimeter. Bloughís fantasy day was buoyed by a touchdown reception on a gadget play. The Lions will return Matthew Stafford in 2020 and Blough could face competition for the backup quarterback spot on the roster.

RB Kerryon Johnson, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 53 - 1
Kerryon Johnson flashed his explosiveness again in his second game back from the injured reserve. Johnson worked in a committee with Bo Scarbrough and Ty Johnson but led the team in carries with 11. Johnson had multiple explosive plays on the interior, including a carry for 20 yards, on a day where Detroit had consistent success running on the interior. Johnson was able to convert a goal-line carry for a touchdown but was frequently off the field on third down. Johnson has the ability to be a three-down workhorse but has struggled with durability in his career, while Detroit has consistently preferred a committee approach in the backfield which has especially capped Johnsonís receiving upside. His passing game work will be important to monitor leading into next season.

RB Bo Scarbrough, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 42 - 0
Bo Scarbrough worked in a committee with Kerryon Johnson against the Packers in week 17 and was out carried by Johnson 11 to 9. Scarbroughís work came primarily on the interior as Detroit was effective running directly downhill against the Packers throughout the game. Scarbrough has resurrected his career this season and earned the opportunity to be a backup for Detroit next season.

WR Danny Amendola, 44 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 19 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (4 targets)
Danny Amendola had two short catches for 16 yards but salvaged his fantasy day with a reverse pass touchdown to David Blough. The entire Detroit offense took a step back with David Blough under center which capped Amendolaís fantasy production late in the season. He will enter free agency in the offseason.

WR Kenny Golladay, 23 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 72 - 0 (4 targets)
Kenny Golladay had a low volume day in the receiving game but buoyed his fantasy production on a 42-yard catch on a post route. Golladay had a good short route for a third down conversion and added an intermediate reception over the middle. Golladay added a drop and was missed by David Blough on a post route. Golladay was hampered by David Blough down the stretch this season but will look to rebound in 2020 with a healthy Matthew Stafford.