Packers lose Rodgers, fall to Lions

Posted Dec. 12, 2010 @ 5:34 p.m.
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By Larry Lage, AP Sports Writer

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions leaned on third-string players to end a pair of streaks after Green Bay couldn't come back without its starting quarterback.

Drew Stanton threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Will Heller midway through the fourth quarter for a 7-3 win over a Packers team that lost Aaron Rodgers to injury.

Detroit (3-10) snapped a five-game losing streak and a 19-game skid against the NFC North, the NFL's worst slump within a division since the merger four decades ago.

Green Bay (8-5) lost Rodgers and a game it desperately needed to win for playoff positioning. The star quarterback was knocked out in the second quarter with his second concussion this season.

Matt Flynn got Green Bay to the Detroit 31 before turning the ball over on downs with an incomplete pass into the end zone just past a diving Greg Jennings in the final minute.

The Lions took the final snap with 3 seconds left and Stanton threw a long pass that fell incomplete to run out the clock.

Stanton, who had a QB rating of zero at one point in the second half, was 10 of 22 for 117 yards with one TD and two interceptions to finish with a 39.4 rating.

Flynn completed 15 of 26 passes for 177 yards and an interception in Detroit's end zone late in the third quarter. He entered the game 10 of 20 for 69 yards with one interception in three seasons as Rodgers' seldom-used backup.

Rodgers was 7 of 11 for 46 yards with an interception. He threw a perfect pass to Greg Jennings late in the scoreless first quarter that the wide receiver dropped and safety Amari Spievey picked off.

Rodgers got up slowly after he was hit by Spievey and Landon Johnson at the end of a run. Green Bay took a timeout, perhaps to give Rodgers time to recover, then he was sacked on the next play. He finished the drive, but didn't come back in the game. Rodgers also had a concussion in an overtime loss at Washington in October. He played the following week.

The Lions were left to start Stanton for a second straight week because Matthew Stafford was still recovering from a separated right shoulder and backup Shaun Hill was out with an injured finger on his right hand.

Detroit relies a lot on its top two tight ends - Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler - but called a screen play for Heller, who caught the pass behind the line of scrimmage and rumbled 13 yards for the winning score.

The teams combined to have the first scoreless first half in the NFL this season, then didn't exactly light up the scoreboard the rest of the way.

Late in the third quarter with a chance to tie the game, Detroit's Dave Rayner missed a field goal attempt.

The botched opportunity proved not to be costly for a team that has gotten its fair share of bad breaks during a season full of close-call losses.

The Packers, meanwhile, had to hope the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears wouldn't beat New England later in the day to pad their lead in the division, and that Rodgers would be healthy enough to play the final three games of the regular season.

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