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(Thursday, November 26th)
Final Score: Green Bay 34, Detroit 12
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Aaron Rodgers finished with three touchdown passes, as the Green Bay Packers extended the Thanksgiving Day woes for Detroit, posting a 34-12 victory over the Lions at Ford Field.
Rodgers totaled 348 yards through the air on 28-of-39 efficiency, while Donald Driver had 142 yards and one score on seven receptions for the Packers (7-4), who have won three straight games.
"We didn't start the game very well on special teams. Frankly, we didn't play very well on special teams today," said Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy. "The productivity on offense, with the ability to move the football and generate enough points, was a big factor. Once again, our football team is about defense. Our defense was huge today."
Green Bay cornerback Charles Woodson picked off Lions rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford twice, returning the second one for a touchdown.
Despite missing practice throughout the week after separating his non-throwing shoulder on the second-to-last play against Cleveland this past Sunday, Stafford got the start for Detroit, completing 20-of-43 passes for 213 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions.
"He got here early this morning and was able to throw the ball," said Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz on the decision to go with Stafford. "The shoulder is not an issue of hurting it worse, it's just a pain management issue. He's our starting quarterback and if he's healthy, he's going to be out there."
Kevin Smith had 43 yards on 18 carries and made four grabs for 46 yards for the Lions (2-9), who have lost six straight on the holiday.
"Disappointing loss. We lost a lot of individual matchups in this game," Schwartz added.
Detroit led 7-0 after a turnover by the Packers' Jordy Nelson on the game's opening kickoff. The Lions began their drive at the Green Bay 20 following the fumble and seized an early advantage when Stafford and Calvin Johnson, who missed practice all week due to hand and knee injuries, hooked up for a one- yard touchdown.
Green Bay's first drive stalled at the Detroit 25-yard-line, and the early miscues continued as Mason Crosby pushed a 43-yard field goal attempt wide right.
Stafford was picked off by Nick Collins along the right sideline on the ensuing drive. Facing a 3rd-and-11, Rodgers found Driver for 68 yards to the Detroit seven at the end of the first quarter and Donald Lee took it the rest of the way on a delayed screen pass at the outset of the second frame, tying the score at 7-7.
The Packers marched into the red zone on each of their next two drives, but were forced to settle for field goals of 20 and 25 yards, respectively, from Crosby. The latter kick was set up by cornerback Tramon Williams, who intercepted a backpedaling Stafford.
Green Bay extended its lead to 20-7 with 6:38 to play in the third quarter when Rodgers capped an eight-play, 90-yard jaunt with a seven-yard TD pass to Driver.
After Jason Hanson missed a 54-yarder for Detroit, Rodgers guided the Packers down the field and completed a 21-yard TD pass to James Jones with 38 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The Lions failed to convert on 4th-and-goal from the one in the fourth quarter. Two plays into the ensuing drive, Ryan Grant was wrapped up by Louis Delmas in the end zone and appeared to lose the football. The play was originally ruled a fumble, which was recovered by Detroit linebacker Jordon Dizon for a touchdown.
McCarthy threw the challenge flag and the call was switched to a safety after replays confirmed Grant's left elbow was down before the ball came loose.
Hanson's 22-yard boot trimmed the deficit to 27-12 with five minutes left in the game, but Woodson's 38-yard touchdown cemented the win.
The Lions played the 70th Thanksgiving game in franchise history...Rodgers has eclipsed 300-plus yards in all four career games against Detroit...Stafford has thrown at least three interceptions in a game three times this season...Hanson had made his last 10 attempts of at least 50 yards dating back to 2007...Detroit rookie tight end Brandon Pettigrew injured his left knee on the first series of the game and did not return...Green Bay outgained the Lions, 422-272.
11/26 17:52:36 ET