Rodgers leads Packers to NFC North title

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 02, 2017 12:53 AM

(The Sports Xchange) - Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, two to Davante Adams, and the Green Bay Packers clinched the NFC North Division title with a 31-24 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

The Packers (10-6) finished the regular season on a six-game winning streak and enter the NFC playoffs as the fourth seed. They host the fifth seeded New York Giants in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Lions (9-7), who failed in their bid to win their first division title in 23 years, wound up seeded sixth and travel to third-seeded Seattle next week.

Rodgers completed 27 of 39 passes for 300 yards. Adams caught six passes for 31 yards, while rookie Geronimo Allison caught four passes for 91 yards and a touchdown.

Fullback Aaron Ripkowski had a combined 76 rushing and receiving yards, including a touchdown for Green Bay, who won their fifth division title in six seasons.

Matthew Stafford completed 26 of 41 passes for 347 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for the Lions.

Detroit running back Zach Zenner picked up a combined 110 rushing and receiving yards, including a touchdown, and Golden Tate caught six passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.

The Packers grabbed a 17-14 lead early in the third on Rodgers' three-yard pass to Adams. Jordy Nelson, held to one catch in the first half, caught three passes on the drive.

Rodgers then spun out of trouble and bought time before finding Allison on a 10-yard scoring play with 10:02 remaining. The extra point was missed, leaving the score at 23-14.

Matt Prater's 54-yard field goal with 7:52 left pulled Detroit within six.

A Detroit penalty for too many men on the field extended Green Bay's next possession. Rodgers then clinched the victory with a nine-yard strike to Adams.

Stafford heaved a 35-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin with 13 seconds left though Green Bay recovered the onside kick, ending any remaining suspense.