NFL Week 13 Recap: NFC North

It looks like the football Gods are favoring the Green Bay Packers in their battle with the Minnesota Vikings to win the NFC North. First, it took a Hail Mary pass from Aaron Rodgers to Richard Rodgers for the Pack to defeat the Detroit Lions and the Seattle Seahawks routed the Vikings.

It looks like the football Gods are favoring the Green Bay Packers in their battle with the Minnesota Vikings to win the NFC North.

It looks like the football Gods are favoring the Green Bay Packers in their battle with the Minnesota Vikings to win the NFC North.

The situation in which the Green Bay Packers found themselves in their final play that beat the Lions was even more dramatic than a Hail Mary pass alone. In fact, a penalty on that play as the game clock ticked down to zero gave the Packers another try with no time on the clock.

Lions’ defensive end Devin Taylor was flagged for grabbing Aaron Rodgers’ facemask on a tackle that would have ended the game with the Lions winning. Instead, Rodgers threw a 61-yard touchdown pass, the longest game-winning, game ending Hail Mary in NFL history.

The Packers desperately needed that play. They had lost four of their previous five games. Meanwhile, the Lions had won three consecutive games and expected the fourth when Richard Rodgers spoiled things with the catch.

Things looked bad for the Packers after Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford tossed a touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson in the first quarter. It was Stafford’s second TD pass and gave the Lions a 20-point lead.

The Packers didn’t give up. Rodgers, not known for his legs, scored on a 17-yard run with 3:04 remaining putting his team just two points behind.

Stafford hit T.J. Jones with a pass that converted a third and 12 from the Lions’ 18-yard line and the Packers called their final timeout with 2:54 remaining. The Lions needed one more first down to seal the win, but the Packers’ defense forced them to punt giving the Packers the ball on their own 21-yard line with 23 seconds remaining.

Aaron Rodgers threw two incomplete passes. However, he was able to connect with James Jones who lateraled the ball to Richard Rodgers, who lobbed it back to Aaron Rodgers when Taylor grabbed Rodgers’ facemask setting up the Hail Mary pass. It was Rodgers’ first Hail Mary pass completion of his career.

Rodgers finished with 24 completions on 36 attempts for 289 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He was sacked three times.

Stafford finished with 23 completions on 35 attempts for 220 yards and two touchdowns. He also lost a fumble. He was also sacked three times.

After their first three drives of the game the Lions led 17-0. Their first possession of the third quarter resulted in a field goal giving them a 20-point lead.

The Packers rushers could collect only 67 yards while the Lions rushed for a total of 101 yards.

Richard Rodgers led the Packers’ receivers with eight receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown. Starks caught five passes for 45 yards. Davante Adams caught four passes for 21 yards and a touchdown.

Golden Tate led the Lions’ receivers with eight catches for 63 yards. Johnson caught three passes for 44 yards and a touchdown. Eric Ebron caught two passes for nine yards and a touchdown. PACKERS 27 LIONS 23

Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, Minnesota Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes and rushed for another as the Seahawks beat the Minnesota Vikings. The Seahawks defense did not allow a score. It was the hawks’ third consecutive win. The Vikings got their only score on a 101-yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson in the third quarter.

Wilson finished with 21 completions on 27 attempts for 274 yards and collected 51 yards rushing on nine carries. Doug Baldwin caught two touchdown passes and garnered a total of 94 yards and Thomas Rawls rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown.

Adrian Peterson could gain only 18 yards on eight carries, the third lowest single-game total of his career.

The Vikings helped on two of the Seahawks scoring drives – one for 81 yards and another for 98 yards –- in the first half with inopportune penalties and missed tackles. On one play when the Seahawks were punting Vikings’ cornerback Terrence Newman was flagged for holding, which permitted the hawks to continue their drive. Moreover, Vikings’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater overthrew Stefon Diggs late in the second quarter and Earl Thomas intercepted it. During the run back Diggs grabbed Thomas’ facemask and the Seahawks got the ball at the Vikings’ 20-yard line with 68 seconds remaining in the half. Wilson hit Baldwin for a touchdown putting the hawks up 21-0. SEAHAWKS 38 VIKINGS 7

San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Blaine Gabbert rushed for the tying touchdown late in regulation then threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith to beat the Chicago Bears in overtime. Bears’ kicker Robbie Gould missed a field goal at the end of regulation.

The Bears were leading 20-13 on Ka-Deem Carey’s 4-yard touchdown run with 3:32 remaining. Gabbert then scrambled 44 yards for his first career-rushing touchdown with 1:42 remaining. Then Deonte Thompson returned a kickoff 74-yards to the 49ers 28. A few plays later Gould missed a field goal from 17-yards out. Gould also missed kicks from 40-yards and 36-yards.

Gabbert completed 18 of 32 passes for 196 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 75 yards on six carries. He was sacked four times.

Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler completed 18 or 31 passes for 202 yards and one interception. He was sacked once. Alshon Jeffery caught four passes for 85 yards. Matt Forte rushed for 84 yards on 21 carries for a touchdown and Jeremy Langford gained 59 yards on 12 carries. The Bears rushed for a total of 170 yards. 49ERS 26 BEARS 20
 NFC NORTH STANDINGS        Overall                     Division
 GREEN BAY PACKERS                    8-4                            3-2
MINNESOTA VIKINGS                   8-4                             3-1
CHICAGO BEARS                              5-7                             1-3
DETROIT LIONS                               4-8                             2-3
LIONS @ RAMS                            SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2015
REDSKINS @ BEARS                  SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2015
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