During week 10 NFL action this past Sunday not too many people expected much from the struggling Detroit Lions taking on the Packers at Lambeau Field. It turned out to be a lot more exciting than advertised as the Lions came away with a much needed and very unexpected 18-16 victory.
In an offensive disaster for both teams we saw too many three and outs, not one but two missed extra points by the Lions, and a horrifically disappointing dropped pass on a Packers game tying 2 point convert attempt. After a recovered on side kick, the Packers somehow got one more chance to win. What followed was probably the worst winning field goal attempt since Ray Finkle.
As bad as this game was, Green Bay leader Aaron Rodgers has made his case for at least being a contender for greatest quarterback of his generation. He is truly an elite player and as discussed in Patriots Take Advantage of Second Opportunity, Twice, if you can keep the game close enough, no matter how poorly the greatest quarterbacks have been in the first three quarters give them one or two drives in the fourth and they can win a game right then and there. Down 12-3 very early in the fourth, Rodgers had his chance and actually started to get into a rhythm. Desperate to get something going, he tried to hook up with WR Davante Adams on second down. Heavily defended by Nevin Lawson all game, Adams was frustrated for sure. It didn’t help matters when officials missed a fairly obvious defensive pass interference call on Lawson on this play. Facing third down and 5, Rodgers again threw a strike to Adams. Lawson was beaten cleanly and grabbed a handful of jersey, preventing Adams from making the catch. Unbelievably there was again no call. After this second missed call in a row, an already upset Adams found a Lions player right up in his face. Adams understandably pushed him away and was then flagged for a personal foul. This was a highly mismanaged sequence by the officials and it cost the Packers precious time and crucial momentum.
Rodgers did go on to do what great quarterbacks do and gave his team every chance to win, marching them 80 yards down the field on the very next drive. However, I think those two lost minutes as a result of the two blown no calls cost Rodgers momentum and cost the Packers offense the confidence and control. The Lions did everything they could to lose the game. They didn’t really earn it. The Packers mentally beat themselves and I think the officials mentally beat the Packers.