Final

Lions 41

(10-6, 5-3 away)

Packers 45

(15-1, 8-0 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, January 1, 2012

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI 

1 2 3 4 T
DET 9 10 15 741
GB 10 14 7 1445

Top Performers

Passing: M. Stafford (DET) - 520 YDS, 5 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: R. Grant (GB) - 12 CAR, 48 YDS

Receiving: C. Johnson (DET) - 11 REC, 244 YDS, 1 TD

Matt Flynn's historic day leads Packers' backups past Lions

Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- With Aaron Rodgers resting up for the playoffs, Matt Flynn had to be ready to run the Green Bay Packers offense.

Was he ever.

With Rodgers bundled up on the sideline in cold and windy conditions at Lambeau Field, Flynn set franchise records with 480 yards passing and six touchdowns -- the final one to Jermichael Finley with 1:10 left, giving the Packers a 45-41 victory over the Detroit Lions in a wild regular-season finale Sunday.

"Just think of all of the great quarterbacks that have come through here," Flynn said. "It's very humbling. I just thank everybody around me and everything. I couldn't have done it, obviously, by myself. There's weapons all around me, and the line did a great job. It's one of those games where it got to a shootout, and we just kept having to match each other."

It was an ideal afternoon for the Packers (15-1), who got to rest Rodgers and several other big-name players without losing momentum going into the playoffs.

Flynn barely got the Packers past Matthew Stafford, who threw for 520 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions for the Lions (10-6). Detroit has lost 21 straight road games to the Packers, including the postseason.

"We're going to use this as motivation," Stafford said. "We had a chance and didn't get it done, so we've got to get out there and start making it happen. We've got to get on a run here. That's what it's all about in the playoffs, getting hot and hopefully we can get that going."

The Lions head to the playoffs for the first time since 1999 as a wild card, but could have clinched the No. 5 seed with a win. Instead, they'll be the No. 6 seed and face New Orleans in the first round.

"This certainly wasn't a throwaway game for us," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said.

According to STATS LLC, it was the first time in NFL history opposing quarterbacks each threw for 400-plus yards and five-plus touchdowns in a game. The teams' combined 971 net yards passing broke the record of 906 set earlier this season in a Week 1 game between New England and Miami.

"Flynn played a great game," Stafford said. "Their guys were making plays all over the field and scoring points."

For Flynn, it was a huge day that could eventually lead to a significant payday. A seventh-round pick out of LSU in 2008, Flynn already had the attention of general managers around the league after he nearly beat New England last season while Rodgers was recovering from a concussion.

Now he has a huge performance and a victory under his belt, and he'll become a free agent in the offseason.

"We're going to miss him," guard Josh Sitton said, adding that he thought Flynn should sign with an AFC team.

For now, though, Flynn is ready to get back to his main role in Green Bay: Helping Rodgers get ready to lead the Packers back to the Super Bowl.

"We've got the best quarterback in the NFL as a starter here, so it's not hard at all," Flynn said. "He's the heart and soul of this team and the leader of this team. So, it's pretty easy to take a back seat and watch him play, and I'm excited to see what he does in the playoffs."

Jordy Nelson had nine catches for 162 yards and three touchdowns for the Packers.

Calvin Johnson had 11 catches for 244 yards and a touchdown, and Titus Young had a pair of touchdowns for the Lions.

With the afternoon off, Rodgers' season quarterback rating of 122.5 coming into the game broke Peyton Manning's single-season mark of 121.1 set in 2004.

With NFC home-field advantage for the playoffs secured, the Packers also rested several key players with nagging injuries: cornerback Charles Woodson, linebacker Clay Matthews, wide receiver Greg Jennings, right tackle Bryan Bulaga, running back James Starks and wide receiver Randall Cobb.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said it was an "easy call" to rest Rodgers, but the coach found ways to keep Rodgers' head in the game; McCarthy said he handed over play-calling duties to his quarterback in the first half.

And McCarthy was thrilled with Flynn's day.

"It was clearly one of the best performances I've been a part of," McCarthy said. "No doubt about it. I can't say enough about Matt Flynn. The whole world got to see what we see every day."

For a while, it looked like the Lions would take advantage of the Packers' resting starters.

With the Packers leading 38-34, Johnson drew a pass interference penalty on Tramon Williams to give the Lions the ball at the Green Bay 28. Scheffler hauled in a one-handed catch to set up first-and-goal on the 2.

Johnson then was called for offensive pass interference in the end zone, but Stafford threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Scheffler in the back of the end zone and the Lions took a 41-38 lead with 2:39 left.

Flynn wasn't finished, finding James Jones for a 40-yard completion to set up first-and-goal at the 6 with 1:19 left. Flynn found Finley to win it.

With the Lions threatening again in the final minute, Sam Shields' interception put the game away.

Jones said he and the rest of the Packers weren't surprised by Flynn's performance.

"He's a great player, great quarterback," Jones said. "He just showed the world what he can do."

Game notes


Ndamukong Suh mocked Rodgers' "title belt" celebration after sacking Flynn near the end of the third quarter. Suh was suspended for two games after he stomped on Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith in Green Bay's win on Thanksgiving. ... Packers veteran left tackle Chad Clifton played for the first time since injuring his hamstring Oct. 9. He played the first quarter. ... Defensive tackle Corey Williams and safety Louis Delmas were inactive for Detroit.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
DET
GB
1st Downs3227
Passing 1st downs
2720
Rushing 1st downs
23
1st downs from penalties
34
3rd down efficiency
4-116-12
4th down efficiency
1-20-0
Total Plays7671
Total Yards575550
Yards per play7.67.7
Total Drives1415
Passing502469
Comp-Att
36-5931-44
Yards per pass
8.210.0
Interceptions thrown
21
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-183-11
Rushing7381
Rushing Attempts
1524
Yards per rush
4.93.4
Red Zone (Made-Att)5-72-3
Penalties11-1016-78
Turnovers42
Fumbles lost
21
Interceptions thrown
21
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession28:2031:40

Passing Leaders

DETC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Stafford36/595208.8522-18
GBC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Flynn31/4448010.9613-11

Rushing Leaders

DETCARYDSAVGTDLG
Smith9353.908
Logan11616.0016
GBCARYDSAVGTDLG
Grant12484.009
Saine8283.5010

Receiving Leaders

DETRECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson1124422.2141
Pettigrew711616.6026
GBRECYDSAVGTDLG
Nelson916218.0358
Jones68914.8040

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERDETGB
detTD13:05Titus Young 8 Yard Pass From Matthew Stafford (Jason Hanson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 35 yds, 1:09
70
gbSF13:00Pat Lee -1 Yard Kickoff Return, Tackled In Own End Zone
Drive info: 4 plays, 35 yds, 1:09
90
gbFG5:58Mason Crosby 22 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 15 plays, 64 yds, 5:39
93
gbTD0:21Jordy Nelson 7 Yard Pass From Matt Flynn (Mason Crosby Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 48 yds, 4:01
910
SECOND QUARTERDETGB
detTD8:24Calvin Johnson 13 Yard Pass From Matthew Stafford (Jason Hanson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 60 yds, 4:11
1610
gbTD8:13Ryan Grant 80 Yard Pass From Matt Flynn (Mason Crosby Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 80 yds, 0:18
1617
detFG5:57Jason Hanson 30 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 5 plays, 27 yds, 1:25
1917
gbTD3:43Jordy Nelson 36 Yard Pass From Matt Flynn (Mason Crosby Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 79 yds, 2:16
1924
THIRD QUARTERDETGB
detTD6:44Titus Young 2 Yard Pass From Matthew Stafford (Jason Hanson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 60 yds, 3:32
2624
gbTD4:41Jordy Nelson 58 Yard Pass From Matt Flynn (Mason Crosby Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 80 yds, 2:07
2631
detTD2:13Kevin Smith 5 Yard Pass From Matthew Stafford (Matthew Stafford Pass to Tony Scheffler For Two-Point Conversion is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yds, 2:25
3431
FOURTH QUARTERDETGB
gbTD8:18Donald Driver 35 Yard Pass From Matt Flynn (Mason Crosby Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 69 yds, 4:40
3438
detTD2:44Tony Scheffler 12 Yard Pass From Matthew Stafford (Jason Hanson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 93 yds, 2:22
4138
gbTD1:13Jermichael Finley 4 Yard Pass From Matt Flynn (Mason Crosby Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yds, 1:29
4145

Research Notes

Calvin Johnson has 244 receiving yards. That's the most since Miles Austin had 250 in 2009 at the Chiefs.
Matthew Stafford has 520 pass yards today. That's the most since Boomer Esiason had 522 for the Cardinals at Washington in 1996. It's the most pass yards in a loss since Dan Marino had 521 in 1988 in a loss vs the Jets.

ESPN Stats & Information