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Matthew Stafford leads Detroit Lions past depleted Green Bay Packers

By
Dana Gauruder, The Sports Xchange
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) warms up before the game with the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans October 15, 2017. File photo by AJ Sisco/UPI
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) warms up before the game with the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans October 15, 2017. File photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

DETROIT -- Matthew Stafford threw three touchdown passes and also caught a two-point conversion as the Detroit Lions closed out their season with a 35-11 romp over the depleted Green Bay Packers on Sunday at Ford Field.

Stafford, who completed three passes of over 50 yards, went 20 of 29 through the air for 323 yards. Golden Tate caught seven passes for 104 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown reception. Marvin Jones Jr. hauled in four passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. Both receivers exceeded the 1,000-yard mark for the season.

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Kenny Golladay had a 54-yard touchdown catch for the Lions (9-7) in what may have been head coach Jim Caldwell's final game with the franchise. There has been heavy speculation that Caldwell will not be retained for a fifth season.

Ziggy Ansah led the Lions defense with three sacks.

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Brett Hundley completed 14-of-24 passes for 172 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for Green Bay (7-9), which finished the season on a three-game losing streak. Jamaal Williams gained 82 yards rushing and caught three passes for 31 yards.

Along with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was placed on injured reserve prior to last week's shutout loss to Minnesota, Green Bay played without a large chunk of its top offensive players. Receivers Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams, running back Aaron Jones, guard Jahri Evans and tight end Richard Rodgers were all inactive.

The Lions led 20-3 at halftime with the aid of three Packers turnovers.

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Mason Crosby's 41-yard field goal gave Green Bay the early lead, but Detroit dominated the remainder of the half.

Matt Prater evened the score with a 28-yard field goal, set up by a 56-yard pass from Stafford to Jones.

Golladay's third touchdown of the season put the Lions on top midway through the second quarter. Lined up in the slot, Golladay caught a pass over the middle and outraced the defense on the 54-yard play.

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A Green Bay miscue set up Detroit's next score. Packers cornerback Donatello Brown impeded Trevor Davis' attempt to catch a punt. The ball bounced off Brown's helmet and Lions linebacker Paul Worrilow recovered. Two plays later, Jones caught a 3-yard scoring pass from Stafford.

Prater tacked on a 30-yard field goal before the half ended.

Stafford's longest completion of the season made it 27-3 late in the third. He connected with Tate along the left sideline. Tate eluded cornerback Davon House near the 10-yard line to complete the 71-yard play.

The Packers finally got on the scoreboard again on Hundley's 17-yard, fourth-down pass to Randall Cobb with 11:27 left. That same duo also connected on the two-point try.

Ameer Abdullah's 7-yard run accounted for the Lions' final touchdown. Tate threw a two-point conversion pass to Stafford after Adbullah took the snap and pitched it Tate on the trick play.

NOTES: The Lions swept the season series for the first time since the 1991 season. ... The Packers finished the season 3-5 on the road. It's the first losing road record since they went 3-5 in 2010. ... Detroit posted back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1994-95. ... Lions CB Nevin Lawson sat out the game due to a concussion. S Don Carey left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury. ... Green Bay placed LB Nick Perry (ankle, shoulder) on injured reserve Saturday.

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