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Packers secures comeback win over Lions to clinch first round bye

The Packers struggled most of the day, but came back late to get a last second win over the Lions. We break down what it means for their playoff seeding.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is sacked by Detroit Lions defensive back Will Harris during the second quarter at Ford Field. Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers have secured at least first-round bye with a Week 17 victory against the Detroit Lions, but it wasn’t easy. The regular season finale went down to the wire against a Lions team that wasn’t much to look at but Green Bay won 23-20. The Packers can still clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC if the Seahawks beat the 49ers on Sunday Night Football.

Aaron Rodgers has long been the face of Green Bay’s franchise, but he hasn’t played like a perennial MVP candidate and made a ton of mistakes early. Although Detroit entered the regular season finale with the worst pass defense in the league, Rodgers struggled to connect with his receivers and uncharacteristically overthrew his teammates left and right. He completed 6 of his 18 throws in the first half of the contest.

The Lions pulled out all the stops against their division rivals. Quarterback David Blough notched the team’s lone receiving touchdown of the day on a pass from wideout Danny Amendola. Detroit also got a touchdown from running back Kerryon Johnson in his second game back from the IR. The Lions were plagued by injuries all year and gave it everything they had, but their ragtag group wasn’t enough to hold off the Packers’ second-half surge.

Rodgers wasn’t super efficient after the break, but he did keep his team in the game. He went 21-for-37 through the air to follow up his poor start and threw touchdowns to Davante Adams and Allen Lazard before throwing an interception on what could’ve become a game winning drive. But his defense helped him out of a jam forcing a three and out that prevented Detroit from scoring in the closing seconds to seal the deal.

Rodgers finished the contest with 281 passing yards. Aaron Jones had a game-high 101 rushing yards on 23 carries while Adams led all receivers with seven receptions for 93 yard and a score.