Seahawks make playoffs when Lions beat Packers, who have another letdown

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The Green Bay Packers have had a few disappointments late in Aaron Rodgers’ career at Lambeau Field in January. The feeling they had Sunday night is familiar.

Those disappointments had always come in the playoffs. This was different.

The Packers had to beat a Detroit Lions team that had been eliminated from playoff contention just before kickoff to complete a remarkable late-season run and grab the final wild-card spot in the NFC. It was all in front of them.

The Packers lost 20-16. The Seattle Seahawks get the final NFC wild-card spot, thanks to a great effort by the Lions. The Seahawks will face the No. 2 seed San Francisco 49ers on Saturday over wild-card weekend. The Lions, whose playoff hopes ended when the Seahawks beat the Los Angeles Rams in overtime, took a lead with less than six minutes left in the game. Rodgers threw an interception right after that and never got the ball back. Green Bay, which had played so well during a four-game winning streak, saw a repeat of some of the old mistakes that held it back when it was 4-8 on the season.

The Packers (8-9) were writing a great story before Sunday night. They had a tiny chance to make the playoffs weeks ago, but got on a winning streak and everything started breaking their way. It looked like another late-season surge for an unlikely playoff berth, led by Rodgers.

Instead, it was another January letdown for Rodgers and the Packers.

A slugfest in the 1st half

The Packers’ defense came alive late in the season and stayed hot to start Sunday night’s game. The Lions struggled to get anything going. When they ran a pretty flea flicker that Jameson Williams scored a long touchdown on, it was called back due to a holding call.

The Lions’ defense kept Detroit in the game. A forced fumble of Aaron Jones in Detroit territory was a huge play. It set up a field goal at the end of the half, which was aided by a 15-yard personal foul on Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas, who hit a Lion in a scrum after batting the ball away from Detroit’s long snapper following a timeout.

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