Packers beat Lions 27-20, take NFC North lead
So did Green Bay’s running backs. Inconsistency and injuries have kept the Packers from finding a groove on the ground this season, and they had to bring back veteran Ryan Grant earlier this week just to give them some depth.
But they might have found a formula that worked. They rushed for 140 yards, 98 of it coming in the second half, and their entire go-ahead drive was on the ground.
Alex Green rushed for 29 yards on the first four plays, then Grant broke off a 13-yard gain.
Then it was Harris’ turn. Elevated from the practice squad just eight days ago, his 5-yard gain put the Packers at the Detroit 14. He strolled in untouched on the next play, giving the Packers a 24-17 lead.
‘‘It was poor defense,’’ Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. ‘‘We had a chance to go out and get a stop, and they just ran the ball down our throats.’’
The Lions pulled within a score on Hanson’s 34-yard field goal with 7 seconds left. But the onside kick went out of bounds, and the countdown to Chicago was on.
‘‘That’s something we look forward to,’’ receiver Randall Cobb said. ‘‘Just to know that we’re on the brink of accomplishing it is big, and we’re just trying to find a way to make sure we accomplish it next week.’’
Notes: The Packers scored twice on the ground for the first time since Dec. 11, 2011. The two TDs almost doubled their total for the season, giving them five touchdowns on the ground. ... Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew did not return for the second half after injuring his ankle. ... Green Bay is 13-1 against Detroit under McCarthy.
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