Green Bay Packers’ Mason Crosby misses a field goal attempt at the end of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. The Lions won 18-16. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Fitting.
In the middle of one of the worst seasons in franchise history, the Detroit Lions ended a losing streak that’s haunted them for more than two decades with the most unlikeliest of heroes.
The Lions held Aaron Rodgers and the vaunted Green Bay Packers offense in check most of the game and Crezdon Butler, who signed off the street Saturday as an injury replacement for Rashean Mathis, broke up the potential game-tying two-point conversion as the Lions won at Lambeau Field, 18-16, for the first time since Dec. 15, 1991.
The Lions had lost an NFL-record 24 straight road games to the Packers, including a playoff loss in 1994 and a Week 17 defeat last year that cost them the NFC North title.
Interim general manager Sheldon White, who took over after Martin Mayhew was fired last week, was a player for the Lions the last time they won in the state of Wisconsin, and several Lions including Eric Ebron and Ameer Abdullah weren’t even born yet.
The Lions, who entered the game an NFL-worst 1-7, needed Butler’s late-game heroics and more to win after Matt Prater missed two extra points, including one after a Lance Moore touchdown with 1:57 to play.
Rodgers, who finished 35 of 61 passing for 333 yards, drove the Packers 73 yards in eight plays after Matthew Stafford hit Moore for a 4-yard touchdown with 1:57 to play.
Justin Perillo caught the 11-yard touchdown pass to pull cut the Lions’ lead to 18-16, but Butler, who had come into the game two plays earlier after Josh Wilson suffered a right leg injury, stripped the two-point pass out of Davante Adams’ hands in the end zone.
The Packers (6-3) recovered the onside kick seconds later after Calvin Johnson muffed the catch at Lions’ 49-yard line. Two short completions moved Green Bay to the Lions’ 34, Mason Crosby ran on the field for the game-winning 52-yard field.
But Crosby’s kick sailed way low and wide and the Lions rushed the field in celebration of their second victory of the year.
Stafford, after completing just 1 of 7 passes to start the game, finished 24 of 38 for 242 yards and two touchdowns for the Lions, who fired Mayhew and team president Tom Lewand after their Week 8 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in London.
Stafford’s first touchdown came on a 2-yard pass to Brandon Pettigrew three plays after Ameer Abdullah returned the second-half kickoff 104 yards to the 1-yard line.
Prater made two field goals, including a 51-yarder in the fourth quarter, and is perfect on field goals this year. But he has three missed extra points.
Johnson led the Lions with six catches for 81 yards, and Golden Tate added a spectacular 43-yard catch-and-run to the Packers’ 5, which setup Moore’s touchdown.
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