Green Bay 31, Detroit 24. On to the play-offs.
It wasn't a walk in the park. Injuries reared their ugly head again, like they have all season.
My thoughts after the first half were about mistakes and opportunities.
Penalties put the brakes on a couple of first half drives. There were ten accepted flags against the Green and Gold for the night, way too many!
After Detroit missed a field goal, the Packers drove the length of the field, culminating with a short Aaron to Aaron touchdown pass from Rodgers to Ripkowski for a 7 - nothing lead.
Detroit responded with a touchdown drive of their own.
After Clay Matthews dropped what likely would have been a Pick Six, the Lions marched in for a touchdown inside the last 2 minutes of the opening half.
The Lions left enough time for Rodgers to move the Pack down field, getting Mason Crosby into position for a 53 yard field goal and reduce the deficit to 4.
In the second half, Green Bay took off, scoring on its opening drive to get the lead it wouldn't lose again.
The Packers opened the second half with a nice drive ending with a touchdown pass to DaVante Adams putting Green Bay up, 17 - 14.
The defense forced the Lions to punt. The Packer offense continued its roll as Rodgers connected with the rookie with the great name, Geronimo Allison.
Another Packer drive ended with a second Adams touchdown and two-point conversion with Rodgers 40th TD pass of the regular season, the first time Aaron led the league.
It should have easy from there, especially after Micah Hyde picked off Matt Stafford in the endzone.
Detroit managed a late score with 13 second left to close within 7, but the Pack secured the onside kick and won the game.
Rodgers was amazing on the night, 300 yards and 4 touchdown passes. And, I gotta tip my Packer cap to the defense. It was bend not break affair most of the night, as coordinator Dom Capers and his staff worked with the squad to limit Detroit to only 10 points the rest of the night.
I suspect before the final gun echo stilled, General Manager Ted Thompson was looking for a DB Store to see if there might be some players who can defend the pass. Capers gets a lot of heat from Packer fans who blame him for any points scored, but it seems like he's holding thing together with baling wire right now.
Quinton Rollins, a second year defensive back from the University of Miami (Ohio), rolled over a receiver on a completion up the field and appeared to flex his neck as he somersaulted over the sideline. There was a long delay as medical officials examined and secured him for a trip to the hospital. (Reports at the end of the game indicate he has feeling in all his extremities.)
Green Bay lost its top DB, Sam Shield, in game 2. Rollins and Damarious Randall missed several games during the four game losing streak and were just getting back on the field. Randall was in and out of the line-up last night. Even one of the reserves, Makinton Dorleant, was hurt and couldn't return.
Somehow, the remaining defense did the job and the Packers offense helped them out by controlling the clock.
Green Bay is in the play-offs for the 8th straight season. Only New England matches that mark.
It won't be easy. The NY Giants have been bad guests in their last couple of post-season visits to Lambeau, winning both games.
There's the matter of getting offensive lineman Brian Bulaga ready to play (he left with an injury, not sure of his status) and who can match up with the Giant's receivers.
No doubt, Mike McCarthy will have the boys ready.
It's a great year to be a fan - wild ups and downs and watching the players hang in when circumstances get difficult - leaving everything have on the field by game's end.
In the play-offs, the math is simple. The first team to get 4 wins takes home the trophy. The Vince Lombardi trophy. I know there's room in the trophy case up there in Title Town.
I can't wait for kick-off. The Packers host New York, Sunday afternoon at 3:40 on FOX.