STREAK SNAPPED

Detroit play­ers de­scribe how they beat Packers; end fu­til­ity in state.

Packer Plus - - News - By MARTIN HEN­DRICKS

Green Bay — Dar­ius Slay was not to be con­tained in the ju­bi­lant Detroit Li­ons locker room Sun­day.

“How many catches did 89 (Packers wide re­ceiver James Jones) have?” Slay shouted to his team­mates sev­eral times as the me­dia en­tered the vis­i­tor’s locker room. “Zero. Zero.”

His team­mates laughed and high­fived the third-year cor­ner­back from Mis­sis­sippi State, prompt­ing him to half­heart­edly com­plain af­ter one hard smack from a Li­ons line­backer.

“It means a lot to the city of Detroit and our team,” Slay said. “I’ve been here three years and we had to end that streak. It feels so good.”

The in­fa­mous streak of 24 straight losses to the Packers on Wis­con­sin soil is over.

Detroit en­tered the con­test 1-7 and a heavy un­der­dog, but earned its sec­ond vic­tory with a 18-16 tri­umph that wasn’t de­cided un­til Ma­son Crosby’s er­rant field-goal at­tempt with five sec­onds re­main­ing.

Slay was re­minded by safety Don Carey to be hum­ble in vic­tory.

“I am hum­ble, I am hum­ble,” Slay said with a big smile, and then shared how he shook hands with Aaron Rodgers af­ter the game and re­ceived a com­pli­ment from reign­ing league MVP.

“He said I was one of the best in the league.”

On a mild Novem­ber af­ter­noon, Slay and the Li­ons held Rodgers and the once pro­lific Green Bay of­fense to just 16 points at home to snap the Packers’ 13-game win­ning streak at Lam­beau Field.

“It was a to­tal team ef­fort,” de­fen­sive end Darryl Tapp said. “Aaron Rodgers is one of the top quar­ter­backs in the league. It was tough sled­ding for us at times, but all I know is that last field goal didn’t go through the up­rights and we won the game.

“I wasn’t out there on the last play be­cause I’m height de­fi­cient, but it was great to get a win here at Lam­beau Field. We’re go­ing to enjoy this one.”

Carey, a seven-year pro from Nor­folk State, echoed those sen­ti­ments.

“It took a com­plete team ef­fort — not just us on de­fense,” he said. “It was a tes­ta­ment to the re­solve of this team. To the re­solve of our coaches and or­ga­ni­za­tion. We stuck to­gether and fo­cused in on this game. We didn’t get too high or too low.”

The team banded to­gether af­ter the fir­ing of sev­eral coaches and a beat­down in Lon­don by the Kansas City Chiefs and the en­su­ing ter­mi­na­tion of the fran­chise pres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager dur­ing their bye week.

Safety Isa Ab­dul-Qud­dus said the down­time al­lowed the team to re­group.

“We just re­fo­cused,” he said. “The bye week came at a great time. We got to slow down, look back and re­flect on what was go­ing on.”

What went on at Lam­beau Field was a game plan de­vised to not let Rodgers con­trol the tempo of the game and dis­rupt the tim­ing by play- ing phys­i­cal with Green Bay re­ceivers.

“We played phys­i­cal,” said cor­ner­back Crez­don But­ler, who was just signed off the prac­tice squad Satur­day and wasn’t even listed on the team ros­ter sheet Sun­day. “We didn’t want to sit back and let the re­ceivers get into their routes.

“We didn’t want them to have tim­ing throws. We were look­ing to get up in the faces fast. We didn’t want him (Rodgers) to con­trol the game. We wanted to con­trol him, so we brought pres­sure and were in their faces.”

First, Detroit stopped the run, lim­it­ing Green Bay to 47 yards rush­ing and 2.6 yards per carry. Rodgers threw a ca­reer-high 61 passes and com­pleted a ca­reer best 35 for 333 yards and two touch­downs, but en­dured seven quar­ter­back hits.

He mis­fired badly on sev­eral throws and his re­ceivers dropped at least three passes when they were wide open.

But­ler was a dif­fer­ence maker when Detroit needed a big play.

Af­ter Rodgers threw an 11-yard touch­down pass to tight end Justin Per­illo with 32 sec­onds left to close within 18-16, the Packers quar­ter­back lofted a pass to the right cor­ner of the end zone on the 2-point con­ver­sion at­tempt.

For a split sec­ond, it ap­peared wide re­ceiver Da­vante Adams was wide open. But But­ler closed quickly and got his hand on the tip of the ball and ripped it from Adams’ hands.

“We got a lot of pres­sure up the mid­dle and he (Rodgers) put a lit­tle more air on the ball than he wanted to and I ended up making the play,” said But­ler.

Green Bay ex­e­cuted a per­fect on­side kick, re­cov­ered the ball, and drove in po­si­tion for a game-win­ning field-goal at­tempt by Crosby.

“We don’t care about any streak in Wis­con­sin, we care about win­ning,” said Devin Tay­lor, a third-year de­fen­sive end from South Carolina. “The last kick was low, that’s all I know and we won.”

Ab­dul-Qud­dus said the game boiled down to ba­sics and listed sound tack­ling as a main rea­son.

“They have very slip­pery guys, so wrap­ping them up and get­ting them down was a ma­jor ob­jec­tive,” he said. “We also j ammed them at the line. We did a good job of ex­e­cut­ing the game plan.”

MARK HOFF­MAN / MHOFFMAN@JOUR­NALSEN­TINEL.COM

Aaron Rodgers at­tempted a ca­reer-high 61 passes against the Li­ons. He also suf­fered seven quar­ter­back hits.

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