After an offensive shootout, Lions ultimately take the 45-41 loss at Lambeau Field

Posted Jan 1, 2012

The Lions probably thought they caught a break when Packers MVP candidate quarterback Aaron Rodgers showed up on the inactive list before Sunday’s game in Green Bay.

That wasn’t the case.

Instead, the Lions found themselves in an old-fashioned shootout between quarterback Matthew Stafford and Packers' back-up Matt Flynn.

Flynn, who entered the game having attempted just five passes this season, threw six touchdown passes and outdueled Stafford in a 45-41 Packers victory.

His favorite target was receiver Jordy Nelson, who had nine catches for 162 yards and three scores.

"No, I didn't expect it  (to be a shootout)," said Stafford following the game. "We came out in pregame it was a lot windier then really it was all game. It kind of calmed down, so it made it easier to throw the ball.

"I thought Flynn played a great game. The guys were making plays all over the field and scoring points. Hats off to him, he played a great game."

Flynn’s sixth and final touchdown was a 4-yard strike to tight end Jermichael Finley with 1:10 left in the fourth quarter.

Flynn carved up the Lions secondary, completing 31-of-44 passes for 480 yards. His passing yards and touchdowns are both franchise records for the Packers.

Stafford was equally impressive for Lions, but couldn’t guild the Lions offense on one last scoring drive with 1:10 remaining and the ball on the Lions 20-yard line. His second interception of the game ended the Lions' hopes of a comeback.

Stafford finished 36-of-59 passing for 520 yards and five touchdowns. His 520 yards is a single-game record.

Stafford finished the regular season with 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns.

"That dude is just ballin’, that’s all I’m going to say," said wide receiver Calvin Johnson. "Putting the ball where it needs to be so we can make big plays and it goes both ways.”

Stafford favorite target Sunday was Johnson, who finished with 244 yards and a touchdown.

The touchdown was Johnson’s 16th this season, which broke a 58-year franchise record held by Cloyce Box with 15.

Johnson joined Barry Sanders (17) and Billy Sims as the only Lions players to reach 16 touchdowns in a season.

In regards to the Lions' defensive play, Head Coach Jim Schwartz kept it short and to the point following the game.

"We covered poorly, we tackled poorly, we played man-to-man poorly, we blitzed poorly, we played zone poorly."

The loss is the Lions’ 21st consecutive in the state of Wisconsin and with a Falcons win over the Buccaneers, they'll now play on the road at the Saints next week in the wild card round of the playoffs.