Detroit at Green Bay

Sour 16: Lions complete imperfect season with loss to Packers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Nobody will remember the Detroit Lions came close to winning their last game. All anyone will know -- now and forever -- is 0-16.

The worst record in NFL history, a dubious distinction that will permanently stain everyone involved.

The Lions lost to the Green Bay Packers 31-21 on Sunday, making them the first team to go winless through a 16-game season. The 1976 expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-14) were the last NFL team to complete a season without a victory.

"I've got to live with this," center Dominic Raiola said. "I've been here eight years. This is on my resume."

It's also on the resume of Lions coach Rod Marinelli, who faces an uncertain future.

"No competitor wants to go through something like this," Marinelli said. "This is not fun to go through, obviously. But there's people going through a lot worse than this."

Asked what the next step might be if he does keep his job, Marinelli said, "Let me get through step one first."

The Lions' last loss didn't come without a fight. After falling behind 24-14 midway through the fourth quarter, Kevin Smith's 9-yard touchdown run put Detroit back within a field goal.

But Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers responded with a 71-yard touchdown pass to Donald Driver and the Lions' Dan Orlovsky threw an interception on fourth-and-27 with 3 minutes left, dooming Detroit to futility of historic proportion.

"It's just kind of numb," veteran kicker Jason Hanson said. "It's here. It's been coming, though, a train rolling down the tracks for a while. We tried to stop it. We couldn't."

The Lions were building toward this for years and now have lost 23 of their last 24 games. The 0-16 record will be a lasting testimony to the Matt Millen era. With Millen as president of the team from 2001 until he was fired on Sept. 24, Detroit won only 31 games -- none this year, of course.

It's so bad that some Lions can't remember the last time they won.

"I don't ever want to be a part of this again," Orlovsky said. "We haven't won since, November of '07, maybe? I don't even know the last time we won a game."

The Lions haven't won since Dec. 23, 2007, actually, when they beat Kansas City. Green Bay is where this woeful streak began at the end of last season. Since then, the Lions have lost 17 straight and have been outscored 551-281.

Marinelli has gone 10-38 in three seasons. His future has not been announced, but team owner William Clay Ford has decided the leaders of the front office, Martin Mayhew and Tom Lewand, will be back in some capacity.

"I am positive that every aspect of what we do as a football team has to be rethought and analyzed," Hanson said.

Orlovsky was 22-of-42 for 225 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Lions, whose bid to steer clear of the record book came undone in large part because of ill-advised penalties.

Rodgers was 21-of-31 for 308 yards and three touchdowns for the Packers (6-10), and Ryan Grant and DeShawn Wynn rushed for 106 yards each.

After a disappointing season of their own, Rodgers said the Packers wanted a win to build momentum for next season. Left unsaid was that they didn't want to be the only team to lose to the Lions this year.

"We didn't want to lose, no, we didn't," Rodgers said. "But really it's not on your mind once the game starts. I didn't even think about it until the fans started chanting in the fourth quarter. They played hard, they really did."

Packers coach Mike McCarthy didn't want any part of the 0-16 discussion.

"I want to politely try to avoid the question here," McCarthy said. "That's tough. That's a tough deal. But we were focused on winning the game."

With the Lions trailing 14-7 early in the third quarter, safety Kalvin Pearson then put a hard hit on Grant to cause a fumble, and recovered the ball at the Packers 11.

Calvin Johnson caught a pass from Orlovsky and broke three tackling attempts to score a tying 14-yard touchdown with 10:20 left in the third quarter.

But the Packers drove for a 36-yard field goal by Mason Crosby early in the fourth quarter. After a three-and-out by Detroit's offense, Lions linebacker Ernie Sims' penalty for a late hit out of bounds on Grant played a key role on a drive that ended with a 5-yard pass from Rodgers to fullback John Kuhn.

The Lions weren't finished, as Orlovsky used two long completions to John Standeford to set up Smith's touchdown with 8:34 left. After the ensuing kickoff, Rodgers reared back and threw deep to Driver, who blew past Lions cornerback Leigh Bodden and ran in for a touchdown.

Orlovsky led the Lions back into Packers territory, but a taunting penalty on Smith moved the Lions back near midfield and Orlovsky threw an interception to Nick Collins.

"It was a very bad, selfish decision," Smith said. "I let my emotions get the best of me. It was tough, but it is no excuse."

Perhaps more than anything, the penalties got Raiola riled up.

"Stupid," Raiola said. "You know, just uncalled for. You're in a game like that, you can't do that. Just dumb."

And very much like the Lions.

Notes

  • Green Bay's Donald Driver and Greg Jennings each had 100 yards receiving Sunday. Combined with Grant and Wynn's 100-yard rushing days, it is the first time in league history a team has had a pair of 100-yard rushers and 100-yard receivers in a single game, according to Elias.
  • Packers rookie TE Jermichael Finley caught his first career touchdown pass in the first quarter.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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That's Lions RB Kevin Smith who can't bear to watch as the final seconds tick down.
 
That's Lions RB Kevin Smith who can't bear to watch as the final seconds tick down. (AP)
 

 

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Sun. Dec. 28Final
Detroit
(0-16)
077721
Green Bay
(6-10)
14001731
DET - Pass: D. Orlovsky (22-42, 225), Rec: C. Johnson (9-102)
GB - Pass: A. Rodgers (21-31, 308), Rec: D. Driver (6-111)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDDeShawn Wynn, 73 Yd run (Mason Crosby kick is good), 8:49. Drive: 3 plays, 79 yards in 0:58.
TDJermichael Finley, 3 Yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick is good), 1:29. Drive: 6 plays, 41 yards in 2:43.
2ND QUARTER
TDCalvin Johnson, 9 Yd pass from Dan Orlovsky (Jason Hanson kick is good), 11:17. Drive: 12 plays, 63 yards in 5:12.
3RD QUARTER
TDCalvin Johnson, 14 Yd pass from Dan Orlovsky (Jason Hanson kick is good), 10:20. Drive: 2 plays, 11 yards in 1:16.
4TH QUARTER
FGMason Crosby 36 Yd, 13:34. Drive: 12 plays, 62 yards in 5:48.
TDJohn Kuhn, 5 Yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick is good), 8:34. Drive: 7 plays, 51 yards in 3:48.
TDKevin Smith, 9 Yd run (Jason Hanson kick is good), 7:32. Drive: 4 plays, 80 yards in 1:02.
TDDonald Driver, 71 Yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick is good), 7:16. Drive: 1 play, 71 yards in 0:16.
Players of the Game
Green Bay

A. Rodgers
Att 31
Comp 21
Yds 308
TD 3
Detroit

C. Johnson
Rec 9
Yds 102
Avg 11.3
TD 2
 
Detroit
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
D. Orlovsky22/4222522
RushingATTYDSTDLG
K. Smith2892111
J. Felton1404
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
C. Johnson9102236
J. Standeford382036
K. Colbert111011
A. Cason2906
C. Fitzsimmons1707
K. Smith3707
J. Felton2503
J. Owens1202
Green Bay
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
A. Rodgers21/3130830
RushingATTYDSTDLG
R. Grant19106021
D. Wynn7106173
A. Rodgers1-10-1
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
D. Driver6111171
G. Jennings5101047
J. Finley229126
R. Grant323010
D. Wynn116016
J. Jones21409
J. Nelson1909
J. Kuhn1515
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
WAS 24 Final
SF 27
DEN 21 Final
SD 52
SEA 21 Final
ARI 34
OAK 31 Final
TB 24
CLE 0 Final
PIT 31
DAL 6 Final
PHI 44
MIA 24 Final
NYJ 17
CAR 33 Final
NO 31
NYG 19 Final
MIN 20
TEN 0 Final
IND 23
CHI 24 Final
HOU 31
KC 6 Final
CIN 16
NE 13 Final
BUF 0
JAC 7 Final
BAL 27
STL 27 Final
ATL 31