(Reuters) - The Green Bay Packers were rocked by two early Detroit touchdowns on Sunday but fought back to record their customary victory over the Lions at a snowy Lambeau Field.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers rallied the Packers to a 27-20 win over the visiting Lions, who slipped to their fifth straight defeat and have not tasted victory at Green Bay since 1991.
The win lifted the 9-4 Packers into a one-game lead over Chicago in the NFC North.
“It was an ugly win, but ugly wins are a lot better than tough losses,” Rodgers told reporters after throwing for just 173 yards in brutal weather conditions. “We have a big week next week against Chicago. It’ll be a quick turnaround.”
The Packers, who won the Super Bowl in 2010, were able to keep their NFL championship hopes alive despite missing several key players through injury.
Top receiver Jordy Nelson is out with a hamstring injury while the defense is without hobbled linebacker Clay Matthews and cornerback Charles Woodson.
Rodgers rallied the Packers from the early deficit and gave them their first lead of the game in the third quarter with a 27-yard touchdown run that made it 17-14.
Detroit kicker Jason Hanson tied the game at 17-17 in the third with a 46-yard field goal but Dujuan Harris capped a Green Bay drive with a 14-yard scoring run and the Packers added a field goal on their next drive to push the lead to 27-17.
The Lions (4-9) got a final field goal in the last minute but could not recover an onside kick attempt.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw one touchdown and rushed for another, and finished with 264 passing yards and an interception.
Top receiver Calvin Johnson had 118 receiving yards while being shadowed by Green Bay’s Tramon Williams.
“When you face a guy like Calvin it’s a total team effort,” Williams said. “We didn’t want him to hit big plays on us, and (he didn‘t).”
Detroit looked to be on their way to a rare win at Green Bay when they shot out to a 14-0 lead but the advantage would not last.
Mason Crosby kicked a 49-yard field goal and defensive end Mike Daniels returned a Stafford fumble 43-yards for a touchdown that made it 14-10 at halftime. The Packers imposed their will from there.
“It’s tough when the ball isn’t going your way,” Stafford said. “But we’re not helping it go our way. We’re doing it to ourselves.”
Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford