Detroit Lions beat Packers 37-30 in fun finale, lose No. 1 pick in 2022 NFL draft

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Lions quarterback Jared Goff makes a pass against the Packers during the first half on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, at Ford Field.
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The first overall pick was there for the taking, but the Detroit Lions had other plans.

D’Andre Swift scored the game-winning touchdown on a 14-yard run with 1:54 to play and the Lions executed two trick plays to perfection for long touchdowns as they beat the Green Bay Packers, 37-30, to end their first season under Dan Campbell on a high note.

The Lions (3-13-1) won three of their final six games after starting the season 0-8. They finished in last place in the NFC North for the fourth straight season, but won multiple division games for the first time since 2018 and outplayed the Packers starters in the first half.

With the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs wrapped up, Green Bay sat quarterback Aaron Rodgers, receiver Davante Adams, and top defensive players Kenny Clark, Preston Smith and Rashan Gary for the second half.

The Lions entered Sunday in control of the second pick in April’s NFL draft, but could have moved up to No. 1 with a loss and a Jacksonville Jaguars upset of the Indianapolis Colts. The Jaguars led the Colts by 23 points late in the second half, when the Lions built and squandered a double-digit lead then won on Swift’s run.

The Packers scored the go-ahead touchdown with 4:49 to play, when Tracy Walker missed a tackle on a tight end screen and Josiah Deguara rumbled 62 yards for a touchdown.

But Jared Goff led his second game-winning drive in six weeks, taking the Lions 75 yards in six plays for a 34-30 lead.

Goff completed passes of 28 and 15 yards to Amon-Ra St. Brown and Brock Wright on the drive, and Swift scored on the first play after the two-minute warning.

Jalen Reeves-Maybin tipped a Jordan Love pass at the line of scrimmage on the next series that C.J. Moore intercepted and returned to the Green Bay 15. Riley Patterson made a 28-yard field goal for insurance, and Tracy Walker picked off a desperation Love heave with 21 seconds left to clinch the Lions’ first win over the Packers since the final week of the 2018 season.

Goff, who made his first start since suffering a bone bruise in the Lions’ Week 15 win over the Arizona Cardinals, finished 21 of 30 passing for 238 yards with two touchdowns. St. Brown added eight catches for 109 yards and a touchdown for the Lions – his sixth straight game with at least eight catches, extending his rookie record – and Kalif Raymond added four catches for 101 yards and a score.

The Lions scored their first touchdown on a well-designed trick play late in the first quarter, when receiver Tom Kennedy threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Raymond.

Goff started the play by faking a pitch to Raymond, who lined up as a running back in the backfield. St. Brown took an inside handoff, then tossed the ball to Kennedy, the former pro lacrosse player, who threw a perfect strike to a wide-open Raymond.

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The Lions led 17-13 at halftime, after Goff threw a 2-yard touchdown to St. Brown and Riley Patterson made a 34-yard field goal, then scored on another trick play on their second possession of the third quarter, when Goff found Brock Wright for a 34-yard touchdown off a reverse.

The Lions set an NFL record for most fourth down conversion attempts and makes in a season, converting two of three Sunday to improve to 21 of 41 on the season. St. Brown set a franchise record for most receiving yards (912) by a rookie.

Rodgers completed 14 of 18 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns in his one half of work, and Adams had six catches for 55 yards for the Packers (13-4). Green Bay has a first-round playoff bye next week.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions beat Packers, lose No. 1 pick in 2022 NFL draft