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Hobbled Rodgers gets week off

Leads Green Bay to NFC North title

Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Aaron Rodgers is limping into the playoffs with a smile.

Green Bay’s franchise quarterback threw two touchdown passes to Randall Cobb, Eddie Lacy gashed Detroit’s defense for 100 yards and the Packers claimed a fourth straight NFC North title with 30-20 victory Sunday.

Having sustained a left calf injury, Rodgers will appreciate a week off after the win, as the Packers (12-4) earned a bye. Detroit (11-5) starts the postseason at Dallas next week.

Rodgers was carted to the locker room after tossing his first score to Cobb late in the second quarter.

He hobbled back on to the field in the third quarter with the game tied at 14. He led Green Bay on a seven-play, 60-yard drive that ended with a 13-yard score to Cobb with 3:33 left in the quarter. The Packers didn’t look back from there.

“It’s clearly an MVP performance – another MVP performance – by Aaron Rodgers,” coach Mike McCarthy said. Rodgers also won the award in 2011.

Rodgers plunged forward across the goal line from 1 yard out with 8:45 left to help Green Bay regain a two-touchdown lead. “MVP! MVP” chanted adoring fans while light snow dusted Lambeau Field.

Rodgers finished 17 of 22 for 226 yards. He was out of the game for about a seven-minute stretch between the second and third quarters. In between, receiver Calvin Johnson had touchdown catches of 4 and 20 yards on consecutive drives to help the Lions roar back from a 14-0 deficit.

Detroit hasn’t won a division title since 1993. It hasn’t won a road game against the Packers since 1991. For a few moments while Rodgers was out, it looked like both those streaks might come to an end.

Instead the Packers were celebrating again at Lambeau. They finished the regular season 8-0 at home.

The Lions did draw to within 30-20 with 1:45 left after Matthew Stafford connected with Theo Riddick for a 6-yard touchdown pass. But Riddick’s 2-point conversion run failed and Tramon Williams recovered the ensuing onside kick for Green Bay.

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