GREEN BAY, Wis. – Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions had a chance to build a big lead in the first half.
They had a chance to put it away in the second half.
When they left the door open for the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers took over.
Mason Crosby nailed a 23-yard field goal as time expired, and the Packers benefited from some questionable officiating to edge the Lions 23-22 on Monday night.
Rodgers completed 24 of 39 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns, including a gorgeous 35-yard throw to Allen Lazard for his first career score.
As for the officiating? "I think it equals out over the years," Rodgers said.
Detroit settled for five Matt Prater field goals and Lions defensive end Trey Flowers was whistled for a costly penalty on each of Green Bay's last two drives.
"We've got to score touchdowns," Lions coach Matt Patricia said. "You can't settle for field goals when you play Aaron Rodgers."
The Lions were in position for a big NFC North road victory after they opened a 22-13 lead with 12:17 remaining. Prater connected from 54 yards after Justin Coleman intercepted a Rodgers pass that went off Darrius Shepherd's facemask at the Lions 2.
But Detroit was shut out the rest of the way, and Rodgers led the Packers (5-1) on two scoring drives.
First, Rodgers found Lazard for a TD with 9:03 remaining. The Lions sacked Rodgers on third down earlier in the drive, but the Packers were awarded a first down when Flowers was flagged for illegal use of hands.
"In that fourth quarter Aaron Rodgers was certainly calling for Allen Lazard," coach Matt LaFleur said.
Rodgers said of Lazard, "I may have put in a good word for him."
Green Bay got the ball back with 6:46 left and went on a 14-play drive that ended with Crosby's chip-shot field goal as time ran out. Flowers had another illegal-use-of-hands penalty that helped the NFC North-leading Packers run out the clock.
Among some Lions players' dispute with officials is they did not believe Flowers should have been penalized either time.
"They called it, so obviously they saw it," Patricia said.
Referee Clete Blakeman told a pool reporter: "The umpire threw both of them [on the Flowers penalties]. ... To be a foul, we basically need some forceful contact that's prolonged to the head and neck area of the defender. So, in his mind he had pinned him back, it was prolonged."
Detroit (2-2-1) wasted a fast start. The Lions led 13-0 in the second quarter, but they had 12 men on the field for a Packers field-goal attempt, helping set up Rodgers' 5-yard TD pass to Jamaal Williams.