Each day this week, we’ll look at one of the closer calls the Detroit Lions had during their 22-game losing streak in Wisconsin.
Date: Dec. 12, 2004
Score: Green Bay 16, Detroit 13
Records at the time: Packers (8-5), Lions (5-8)
What happened: Two seconds. Two seconds.
Of 60 minutes on this Sunday in Green Bay, the Lions led or the game was tied for 59 minutes, 58 seconds. And then the Lions lost anyway.
Ryan Longwell made a 23-yard field goal to keep then-Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre’s home winning streak against Detroit along with the Packers’ overall home winning streak against Detroit alive.
This game was particularly painful because Detroit led 13-0 at halftime and almost beat the Packers despite a horrific passing day from Lions quarterback Joey Harrington, who completed 5 of 22 passes for 47 yards.
The second half struggles were common for Detroit that season. It was the fifth straight week the Lions did not score an offensive touchdown in the second half. Not surprisingly, the Lions lost four of those five games.
What made all of this more interesting was the weather, which the Associated Press described in its recap as “snow flurries dampened the field into what Longwell called a ‘swampy mess’ and swirling winds with guts up to 35 mph wreaked havoc on passes, punts and long snaps and caused a slew of drops.”
In other words, a really fun atmosphere to play in.
As you’ve likely seen this week, this is how it goes for the Lions in Green Bay, though. They didn’t score in the second half, once again Charlie Brown’d by Lucy van Pelt in a cameo as the Packers.
How the season finished: The Lions finished 6-10, third in the NFC North. Green Bay, as per usual, won the division and went to the playoffs. The Packers lost to Minnesota, 31-17, in the wild-card round at Lambeau Field.