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Detroit Lions' playoff hopes dim vs. Green Bay Packers

There was little pretty about the Green Bay Packers' 24-20 win over the Detroit Lions, but at least Green Bay improved to 7-3 with every goal still attainable.


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Sunday might have been the death knell in Detroit.

The Lions fell to 4-6 and sit in last place in the NFC North. Wild-card wishes are bleak.

The Lions need to finish No. 2 in the division to have a shot at the playoffs. Both the Packers and Bears have seven wins apiece. The Vikings have six. The Lions would be lucky to get in with a 9-7 record, and that means winning five of six. (And getting in with nine wins is highly unlikely.) Those six games include another meeting against the Packers, the one-loss Houston Texans, the one-loss Atlanta Falcons, the upstart Indianapolis Colts and the regular-season finale against the two-loss Chicago Bears.

There's not a lot of promise there.

Matthew Stafford continued to play without any consistency. His mechanics were wild all day as he constantly missed receivers -- deep balls, throws to Calvin Johnson, high-and-behind Tony Scheffler. Even Stafford's TD pass to Megatron should have been picked off, but the ball went through the fingers of Packers safety Morgan Burnett. Stafford completed just 43.6 percent of his passes for 266 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions.

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The Lions' season basically was on the line late in the fourth quarter with first-and-goal and a three-point lead. A Detroit touchdown would have put Green Bay in a two-possession hole with less than five minutes on the clock. Jason Hanson kicked a field goal, though, then Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers stormed down the field and capped an 82-yard drive with an 22-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb. The Packers actually left the Lions with 1:55 to kick a game-winning field goal. Detroit failed to convert a single first down.

Defensive tackle Nick Fairley was the bright spot for the Lions, possibly playing the best game of his NFL career. Fairley had seven tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hurries and a forced fumble. He dominated Packers left guard Evan Dietrich-Smith and even showed restraint when he nearly slammed Rodgers on his head but pulled up at the last second.

Outside of Fairley, there's not a whole lot the Lions' coaching staff can be thrilled about.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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