Lions eye high-stakes finale vs. Packers after Dallas loss

Posted at 5:55 PM, Dec 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-27 17:55:21-05
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Matthew Stafford moved on quickly from another loss to his hometown team.
The Detroit quarterback was already thinking about his home field, where the Lions will play Green Bay for the NFC North title in the regular season finale Sunday after missing a chance to clinch a playoff spot in a 42-21 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
"If we get a win, we win the division and get a home playoff game," said Stafford, who lost Monday night on the same field where he dropped to 0-2 in the playoffs with a wild-card loss two years ago. "That's the focus right now, and I can just see it standing right there."
The Lions (9-6) lost a second straight game coming off five consecutive victories, with Dez Bryant throwing his first career touchdown pass between a pair of scoring catches while rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliott rushed for two more TDs for the Cowboys (13-2).
Dallas, which tied a franchise record for wins reached two other times, had already clinched the top seed in the NFC.
Detroit faces a short week after a long flight home, looking to avenge a 34-27 loss at the Packers in Week 3. Green Bay (9-6) has won five straight.
"I know it's a long trip back home, but by the time we land, we'd better start thinking about Green Bay," said coach Jim Caldwell, looking for his second playoff trip in three seasons with the Lions. "Guys are hurting right now. It's a huge game, but I think our guys are resilient."
Stafford, a championship-winning high school quarterback in the Dallas area, had a 1-yard scoring plunge , but was sacked four times -- matching a season high.
He was 26 of 46 for 260 yards, including an interception that set up Elliott's 1-yard touchdown early in the third quarter to break a 21-all halftime tie.
"We've got a one-game season left at our house against a club that we know really well," said tight end Eric Ebron, who had game highs with eight catches for 93 yards. "That's our only focus right now."