'Stop disrespecting us:' Campbell used doubters to fuel Lions' win over Packers


The Lions showed up at Lambeau Field with a point to prove in the season finale, and then proved it in style. They sent the Packers home early and announced themselves to the NFL.

"We knew what we were coming in here for," Dan Campbell said after Detroit's 20-16 win. "It was to gain some respect and show what we’re capable of."

Almost no one outside Detroit gave the Lions a shot. The Packers and their Hall of Fame quarterback were 4.5-point favorites on their home turf, where they almost never lose late in the season, where they always find a way in the must-win games. All week long, the talking heads talked up Green Bay and Aaron Rogers and the Lambeau mystique. They laughed at Detroit's chances. Campbell heard them, and made sure his players did, too.

"You’re going to have to stop disrespecting us like that," said running back Jamaal Williams, who scored two second-half touchdowns to ice his former team.

Williams said that Campbell showed the Lions "all the clips from people picking the Packers over us." Even on NBC's pregame show, Michigan native Tony Dungy was the only one of eight analysts who picked the Lions to win.

"Everybody picked the Packers," said Williams. "Nobody trusted in us. That’s how I like it, though. I like people to underestimate us and think that we can’t do it and then we come out here and show people. I just love changing peoples’ hearts."

They may have changed Rodgers' heart, too. He said plenty after the Packers' first loss to Detroit this season that the Lions used as fuel on Sunday. Just last week, Rodgers said he believed that at 4-8 the Packers would win out and make the playoffs, in part because their final two games were against NFC North "dome teams" in the Vikings and the Lions. They won four straight before running into Detroit.

"I could say a lot right now, I’m not gonna," said Jared Goff.

Goff did say this: "It’s (all about) winning this game, on the road, in Lambeau. ‘We’re a dome team, we can’t play in cold weather,’ the whole gamut, and we come in here and we do it."

In the process, the Lions finished with a winning record for the first time in five seasons and, in Goff's words, "showed a lot of people who we are."

"Next year every team will be different in our division, but we beat Minnesota a couple weeks ago and they’re the top team in our division by record," said Goff. "We just beat Green Bay at their place and us and them were the second best teams by record. We went 5-1 in the divison, we lost to Minnesota early on. I think people know we’re here, and hopefully here for a long time."

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