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PRO FOOTBALL : Long Rally Falls Short as Packers Nip Lions, 34-33

October 26, 1987| From Times Wire Services

PONTIAC, Mich. — Al Del Greco kicked a 45-yard field goal with one minute left to give the Green Bay Packers a 34-33 victory over the Detroit Lions Sunday.

The Lions rallied from a 31-7 second-quarter deficit to take their first lead, 33-31, on Garry James' two-yard touchdown dive with 3:02 remaining. But the Packers moved 42 yards in 9 plays on their ensuing drive to set up the game-winning field goal.

Detroit's Eddie Murray missed a 45-yard field-goal attempt with four seconds left.

The Packers said practicing regularly during the strike helped.

"It definitely didn't hurt us," said rookie quarterback Don Majkowski, a 10th-round draft pick who completed 19 of 29 passes for 323 yards and a touchdown. "We stuck together as a team during the strike. It was evident that we worked hard and didn't lose any of our timing. I think it was a factor."

That showed most in the first half.

In the second half, Detroit's defense tightened and quarterback Chuck Long rallied the offense.

"They almost destroyed us in the first half," Detroit Coach Darryl Rogers said. "They played at an extremely fast pace and were running right by us."

But, in the end, it came down to Del Greco making his 45-yard field-goal try and Murray missing his.

Del Greco said: "Usually in this situation, things don't go our way. But, like I told Eddie (Murray) after the game, he's made a lot before and he'll get the chance to make a lot more."

Long, who completed 33 of 47 passes for 362 yards and 3 touchdowns and did not have a pass intercepted, said: "It was certainly a gut-check for us, but we answered the challenge and came back."

The Packers, who were 0-1-1 before the strike, got 2 wins from their replacement players and are now 3-2-1 in the NFC Central. The Lions, 0-2 before the strike, are now 1-5.

A crowd of 27,278 watched the game in the 80,638-seat Silverdome. There were 12,334 no-shows.

The crowd was much lower than a normal Lion game, but much higher than during the strike, when 8,310 was the best crowd at the Silverdome. The Lions played their two prestrike games on the road.

Kenneth Davis ran for 129 yards in 23 carries for Green Bay, including touchdown runs of 39 and 28 yards.

Brent Fullwood had a one-yard touchdown run and Majkowski hooked up with Walter Stanley on a 70-yard scoring pass play. Del Greco also had a 22-yard field goal for the Packers.

Long had scoring passes of 12 and 22 yards to Pete Mandley and an 11-yarder to Carl Bland.

The Lions also got a safety when Stanley backed into the end zone from the one and was touched as he tried to down the ball.

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