Lynn Dickey passed for 279 yards and two touchdowns and Harlan Huckleby scored twice from the one-yard line, rallying the Green Bay Packers to a 31-17 victory over the Detroit Lions today.
Dickey's touchdown passes came on plays covering five yards to Paul Coffman and 15 to James Lofton as the Packers (7-7) came back from a 10-0 deficit. It was their fifth victory in their last six games.
Dickey offered an explanation for the Packers' turnaround. "It's the offensive line," he said. "It's been super. When I get that kind of time, I feel I can really produce."
The Lions (7-7), who had led the NFC in sacks, tackled Dickey for losses only twice. The Packer offensive line, which had given up 32 sacks in the team's first eight games, has allowed only nine in the last six.
The Packers took the lead for good at 14-10 on Dickey's scoring pass to Coffman 17 seconds before halftime. A 46-yard pass from Dickey to Lofton carried to the Detroit five and set up the score; the Packers drove 80 yards in 36 seconds.
Lofton, with four catches for 90 yards, and John Jefferson, with eight catches for 113 yards, provided much of the excitement in the game.
Jefferson, an all-pro acquired from San Diego, had caught only 25 passes for 389 yards in 10 games before today. "When I came here, I knew that (cheerleading) was going to be my role," he said. "People call it hotdogging. I call it John Jefferson."
It was Jefferson whom Dickey went to after Detroit had closed within 21-17 on a scoring run by Billy Sims late in the third quarter.
Jefferson caught passes of 13 and 16 yards and his seven-yard run on a reverse set up Huckleby's final score.