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Stafford's score on bootleg gives Detroit 7-0 lead

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Stafford's score on bootleg gives Detroit 7-0 lead

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Mike Daniels returned a fumble 43 yards and the Green Bay Packers have cut Detroit's lead to 14-10 at halftime Sunday night.

Snow fell in Green Bay for much of the day, and the ball simply slipped out of Matthew Stafford's hand as he brought his arm back. The rookie defensive end pounced on it and rumbled in for the score, his second fumble recovery of the season and first to be returned for a touchdown.

The Packers had a chance to take the lead when cornerback Sam Shields, who had missed the last six games with an ankle injury, picked off Stafford on the next drive. The 32-yard interception return gave Green Bay the ball at its 45, but a false start call backed up the Packers and they were forced to punt.

Stafford is 13 of 16 for 101 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 4-yard touchdown run on the first drive of the game.

While Packers coach Mike McCarthy likes to say that all division games are big, this one got even bigger with Chicago's loss to Minnesota earlier in the day. If Green Bay wins Sunday night and then beats the Bears next week in Chicago, the Packers would clinch the NFC North.

Beating the Lions may have seemed like the easy part, considering Detroit hasn't won a game in Wisconsin since 1991. The 21-game winning streak - it includes one playoff game - is the longest in the NFL. Detroit had also lost its last four, the last three by a total of nine points.

But the Packers were playing with only four defensive linemen with Mike Neal and C.J. Wilson both inactive, and Detroit wasted no time taking advantage of it. Bringing in big tackle Riley Reiff as another blocker, the Lions rushed for 117 yards in the first half, including Stafford's 4-yard bootleg that gave the Lions a 7-0 lead after the game's first drive.

The Packers looked as if they'd match the Lions, getting to the Detroit 12 when Aaron Rodgers threw a 21-yard pass to Randall Cobb as he fell. But two plays later, Lawrence Jackson sacked Rodgers and forced a fumble. Jackson recovered it, and Stafford connected with Kris Durham for a 27-yard catch to set up his 3-yard TD pass to Tony Scheffler two plays later that gave Detroit a 14-0 lead.

The Packers finally found their groove, however. Rodgers hit No. 1 receiver Greg Jennings, playing in just his second game after surgery to repair a torn muscle in his abdomen, for a 27-yard gain that put the Packers at the Detroit 35. A holding call backed them up, and Rodgers overthrew John Kuhn on third-and-6 from the Detroit 31. Mason Crosby showed more signs he is finally coming out of his slump, making a 49-yard field goal to cut Detroit's lead to 14-3.

It was his longest field goal since he made a 48-yarder at St. Louis back on Oct. 21. He'd had two misses from 50 yards and beyond since then.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Hayden Hurst now 'questionable' for training camp

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Hayden Hurst now 'questionable' for training camp

Kick off your Wednesday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. A hamstring injury has left tight end Hayden Hurst 'questionable' to participate in training camp, according to Rotoworld. Hurst had hamstring issues previously but returned to practice. Last season, Hurst missed four games following foot surgery.

2. On "Good Morning Football," Maurice Jones-Drew called Earl Thomas the new Ed Reed. Jones-Drew says Thomas will have the biggest defensive impact on his new spot with the Ravens.

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. ET deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens and Rotoworld for news points.

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One analyst sees Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice having to split carries as a 'potential problem'

One analyst sees Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice having to split carries as a 'potential problem'

In theory, Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice working out of the same backfield should be an enormous boost for the Redskins this season.

In theory, Peterson's presence should allow Guice to slowly ease his way into the NFL during Washington's early contests, and in theory, Guice's availability should help Peterson stay fresher for 16 games since he won't have to be the one handling every carry.

But NBC Sports and Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio doesn't exactly see the 'Skins' running back situation playing out so peacefully. The NFL isn't a third grade classroom; sharing isn't always caring.

"This is going to be a potential problem for the team because Adrian Peterson is not accustomed to giving up touches," Florio recently told NBC Sports Washington.

"When he was in New Orleans for not very long in 2017, he realized he wasn't getting the ball the way that he did in Minnesota," he continued. "He wanted the ball, he ended up being traded to Arizona where they had an injury need that made him the guy. Last year an injury need in Washington made him the guy."

Of the team's 339 rushing attempts by non-quarterbacks in 2018, Peterson was responsible for 251 of them. That means he was shouldered with 74-percent of the overall workload. 

During mandatory minicamp in early June, position coach Randy Jordan laid out his preferred ratio for Peterson and Guice now that they're together. What he wants sounds a lot more even than how last season's breakdown ended up looking.

“They are both different, but they are both explosive,” he said. “The thing is ideally you would like to see a 50/50, 60/40 [split]." 

Florio, however, is wary of how that could upset the future Hall of Famer.

"He wants to be the guy," Florio said. "Derrius Guice is going to — if he plays like he did before we saw that ACL tear last year — he's going to potentially eat into those touches and Adrian Peterson will not be happy about it and he will not be bashful about saying so."

While at the Ashburn podium following an offseason practice, Jay Gruden admitted that Peterson seems like a player who improves as his usage increases, but he ultimately explained he doesn't believe fewer carries will hurt Peterson. And you'd love to believe him.

Many offenses have thrived using multiple options on the ground, and it's an approach you're seeing more and more in pro football. Peterson and Guice can attack defenses in different ways, they have different strengths and they could each ease the burden on one another along with Chris Thompson, who you can't forget about.

Yet these are also two threats who are used to being the primary piece of their units. They're used to 20-plus touches and finding their rhythm at their own pace. So while Gruden, his staff and Redskins fans are focusing on the positive possibilities of a Peterson-Guice duo, Florio is less bullish.

"The more touches Guice gets, the more frustrated Peterson will be, because he knows he's only got so many years left to play football," Florio said. "He wants to get as many carries, as many yards as possible as he climbs higher and higher up the all-time rushing list. That's going to be a challenge for the team in 2019."

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