Preview: Detroit at Green Bay
When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, December 28, 2014
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
The Detroit Lions haven't won a division title since 1993 and haven't won in Green Bay since 1991. The Lions will hope to conquer both droughts Sunday when they visit the Packers in a winner-takes-all game for the NFC North title and a first-round bye. "This is what you play the game for," Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "It's a chance for us to win our division, sweep our division, do everything that we wanted to do to start the season."
The Lions did hold Green Bay to a season-low point total in a 19-7 victory in Week 3, but Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are a perfect 7-0 at home and average a staggering 41.1 points at Lambeau Field. Rodgers suffered a strained left calf in last week's 20-3 victory at Tampa Bay, but coach Mike McCarthy does not expect the ailment to be a factor as the Packers go for their fourth straight division title. The winner of the contest still has an outside shot at the top overall seed while the loser could fall to No. 6.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Packers -8. O/U: 48
ABOUT THE LIONS (11-4): Detroit won its fourth in a row with a come-from-behind victory at Chicago, ending a string of nine straight division road losses in December and January. The Lions rank second in total yards allowed (295.9) and points allowed (16.8) and have surrendered an NFL-low 63.8 yards rushing behind an outstanding front four led by defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Although Stafford struggled against the Bears last week, he went over 4,000 yards for the fourth straight season and has a pair of 1,000-yard wideouts in Golden Tate and Calvin Johnson, who has eclipsed 100 yards in three of the past four games. Joique Bell and Reggie Bush are a solid backfield tandem, but Detroit will be without starting center Dominic Raiola, who was suspended one game for stomping on the ankle of a Chicago player.
ABOUT THE PACKERS (11-4): Despite the injured calf, Rodgers threw for 318 yards and a touchdown in last week's win at Tampa Bay, rebounding from a dismal performance in the previous week's loss in Buffalo. Rodgers has thrown 23 touchdowns versus zero interceptions at home this season and has a pair of elite targets in wideouts Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, who have each surpassed 1,200 yards while combining for 179 catches and 23 touchdowns. Second-year running back Eddie Lacy was limited to 36 yards in the first meeting against Detroit, but has scored all 13 of his touchdowns since while rushing for 1,000 yards for the second straight season. Linebacker Clay Matthews has 4.5 of his 10 sacks in the past two games as the Packers limited the Bills and Bucs to 253 and 109 total yards, respectively.
1. Rodgers has thrown 396 straight passes and 34 TDs without an interception at home - both league records.
2. Stafford threw for a career-high 520 yards and five touchdowns in a 45-41 loss at Green Bay in the 2011 regular-season finale.
3. Green Bay has outscored the opposition 182-30 in the first half of its last six home games.
PREDICTION: Packers 27, Lions 20
Stats and Records
Green Bay Off vs