Preview: Green Bay at Detroit

When: 8:30 PM ET, Sunday, January 1, 2017
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan


The final regular-season game of the 2016 will determine the NFC North Division champion but both combatants -- the host Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers -- could be assured of playoff berths before kickoff on Sunday night. The surging Packers have ripped off five consecutive victories to move into a tie atop the division with Detroit, which is trying to avoid a third straight defeat.

Both teams will get into the postseason if the Washington Redskins lose at home to the New York Giants, otherwise there are myriad playoff possibilities. The Lions, who have been dominated in back-to-back losses to the Giants and Dallas, have an outside chance to earn a first-round bye while Green Bay cannot finish higher than the No. 3 seed in the NFC. Detroit needs to find a way to contain Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who threw four touchdowns in a 34-27 win in Week 3 and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after tossing four scoring passes in a 38-25 victory over Minnesota. "He plays the game in a unique way, probably different than any quarterback in the league," Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said of Rodgers, who threw a 61-yard Hail Mary pass on the final play of the game to shock Detroit in his last appearance at Ford Field.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Packers -3.5. O/U: 49.5

ABOUT THE PACKERS (9-6): Rodgers is making good on his proclamation the Green Bay could run the table after a four-game skid left the Packers sitting at 4-6, and he's done his best to make it happen with 11 scoring passes and zero interceptions during the winning streak. Rodgers has an NFL-high 36 touchdown passes and 14 of them have gone to Jordy Nelson, who is coming off a monster performance with nine catches for 154 yards and a pair of scores against Minnesota and also went over 100 yards and two TDs versus Detroit in Week 3. Converted running back Ty Montgomery has boosted the ground game but the key could be the defense. The Packers rank 29th against the pass at 265.1 yards per game.

ABOUT THE LIONS (9-6): Stafford has posted three of his four lowest passer ratings over the past three games, tossing four interceptions against one touchdown since injuring the middle finger on his throwing hand, but he blamed the miscues more on poor decision-making than the injury. Running back Theo Riddick (wrist) has missed the past three games and did not practice Thursday, but Zach Zenner provided a spark to the running game with 67 yards and two touchdowns on 12 rushes last week. Top cornerback Darius Slay (hamstring) missed last week's game but practiced on a limited basis Thursday. His return would be a huge boost for a defense that is near the bottom of the league with 25 sacks.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Rodgers needs four TD passes to reach 40 for the second time. Only three QBs have multiple 40-TD seasons. 

2. Stafford is 20 yards shy of becoming the fourth quarterback with 4,000 in six consecutive seasons.

3. Nelson has 30 receptions and five TDs in his last four games.

PREDICTION: Packers 27, Lions 17

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Green Bay 9-6 W5 26.7 24.3 6-2 3-4 9-4 0-2 0-0 4-1 7-4
Detroit 9-6 L2 21.5 21.8 6-1 3-5 0-3 9-3 1-0 3-2 7-4

Last Meeting

Green Bay Detroit
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/25/16 DET 27 GB 34 324 123 201 418 50 368

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
GB A. Rodgers 62.5 205 4 0
DET M. Stafford 68.3 385 3 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
GB E. Lacy 17 103 6.1 0
DET D. Washington 10 38 3.8 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
GB J. Nelson 6 101 16.8 2
DET M. Jones Jr. 6 205 34.2 2
TDs Player TD
GB J. Nelson 2
DET M. Jones Jr. 2
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
GB A. Rodgers 65.5 4128 36 7
DET M. Stafford 65.5 3980 22 9
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
GB T. Montgomery 69 413 6.0 3
DET T. Riddick 92 357 3.9 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
GB J. Nelson 91 1191 13.1 14
DET G. Tate 85 1000 11.8 3
TDs Player TD
GB J. Nelson 14
DET A. Boldin 7

Quickchart Matchup

Green Bay Off vs  Detroit Def
363.5 yards
348.5 yards
4.5 yards/rush
4.3 yards/rush
6.7 yards/attempt
7.2 yards/attempt
Detroit Off vs  Green Bay Def
334.2 yards
361 yards
3.8 yards/rush
4.1 yards/rush
6.8 yards/attempt
7.5 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Green Bay Overall Detroit
9-6 W/L 9-6
8-6-1 ATS 8-7-0
9-6-0 O/U 5-10-0
26.7 Pts For 21.5
24.3 Pts Against 21.8
Green Bay A/H Detroit
3-4 W/L 6-1
3-4-0 ATS 5-2-0
5-2-0 O/U 2-5-0
25.6 Pts For 21.7
28.9 Pts Against 19.0