GREEN BAY HEADS TO DETROIT FOR NFC NORTH TILT
SUCCESS AGAINST FAMILIAR FOES
- The Packers travel to Detroit today for their final divisional road game of the year against the Lions. It is the first of back-to-back road contests for Green Bay, with the Packers heading to New England next Sunday.
- This will be the latest in a season that the Packers have played at Detroit since Ford Field opened in 2002. The last time Green Bay traveled to Detroit this late in a season was a Week 16 matchup at the Pontiac Silverdome on Dec. 15, 1996.
- No other NFL teams have played every year since 1932, when the Packers and the Lions, then known as the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans, began their yearly home-and-home series.
- The rivalry actually kicked off in 1930 at City Stadium in Green Bay, a 47-13 Packers win. Some two seasons later, the teams began a yearly series. Sunday marks meeting No. 163 in the all-time series.
- Now rivals in the NFC North, Green Bay and Detroit will be meeting for the 163rd time today. The Packers own a 89-64-7 advantage over the Lions in the regular season and have won both playoff matchups.
- Green Bay’s current 10-game winning streak against the Lions is the longest in the series in over 50 years, dating back to Detroit’s 11-game winning streak from 1949-54.
- The Packers’ 10-game winning streak against the Lions is tied for No. 2 among NFL series behind only New England’s 14-game winning streak against Buffalo. The Bills also have a 10-game winning streak vs. Cincinnati.
- Head Coach Mike McCarthy is 9-0 against the Lions since taking over coaching duties in 2006. Overall, Green Bay has won 18 of the last 20 games in the series, including seven of the last nine matchups in Detroit.
- The Packers enter today’s game in second place in the NFC North behind Chicago (9-3). Green Bay has won five of its past six games, including a 34-16 win over San Francisco last Sunday at Lambeau Field.
- With the win over the 49ers, the Packers improved to 13-6 under McCarthy in regular-season games in December/January. That .684 winning percentage ranks No. 4 in the league over that span.
- Next Sunday, Green Bay travels to New England for the first time since 2003 to take on the Patriots in a 7:20 p.m. nationally televised contest. It is the final regular-season road game for the Packers, with home contests against the N.Y. Giants and Chicago in Weeks 16-17.
- Ever since Mike McCarthy took over as head coach of the Packers in 2006, he has emphasized the importance of winning divisional games.
- The Packers have a 20-8 (.714) mark against NFC North opponents under McCarthy, which ranks first among NFC North teams over that span. Green Bay’s divisional record since ’06 is third in the NFL behind only San Diego (21-7, .750) and New England (21-7, .750).
- Green Bay posted a 4-2 record or better in the division in each of the first four seasons under McCarthy and enters today’s game with a 3-1 mark in NFC North games this year.
- With a win today at Detroit, the Packers would become the first team in the NFL to register at least four wins in their division each of the past five seasons. New England (3-1 in 2010) is the only other team in the league to post four-plus wins in its division each year from 2006-09 and still has an opportunity to do so this season.
- The Packers have won five of their last six NFC North games and will be looking to finish with a 2-1 road record in the division for the second consecutive season.
Detroit def. coord. Gunther Cunningham held the same position in Kansas City for four seasons (1995-98) when McCarthy was an off. asst. for the Chiefs; also on staff in Kansas City was Packers strength & cond. asst. Dave Redding...Packers RB coach Edgar Bennett and Lions GM Martin Mayhew were teammates for one season at Florida State...Lions O-line coach George Yarno finished his playing career with the Packers in 1990 but did not appear in any regular-season games...Lions DT Corey Williams was a Packers’ sixth-round draft choice in 2004 and played four seasons in Green Bay (2004-07)...Lions K Dave Rayner played for the Packers in 2006...Lions LB DeAndre Levy played collegiately at Wisconsin and attended Milwaukee Vincent H.S. Packers RB Brandon Jackson was born in Detroit...Lions T Jeff Backus and Packers CB Charles Woodson were teammates on Michigan’s 1997 national championship team...Packers DE Cullen Jenkins (Belleville), WR Greg Jennings (Kalamazoo), G/T T.J. Lang (Birmingham), LB Frank Zombo (Sterling Heights) and G/C Nick McDonald (Sterling Heights) are Michigan natives.
As per team tradition, the Packers select game captains each week.
Today’s captains will be G Daryn Colledge (offense), S Nick Collins (defense) and LB Erik Walden (special teams).
WEARING THE STRIPES
Today’s officiating crew includes referee Gene Steratore (114), umpire Butch Hannah (40), head linesman Jerry Bergman (91), line judge Ron Marinucci (107), field judge Bob Waggoner (25), side judge Mike Weatherford (116) and back judge Dino Paganelli (105).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
80 DONALD DRIVER
85 GREG JENNINGS
- Needs 9 yards from scrimmage to move past Jim Taylor (9,712) for the No. 3 spot in franchise history.
12 AARON RODGERS
- Starting with Week 6 vs. Miami, has averaged 108.7 receiving yards per game, No. 1 in the NFL over that span.
- Needs 56 receiving yards for 1,000 on the season. Could become the fifth WR in team history to have three straight 1,000-yard campaigns (Driver, Lofton, Sharpe, Freeman).
- With a touchdown catch, would match his career high of 12 (2007).
- Will hit the 5,000-yard mark for his career with 99 more receiving yards.
21 CHARLES WOODSON
- Has not thrown an interception in his last 177 passing attempts, the second-longest streak in team history behind only Bart Starr (294, 1964-65, No. 2 in NFL history). It is also the second-longest current streak in the NFL behind New England’s Tom Brady (228).
- His 131.3 passer rating over the past four games leads the NFL over that span, as he has thrown for 1,232 yards and 11 TDs with no INTs. Has posted a 110-plus rating in all four games.
- Has a 121.0 passer rating in five career starts against the Lions, with 14 TDs, three INTs, and four 300-yard passing games.
- Needs 16 rushing yards to become the first Packers QB since Tobin Rote (1954-56) to post back-to-back 300-yard rushing seasons.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
- In Week 4 vs. Detroit, became the first player in NFL history to return an interception for a TD in three consecutive seasons against the same team.
- Green Bay ranks No. 1 in the NFL in scoring defense at 15.2 points per game. The Packers have given up 9.2 points per game in their last five contests.
- The Packers are No. 1 in the NFL with 87 points off of takeaways this season, and have a plus-9 turnover ratio in their last five games.
- Since Week 10 last season, the Packers are 15-5 (.750), which is the best regular-season record in the NFL over that span.