KICKOFF: Thursday, 12:30 ET
TV: FOX, Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver
SERIES: 156th meeting. Packers lead series, 84-64-7. Green Bay has won three straight and 11 of the last 13 encounters between the division rivals. The Packers are 6-9 on the road against the Lions with Brett Favre at quarterback since 1992 but 3-2 at Ford Field. Green Bay won both postseason meetings, in the NFC wild-card round in the 1993 and '94 seasons.
PREDICTION: Packers 30-24
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Lions are giving up 256.9 yards per game through the air -- a scary prospect going up against the league's second-ranked passing team. Detroit has overcome that so far by creating a league-high 30 takeaways. However, if the Lions can't force QB Brett Favre into mistakes, the secondary better tackle well because the Packers lead the league with 1,488 yards after the catch. ... The Lions ran the ball on their first four offensive plays last Sunday, but then abandoned the ground game when it stalled. Seven total rushing yards is a big reason Detroit is riding a two-game losing streak. RT Jonathan Scott is expected to return, but the Lions are still very wary of Green Bay's pass rush. Expect QB Jon Kitna to look to the inside routes with WRs Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald working against the Packers' nickel and dime packages.
KEY INJURIES: Packers: RB Ryan Grant (ankle sprain) expects to play; DT Johnny Jolly (shoulder) is out at least two weeks; FS Nick Collins (knee sprain) and TE Bubba Frank (knee sprain) are likely to miss another game. Lions: DE Dewayne White (triceps) will try to practice this week in hopes of returning after missing two games.
FAST FACTS: Favre's 7,774 passing yards against Detroit is his most against any opponent. ... This will be the Lions' 68th game played on Thanksgiving Day.
The loss of defensive tackle Johnny Jolly for at least the next two games because of a strained shoulder means Corey Williams and possibly starting end Cullen Jenkins will have to shoulder more of the load on the inside.
The Packers have the luxury of depth on the line, but not having Jolly in a primary role could impinge on what has been an effective rotation thus far. Jolly has been an early-down menace, alongside Ryan Pickett, producing 31 tackles and knocking down five passes.
Williams (six sacks) and Jenkins have been wreaking havoc as the replacement tackle tandem in passing situations. Williams now will be back in a starting role and taking on more work in the base defense.
The coaches will have to draw the line on how much to use Williams in early-down situations because of how vital he is to the pass defense. What's left in reserve, though, are Colin Cole and Justin Harrell, this year's first-round draft pick. Cole has been active for only two of the last six games, while Harrell is looking to be activated for the first time in the last five games after recovering from a sprained ankle.
Jonathan Scott will replace the struggling George Foster at right tackle. Scott has replaced Foster three times this season already -- twice within games, once as the starter -- but he has missed two games because of a broken thumb and will have barely practiced this week because of the shortened schedule. He has to face Packers left end Aaron Kampman, whose nine sacks are tied for third in the NFL.
"Minor soreness," Scott said, rapping on the hard cast covering his left thumb and wrist, "but it's protected by this cast." Scott said his thumb hadn't completely healed but had reached the point where it could take contact. "It kind of gives me an advantage because it's kind of hard," Scott said, smiling and holding up his cast. "If somebody gets hit with it, I feel sorry for them."
The Lions put safety Idrees Bashir on injured reserve and signed safety Greg Blue. Bashir was a contributor on special teams and rotated in on defense. Blue probably won't be ready to contribute in this game.
Lions Must Get Ground Game Going:After rushing eight times for minus-18 yards at Arizona, the Lions rushed 11 times for 25 yards Sunday against the Giants.
"It's hard to stay with sometimes," coach Rod Marinelli said. "You want to run it more, but I think we averaged like 2.8 yards per carry. That's what I look at, not attempts."
The Lions actually averaged 2.3 yards per carry against the Giants. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz ran the ball eight times in the first half, but only three times in the second half -- and not at all in the fourth quarter -- as the Lions played catch-up.
"We did come out running it," Marinelli said. "That's what we tried to do. But after a while, you've got to move the ball, too. That's all part of it. You've got to try to move the ball, score and win.
"That's what you're trying to do to win the game, whatever it takes, and that's what we tried to do."