Lopsided QB Play Defines Record Streak

We dust off an old feature as Green Bay tries to extend its NFL-record home winning streak on Sunday against the Lions. Just looking at the quarterbacks, it's easy to see why the Packers have dominated this series. (Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY)

It's been a long time since the Detroit Lions came to Wisconsin and beat the Green Bay Packers.

The year was 1991. The date was Dec. 15. Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy were 1. Starting left tackle David Bakhtiari was less than 3 months old. Davante Adams and HaHa Clinton-Dix hadn’t been born.

Aaron Rodgers was about two weeks past his eighth birthday.

“I don’t think anybody has talked about it or thought about it,” Rodgers said on Tuesday, as the Packers began prep for Sunday’s showdown against the Lions, with the winner capturing the NFC North title and earning a first-round playoff bye.

The Packers own an NFL-record 23-game home winning streak against the Lions. With what’s at stake this week, they’d probably the fabled Frozen Tundra with shag carpet if it would help them run the streak to 24. Detroit's last win came on Dec. 15, 1991, when Erik Kramer and Wayne Fontes beat Mike Tomczak and Lindy Infante.

Why?

Quarterbacks, plain and simple.

Other than the 2011 regular-season finale, when Rodgers got the day off and watched Matt Flynn throw for 480 yards and six touchdowns, the Packers’ only starting quarterbacks during the streak have been Rodgers and Brett Favre.

In the 23 games – including the 1994 playoffs – the Lions churned through 13 starting quarterbacks, a list that doesn't include Andre Ware playing most of the 1992 game in place of Rodney Peete.

Combined, Rodgers, Favre and Flynn have thrown 42 touchdowns against 15 interceptions. Detroit's potpourri of mostly putrid quarterbacks combined for 28 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. Green Bay quarterbacks threw multiple picks in three games: Rodgers in 2010 and Favre in 2006 and 1993. Detroit has thrown multiple interceptions 13 times.

In five home starts vs. the Lions, Rodgers has completed 96-of-139 passes (69.1 percent) for 1,294 yards, with nine touchdowns, three interceptions and a rating of 111.0. Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2009 draft, was sidelined by injuries for the 2009 and 2010 games. In his three starts since, he’s completed 88-of-144 passes (61.1 percent) for 1,046 yards, with seven touchdowns, three interceptions and a rating of 90.8.

Here's the year-by-year rundown.

2013: Packers 22, Lions 9. Rodgers completed 20-of-30 passes for 274 yards, including an 83-yard touchdown pass to James Jones. The Lions were punchless with Calvin Johnson sidelined; Stafford was 25-of-40 for 262 yards and a late touchdown.

2012: Packers 27, Lions 20. Playing without Jordy Nelson, Rodgers threw for only 173 yards but had a 27-yard touchdown run. Stafford threw for 264 yards but tossed one interception and a killer fumble, which was returned for a touchdown by Mike Daniels.

2011: Packers 45, Lions 41. Stafford held up his end of the bargain with 520 passing yards and five touchdowns but was outdueled by Flynn's six touchdowns.

2010: Packers 28, Lions 26. Shaun Hill threw for 331 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions and helped Detroit play keep-away from Rodgers by running 78 plays to the Packers' 40. Rodgers was 12-of-17 for 181 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions. All of Rodgers' touchdowns came in the first half, when Green Bay led 21-7.

2009: Packers 26, Lions 0. Daunte Culpepper and Drew Stanton combined for 11-of-25 for 105 yards and three interceptions. Rodgers, on the other hand, threw for 358 yards and two scores.

2008: Packers 31, Lions 21. Dan Orlovsky threw for 225 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Rodgers threw for 308 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions to put the icing on Detroit’s 0-16 cake. The standing ovation he received walking off the field that day still ranks as one of the highlights of his career.

2007: Packers 34, Lions 13. Favre started but didn't play long, with the Packers having locked up a first-round bye headed into the season finale. Favre and Craig Nall combined for three touchdowns. Jon Kitna threw two interceptions.

2006: Packers 17, Lions 9. In a day of ugly quarterbacking, Favre and Kitna combined for 309 yards, no touchdowns and five interceptions.

2005: Packers 16, Lions 13. More ugly quarterbacking: Favre (one interception) and Jeff Garcia (one touchdown) combined for 282 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

2004: Packers 16, Lions 13. Favre wasn't good (188 yards, one touchdown) but Joey Harrington was a woeful 5-of-22 for 47 yards. At least Harrington didn't throw a pick.

2003: Packers 31, Lions 6. Favre wasn't good – that's a theme by now – with 132 yards, two touchdowns and one interception — but he was infinitely better than Harrington's 26-of-55 for 241 yards and three interceptions.

2002: Packers 40, Lions 14. Favre was great, going 26-of-39 for 351 yards and two touchdowns. Harrington was, well, Harrington: 20-of-44, 236 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions.

2001: Packers 28, Lions 6. Favre was an efficient 22-of-28 for two touchdowns; Charlie Batch was an inefficient 20-of-39 for 276 yards and two interceptions.

2000: Packers 26, Lions 13. Favre was terrible, going 15-of-36. At least he threw only one interception. Batch threw three of them.

1999: Packers 26, Lions 17. Favre threw for 309 yards and a touchdown; Gus Frerrote was 20-of-39 for 225 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.

1998: Packers 28, Lions 19. The season-opening game would be Barry Sanders' last appearance at Lambeau; he would rush for 70 yards. Favre was 24-of-32 for 277 yards and two touchdowns; Scott Mitchell was 23-of-44 for 248 yards, with one touchdown and one pick.

1997: Packers 20, Lions 10. Favre was mediocre but that was infinitely better than Mitchell's horrid 21-of-47 for 158 yards and four interceptions.

1996: Packers 28, Lions 18. There would be no Majik for the Lions. Favre threw for 281 yards and four touchdowns while former Packers quarterback Don Majkowski threw for 153 and one score.

1995: Packers 30, Lions 21. Favre threw for 342 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Mitchell threw for three touchdowns but was just 17-of-41 for 205 yards and a pick.

1994: Packers 38, Lions 30. The Packers led 31-7 at halftime and Mitchell (5-of-15 for 63 yards and two interceptions) was replaced by Dave Krieg (23-of-33 for 275 yards and three touchdowns). Favre threw for 237 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

1994 (playoffs): Packers 16, Lions 12. The Packers famously held Sanders to minus-1 rushing yard and the Lions to minus-4. Krieg was 17-of-25 for 199 yards and a touchdown. Favre was 23-of-28 for 262 yards.

1993: Packers 26, Lions 17. While Favre had no touchdowns and two interceptions, he still got the best of Peete, who was 13-of-25 for 100 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception.

1992: Packers 38, Lions 10. The streak begins with Favre going 15-of-19 for 214 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Ware was 13-of-23 for 133 yards, with one touchdown and one interception, Peete was 2-for-2 for 51 yards and Sanders was 0-for-1.

1991: Lions 21, Packers 17. With Detroit improving to 11-4 and Green Bay falling to 3-12, Kramer was 14-of-29 for 131 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions, while Tomczak was 18-of-40 for 207 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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