Plenty at Stake Beyond Record Streak

With yet another home victory over the Lions on Sunday, the Packers would earn a coveted bye. In their question, they should have a (relatively) healthy Aaron Rodgers. (Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY)

James Campen has a unique perspective on home-field advantage.

Campen was the starting center for the Green Bay Packers when they last lost a game to the rival Detroit Lions played in Wisconsin. That was Dec. 15, 1991, at Lambeau Field.

"I can't even remember that far back," Campen said with a laugh Friday.

In his 11th year as a Green Bay assistant, the last eight as offensive line coach, Campen has watched the Packers' home winning streak against the Lions grow to 23 games. Campen also was Green Bay's center in 1992, when the longest home win streak in NFL history against the same opponent started.

Much more than the streak is on the line for the Packers on Sunday.

They are counting on Aaron Rodgers to be ready to go for the regular-season finale against Detroit (11-4) at Lambeau with the NFC North title up for grabs.

Rodgers is listed as probable. He hurt his left calf in the first quarter of Green Bay's lopsided win at Tampa Bay last Sunday but stayed in the game.

Green Bay (11-4) didn't practice Friday after taking the previous day off for Christmas. But the team estimates Rodgers would have been a limited participant on the field Friday.

"He's done everything that's been asked of him today," said coach Mike McCarthy, noting Rodgers' involvement in classroom prep work for the game.

Rodgers is expected to practice Saturday morning, when Green Bay holds its final session of the week.

"Really tomorrow will be a big indicator, just to watch him move around and do the different things," McCarthy said. "And then we'll communicate during the game. But I don't have a very high concern right now."

At stake Sunday for the Packers is winning a fourth straight division title. That would give them at least a No. 2 seed in the playoffs with a first-round bye and a home game in the divisional round.

But if Green Bay falls short of completing a perfect 8-0 home record this season for the first time since 2011, it will be the No. 6 seed in the NFC and have to play every potential game in the postseason on the road.

"We've seen it so far in the NFC," Packers fullback John Kuhn said. "There's a lot of really good (teams) right now. You want to have those home games. You want to have that first-round bye."

As one of three unbeaten teams at home (Denver and New England are the others), the Packers have been downright dominant at Lambeau this season.

They lead the league with 288 points at home and in point differential with a margin of plus-145.

Green Bay needs 42 points Sunday to shatter the single-season NFL record of 329 home points scored by the New Orleans Saints in 2011. The Packers have four games of scoring at least 42 points at Lambeau this season, including 43 in their last one, a six-point win over the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 8.

Green Bay subsequently split two straight road games, scoring a total of just 33 points.

"We know we have weapons everywhere, and we're capable of scoring in so many different ways," Kuhn said. "We've had that confidence in the games that we lost this year as well as the games that we won."


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