Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY

Packers-Lions Tale of the Tape

Here’s a tale-of-the-tape look at the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions as they prepare for their NFC North championship showdown on Sunday night at Ford Field.

SCHEDULES

Because of the schedule rotation, Green Bay and Detroit faced essentially the same schedules.

AFC South: Both teams went 2-2. Green Bay beat Jacksonville and Houston; lost to Indianapolis and Tennessee. Detroit beat Jacksonville and Indianapolis; lost to Houston and Tennessee.

NFC East: The Packers went 3-1 while the Lions went 2-2. Green Bay beat New York, Philadelphia and Washington; lost to Dallas. Detroit beat Philadelphia and Washington; lost to Dallas and New York.

NFC North: The Packers are 4-1 while the Lions are 3-2, with the difference being the Packers’ 34-27 victory in Week 3. Green Bay went 2-0 against Chicago and 1-1 against Minnesota. Detroit went 2-0 against Minnesota and 1-1 against Chicago.

HOME AND AWAY

Detroit is 6-1 at home, including wins in its last six games. In its last four at home, Detroit gave up 17 points to Washington, 19 to Jacksonville, 13 to Minnesota and 17 to Chicago.

Green Bay is 3-4 on the road. It lost to Atlanta, Tennessee and Washington as part of its four-game losing streak but beat Philadelphia and Chicago in its last two road games.

NO PLACE LIKE DOME?

This game will be played inside Detroit’s Ford Field. The Lions are 8-2 in indoor games and 9-4 on turf. The Packers are 0-2 indoors and on turf. However, Rodgers is 5-2 at Detroit with 13 touchdowns, three interceptions and a passer rating of 105.6. Stafford is 2-4 against the Packers in home games with eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He threw at least two interceptions in five of those six starts, with the exception being last year’s Hail Mary game.

THE GUYS THROWING THE BALL

When Stafford has a passer rating of 100, the Lions are 25-7. Oddly, however, he’s 0-3 against the Packers with a rating of at least 100. When he gets that rating up to 105, the Lions are nearly invincible at 23-3. One of those losses came in Week 3 at Lambeau Field, when he had a rating of 112.3.

When Rodgers has a passer rating of 115, the Packers are 43-3. Two of those losses came this season at Atlanta and Washington. In Green Bay’s five-game winning streak, he’s had four games with ratings of 108-plus.

Both quarterbacks have milestones within reach. Stafford needs 20 yards to hit 30,000 for his career. Assuming he gets that against Green Bay, he will have reached that threshold in 109 career games. That would pass Dan Marino and Kurt Warner as the fastest to 30,000 yards. They needed 114 games. If Rodgers would throw four touchdown passes, he’d finish the season with 40. That would put him alongside Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Marino as the only quarterbacks with two seasons of 40-plus touchdown passes.

THE GUYS CATCHING THE BALL

The Lions have overcome Calvin Johnson’s dominance with a strength-in-numbers approach. Led by receiver Golden Tate’s 85 receptions, Detroit is one of five teams in NFL history with five players with at least 50 receptions.

Jordy Nelson, meanwhile, enters this game with 91 receptions. If he catches nine balls and adds one more touchdown against a possibly depleted Lions secondary, he’d join Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison, Cris Carter and Jerry Rice as the only players with at least 100 catches, 1,200 yards and 15 touchdowns.

TURNOVERS

The Lions are even on turnovers for the season but are minus-2 in each of their last three games, including the back-to-back road losses to the Giants and Cowboys. Detroit is 6-1 when it wins the turnover battle and 2-4 when it loses.

The Packers have surged to plus-6 after an astounding plus-12 the past three games. Green Bay is 7-1 when it wins the turnover battle but 1-4 when it loses. 

READY FOR PRIME TIME

The Lions are 5-11 on “Sunday Night Football” – including losses in the last four -- but 4-2 at home. Green Bay is 1-2 on Sunday nights this season, with losses in its road games against Minnesota and Washington.

A STATISTICAL ODDITY

The Lions enter this game with the worst opponent passer rating in the NFL. That would seemingly make Rodgers, who owns the fifth-best passer rating this season, primed for a big game.  However, the Lions have found a way to beat top quarterbacks. Against the top nine in passer rating, Detroit has won five times (Minnesota twice, Indianapolis, Washington and New Orleans) and lost four (Green Bay, New Orleans and Dallas).

Bill Huber is publisher of 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 www.twitter.com/PackerReport.


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