Packers-Lions game notes

Among NFC North rivals, it's no secret that the Packers aren't fond of the Metrodome and that the indoor half of the division doesn't particularly like coming out to play in December.<P>

Over the years, the Packers have quietly made a habit out of giving Detroit a less-than-warm welcome at Lambeau Field. The Packers continued that trend with their 16-13 win Sunday, keeping the Lions winless in Lambeau since 1991.

A lot has changed since that last Lions' win here on Dec. 15, 1991:

*That game, a 21-17 come-from-behind win for Detroit, marked the last time Brett Favre was not on the roster for a Packer game at Lambeau Field.

*Green Bay's starter was ex-Bear Mike Tomczak, who went 18-of-40 for 207 yards with an interception and one touchdown pass to Vince "Pookie" Workman.

*The loss was Lindy Infante's Lambeau Field swan song. Infante was 6-14 at Lambeau Field during his four-year tenure. It was one of four losses out of the five Green Bay games that season. The Packers played at least one of their home games in Milwaukee from 1933 to 1994.

Thrifty in victory: The Packers' 16 points was their lowest total against the Lions since losing at Detroit 23-15 in 1999. It was the lowest point total in a victory since a 16-12 triumph in the 1994 wild-card playoff round at Lambeau Field. That time they reached 16 not on a last minute field goal, but on a last-minute intentional safety by punter Craig Hentrich which helped the Packers run out the clock.

The last time the Packers scored fewer than 16 against the Lions at Lambeau was in a 21-14 loss in 1986. It was back in 1978 that the Pack managed a victory over Detroit with fewer points. Green Bay beat the Lions 13-7. The last time that happened in Lambeau was the previous year when the Packers won 10-9.

Pump it up: Punter Brian Barker hasn't been the most productive Packer, but he boomed one when his team needed it Sunday. After the Packers went three and out yet again early in the fourth quarter, Barker punted from his own end zone. The resulting 64-yarder sailed over returners' heads and was not returned. The Lions took over on their own 27 rather than their anticipated advantageous field position.

The punt was Barker's longest since his arrival in Green Bay.

What a difference a week makes: Nobody would get Joey Harrington confused with Donovan McNabb, but the sharp turnaround in passing yards allowed by the Packer defense is striking nonetheless. Harrington was 5-of-22 for 47 yards and no touchdowns. His QB rating was 39.6.

The last time the Packers held their opponent to five or less pass completions was Oct. 29, 1978 in a 9-7 win over Tampa Bay at Lambeau Field.

Woulda-coulda-shoulda: Fans celebrated a Darren Sharper interception and an amazing touchdown run by Ahman Green Sunday. Too bad neither one made the gamebook.

To open the fourth quarter, Sharper intercepted Joey Harrington's third-and-8 pass intended for Az-Zahir Hakim at the Packers' 25 yard line and returned it 24 yards. Before the Packers could take over at the Detroit 49 yard line, the red flag flew and the Lions called for a review. The call was reversed and the pick negated.

That still relegated Detroit to a fourth-down, but the Packers ended up losing about 48 yards on the deal. Former Packer Scottie Vines downed the ensuing Lions punt inside the Packers' 1-yard line.

Earlier, Earlier in the drive Ahman Green's 79-yard touchdown run was called back when rookie center Scott Wells was flagged for holding.

Longwell's legend: The Packers' first points of the game came on the opening drive of the second half as Ryan Longwell connected on a 36-yard field goal attempt with 10:36 left in the third quarter. The score was the 200th field goal of Longwell's career.

Longwell's game-winning field goal with two second remaining is his third of the season and seventh of his career. He has made 43 consecutive field goals inside of 40 yards.

Longwell has now scored in every game of his career -- 125 consecutive games, extending his franchise record.

Magic number: The Packers' "magic number" to eliminate the Bears from the NFC North race is down to one. After the win by Green Bay (8-5) and the Bears' (5-8) loss to Jacksonville, the next Packer win or Bear loss would mean that Chicago cannot catch Green Bay. The Bears' only chance to catch the Pack is if Chicago runs the table the final three weeks, including the season finale over Green Bay, and the Packers lose their final three. That would put both teams at 8-8 and the Bears would have the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Thanks to Seattle's win over the Vikings (7-6), the Packers have a one-game lead in the division. If the Packers beat the Vikings on Christmas Eve, they'll have sewn up the division; in that case the Vikings couldn't finish better than 9-7, the Packers couldn't finish worse than 9-7 and Green Bay would have the tiebreaker.

Favre file: GB's ironman QB played in his 204th game (223 including playoffs) while making his 202nd consecutive start (221 including playoffs.

He surpassed the 3,000-yard mark during the victory, marking his 13th overall 3,000-yard season. That ties Dan Marino for most all-time and broke his tie with John Elway in second place with 12. Favre's 3,000-yard seasons are consecutive, which is an NFL record he holds all alone.

Double threat: Ahman Green led the Packers with five receptions, bringing his career total to 275. With his second catch, Green passed No. 2 Dorsey Levens (271). His final catch made him the record-holder as he surpassed William Henderson on the Packers' all-time list among backs. Henderson (274), now No. 2 on the list, entered tonight's game with 273 career catches.


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