Favre one key to beating Lions

Brett Favre has encountered the Detroit Lions many times in his career at Ford Field and the Lions' previous home, the Pontiac Silverdome. In order for the Green Bay Packers to win their first game of the season, Favre says the Packers will have to do at least one thing well on offense.

"We haven't been great on the road in my career here, especially in dome environments," Favre said. "We haven't handled the atmosphere, the crowd noise, the speed.

"I think the way you handle that first and foremost is you have to run the football. That takes their crowd out of it. I'm just guessing, but most of the games that we've played in domes and lost, we probably threw the ball 40 or more times. If we have to throw the ball 40 or more times, whether it's here or in domes, you'll probably lose. We have to run the football well enough, so you're not dropping back and they can pin their ears back and come at you. In those cases, that's what has happened. We have either fell behind, or put ourselves in situations offensively, like third-and-long, second-and-long, things like that, where they can rush the passer. You get sacked or hit as the ball is coming out and they get interceptions. You're making a bad situation worse. That's probably more than anything why we haven't had success.".

While the Green Bay Packers have dominated the Detroit Lions in the state of Wisconsin since the early 1990s, the Lions have had their way with the Packers in Detroit. Since Favre has been the starter for Green Bay (1992), Detroit has won nine of 14 regular season games in the state of Michigan. In Favre's only postseason game in Detroit, the Packers beat the Lions 28-24 on Jan. 8, 1994.

In order to succeed running the ball, the Packers will have to block better for Ahman Green and company. The Packers enter the game ranked 24th in the National Football League in rushing offense, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. Green Bay was held to 63 yards rushing on 20 carries by New Orleans last Sunday.

The Lions, who are welcoming the return of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Shaun Rogers from a knee injury, are ranked 15th in the NFL against the run, giving up 3.0 yards per carry. The Packers were limited to 46 yards rushing on 17 carries in their 17-3 loss to Detroit in the 2005 season opener at Ford Field.

"Shaun's an excellent football player," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "He's going to be a big challenge for us. He's a big, powerful man. He was active, particularly in the Seattle game. I was impressed with their front. We have some things with the way we're going to play them, and we need to execute it.

"It's the combination of the interior guys doing what needs to be done and doing it the right way."


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