The Detroit Lions (11-4) head to Leambeau, a field on which they haven’t won since 1991, to play the Green Bay Packers (11-4) in what has become an NFC North Championship game. The winner will clinch a first-round bye and the loser will play a road game next week.
Aaron Rodgers, who hasn’t thrown an interception at home all season, will be playing against the second-ranked defense in the league. The Packers will have to finish with a perfect home record for the season if they hope to use its advantages to get through the playoffs.
If this meeting is anything like the last one, Green Bay will have to rely heavily on their passing game — which could be a problem for Rodgers and his injured calf.
Lions vs. Packers
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. Eastern
Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Packers by 7.5
Lions 19, Packers 7 on Sept. 21 in Detroit
The Detroit Lions are entering this game with their defense ranked second in the league. In the first meeting between these two rivals, they were able to hold Green Bay to under 80 yards rushing with no touchdowns and a lost fumble. Rodgers was limited to 162 yards and a touchdown.
Matt Stafford has passed for 4,040 yards, 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions this year. He has also fumbled six times. Golden Tate leads the team in receiving yards with 1,286 and has four touchdowns. Calvin Johnson’s game picked up as the season progressed and he has 1,038 yards and six touchdowns. Joique Bell leads the team with 800 yards and seven rushing touchdowns. He has also caught for 322 yards and and touchdown.
The Lions will have to win their first game in Green Bay in over two decades to claim the NFC North title, a first round bye and at least one home playoff game.
Scouting Green Bay
The Packers are 7-0 at home this season, a field on which Rodgers has yet to throw an interception. However, he’s only thrown five all season to go with his 4,155 yards and 36 touchdowns.
Jordy Nelson leads the team in receiving with 1,433 yards and 13 touchdowns. Randall Cobb isn’t far behind with his 1,207 yards and 10 touchdowns. The explosive passing offense will likely have to carry the load in this game, as Eddie Lacy and his 1,039 yards and nine touchdowns were no problem for Detroit last time they played each other. However, Rodgers is playing with a calf that was injured last week in the team’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-13).
Packers 35, Lions 27
Rodgers and the Pack are on another level when they play at home. The Lions will be hard pressed to damage their perfect home record, and might not even be able to get Rodgers to throw his first interception in front of his home crowd this season.
As great as the Lions defense has been this year, it’s hard to see them slowing down all the pieces of the high-powered offense in Green Bay.