Lions 20

(4-9, 2-5 away)

Packers 27

(9-4, 6-1 home)

Coverage: NBC

8:20 PM ET, December 9, 2012

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI 

1 2 3 4 T
DET 7 7 3 320
GB 0 10 7 1027

Top Performers

Passing: M. Stafford (DET) - 264 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: A. Green (GB) - 13 CAR, 69 YDS

Receiving: C. Johnson (DET) - 10 REC, 118 YDS

Lions-Packers Preview


It didn't take long, but the Green Bay Packers have returned to the top of the NFC North.

This time, the Packers look to stay there on Sunday night when they host the free-falling Detroit Lions, who haven't won at Lambeau Field since Barry Sanders was starring in their backfield.

The Lions have lost 20 consecutive games in Green Bay, last winning there in 1991.

"It probably (means) more to the people who have been here 20 years than us," Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "We just want to go in there and put a good game together and try to come out on top."

After falling back into second place with a loss to the New York Giants on Nov. 25, the Packers (8-4) drew back into a first-place tie with Chicago on Sunday with a 23-14 win over Minnesota.

"Everything's right in front of us," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "We've got to go win our home games and get a couple wins on the road."

After finishing 27 of 35 for 286 yards with one touchdown and one interception against the Vikings, Rodgers will try to improve on his 7-1 mark all-time versus Detroit.

The loss came at Ford Field in 2010 when he was knocked out in the first half with a concussion.

Rodgers has thrown for at least two touchdowns in every other game, including the last meeting on Nov. 18 when he threw a 22-yard score to Randall Cobb with 1:55 left in a 24-20 win at Detroit.

It appears, however, that Rodgers will lead a banged-up offense again on Sunday.

Already without right tackle Bryan Bulaga (hip), the offensive line took another hit on Sunday when backup T.J. Lang went down with an ankle injury in the second quarter.

Rodgers has already been sacked a league-high 39 times, three more than all of last season. Detroit sacked Rodgers three times in their last meeting.

Making matters worse, Green Bay will be without second-leading receiver Jordy Nelson after he left Sunday's game in the first quarter with a strained hamstring.

The Packers, though, are hopeful that the signing of Ryan Grant can bolster the backfield, where Cedric Benson (foot) will miss the rest of the season and James Starks (knee) is expected to miss multiple weeks. Grant had 1,000-yard seasons for Green Bay in 2008-09.

The team has struggled to find consistency in the running game, ranking 11th in the NFC with 105.0 yards per game while scoring a league-low three touchdowns on the ground.

"Ryan has great history with us, can kind of step right in," coach Mike McCarthy said. "I don't see him having any issues getting ready."

Green Bay isn't likely to have any issues moving the ball against a Detroit defense that has allowed 69 points and 960 yards in its last two games.

The Lions (4-8) have lost four straight, dropping the last three at home despite leading in the fourth quarter in each contest.

Andrew Luck was the latest to break their hearts on Sunday when he threw a touchdown pass on the final play to give Indianapolis a 35-33 comeback win.

"This is a tough league for tough people, and we'll find out now who is tough," Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said.

Although he won't be making a second consecutive trip to the playoffs, Matthew Stafford continues to put up big numbers. He leads the NFL with 3,742 passing yards after piling up 754 with four touchdowns in the last two games.

Stafford had a huge day in his last trip to Lambeau, throwing for a career-high 520 yards and five touchdowns in a 45-41 loss Jan. 1. Rodgers sat out with the Packers closing the regular season having wrapped up the NFC's No. 1 seed, but former backup Matt Flynn threw for 480 yards and six scores.

Calvin Johnson, who had a career-high 244 yards receiving in that game, had another personal best Sunday with 13 receptions to go along with 171 yards and a TD.

Johnson will try to set an NFL record on Sunday night with his sixth straight game with at least 125 yards receiving.

The Lions, however, will be without receivers Ryan Broyles and Titus Young, who were both placed on injured reserve this week.

Young has been inactive for the last two games after what Schwartz called "unacceptable" behavior. Broyles tore his right ACL against the Colts.

Still, Detroit leads the NFC in total yards per game (416.1) after totaling 976 the past two games and faces a hobbled Green Bay defense.

Safety Charles Woodson has been ruled out for a sixth consecutive game due to a broken collarbone, and linebacker Clay Matthews will miss his fifth straight with a hamstring injury.


Passing Leaders

M. Stafford67.242623213
D. Orlovsky55.020111
A. Rodgers60.73821318
S. Tolzien100.0400

Rushing Leaders

A. Abdullah1435974.22
J. Bell903113.54
E. Lacy1877584.13
J. Starks1486014.12

Receiving Leaders

C. Johnson88121413.89
G. Tate908139.06
J. Jones5089017.88
R. Cobb7982910.56

Team Averages & NFL Ranks

Total YardsDET
Yards PassingDET
Yards RushingDET
Yards AllowedDET
Pass Yds AllowedDET
Rush Yds AllowedDET

Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)

Green Bay leads 21-3
Nov 18, 2012DET 20, GB 24
Jan 1, 2012DET 41, @GB 45
Nov 24, 2011DET 15, GB 27
Dec 12, 2010DET 7, GB 3
Oct 3, 2010DET 26, @GB 28
Nov 26, 2009DET 12, GB 34
Oct 18, 2009DET 0, @GB 26
Dec 28, 2008DET 21, @GB 31
Sep 14, 2008DET 25, GB 48
Dec 30, 2007DET 13, @GB 34
Nov 22, 2007DET 26, GB 37
Dec 17, 2006DET 9, @GB 17
Sep 24, 2006DET 24, GB 31
Dec 11, 2005DET 13, @GB 16
Sep 11, 2005DET 17, GB 3
Dec 12, 2004DET 13, @GB 16
Oct 17, 2004DET 10, GB 38
Nov 27, 2003DET 22, GB 14
Sep 14, 2003DET 6, @GB 31
Nov 10, 2002DET 14, @GB 40
Sep 22, 2002DET 31, GB 37
Nov 22, 2001DET 27, GB 29
Sep 9, 2001DET 6, @GB 28

Research Notes

The Lions have failed to generate pressure with their four-man pass rush in the fourth quarter this season. The Lions failed to sack or put Aaron Rodgers under duress using four or fewer rushers in the fourth quarter in Week 11, and Rodgers went 5-of-6 for 82 yards and the game-winning touchdown to Randall Cobb.
Although Calvin Johnson's touchdowns have decreased, the Lions have used Johnson to stretch the field more often this season. More than half of his targets this season have come more than 10 yards downfield (42.0 percent through Week 13 in 2011). Johnson had four such receptions against the Packers in Week 11 on eight targets, with the rest of the Lions catching two of their 11 targets.
Since tackle Bryan Bulaga's injury in Week 9 against the Cardinals, the Packers have struggled to protect Aaron Rodgers despite facing an increase of standard four-man rushes. Three of the Packers' four highest rates being sacked or put under duress have occurred in the past three games.

ESPN Stats & Information