World’s Best Preview: Packers-Lions history lessons

Bill Huber

Detroit domination: From 1992 through 2016, the Green Bay Packers were an overwhelming 39-13 against the Detroit Lions. With Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers at the controls, Green Bay crushed teams quarterbacked by the likes of Rodney Peete, Andre Ware, Joey Harrington, Charlie Batch and Gus Frerotte.

It’s been a different story the last two years, though, with the Lions sweeping the Packers in 2017 and 2018. It’s Detroit’s first four-game winning streak in the series since sweeping the 1982 and 1983 seasons. The Lions haven’t won five in a row since an 11-game winning streak spanning the 1949 through 1954 seasons.

“We haven’t beat them in a couple years, so it’s going to be a good test for us,” Rodgers said.

Overall, Green Bay leads the series 98-72-7. Including a pair of playoff wins, the Packers own 100 victories over the Lions. Green Bay is the only team with 100 victories over another team.

No longer home sweet home: Once upon a time, a visit by the Lions meant an automatic victory for the Packers. From 1992 through 2014, the Packers were undefeated in the state of Wisconsin against Detroit. That staggering streak  an NFL-record 23 in a row  came to an end in 2015, when the Packers lost 18-16 when Mason Crosby mis-hit a long field goal attempt on the final play. The Lions won 31-0 last year after knocking out Rodgers and dominating DeShone Kizer. The Lions scored a touchdown on a fake field goal, a fitting farewell for former coordinator Ron Zook’s beleaguered special teams.

“The toughest part of playing at Lambeau, I say it all the time, is playing the Packers,” Stafford said. “It’s not the environment, it’s not the – you have to go play the Packers.”

Stafford has been excellent, regardless of the venue. According to STATS, Stafford has thrown two or more touchdown passes in nine straight meetings against Green Bay. Dan Marino holds the record with 10 consecutive games with two-plus touchdowns against the Jets spanning the 1991 through 1997 seasons.

Are you ready for some football?: The Packers are 32-32-1 all-time on “Monday Night Football,” including 6-2 in their last eight at home. The Lions are 16-19-1 on “MNF,” but 3-2 in their last five on the road. The teams’ ties came against each other. The 14-14 deadlock at Milwaukee County Stadium on Nov. 11, 1971, was the first tie in “MNF” history.

The teams played on Monday night in 2017, with the Lions winning 30-17 at Lambeau with Brett Hundley starting for an injured Rodgers.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau via the Packers’ “Dope Sheet” preview, Rodgers has thrown for 300-plus yards and a passer rating of 100-plus in four consecutive ‘MNF’ games. According to Elias, that is the longest streak in MNF history. In those four games – all Packers wins – Rodgers has completed 66.0 percent of his passes, averaged 349.5 passing yards, and thrown 12 touchdowns vs. zero interceptions for a gaudy 120.1 passer rating. Ovreall, though, Rodgers is only 7-8 on “MNF,” and his 3-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio lags far behind his career mark of 4.25.

Breaking ground: On Sept. 28, 1964, the Lions hosted the Packers for a Monday night game, with the results providing the framework for “Monday Night Football.”

In a game that was not broadcast nationally, a Tiger Stadium-record crowd of 59,203 watched the Packers win 14-10.

Following the major success of that game, then-Commissioner Pete Rozelle began a trial of playing Monday night games, scheduling one on prime time on CBS in the 1966 and 1967 seasons and two in the 1968 and 1969 seasons. The “Monday Night Football” series began in 1970 on ABC.