The NFC North division title is likely to be on the line in the final week of the season as the Lions travel to Lambeau Field to face the Packers. (Both teams are 10-4 after 15 weeks. As long as the Packers beat the 2-12 Buccaneers in week 16, this week 17 tilt will decide the NFC North.)
A first round bye could also await the winner, while the loser will likely sneak into the playoffs as a Wild Card team or miss out on the postseason entirely.
In week 3, these teams met at Ford Field. The Lions beat the Packers, 19-7. The game was even after the first quarter, but Detroit outscored Green Bay 12-0 over the final 45 minutes. The Lions were full value for the win, outgaining the Packers 353-223 yards and limited Aaron Rodgers to 16 of 27 passing for 162 yards. Eddie Lacy managed only 36 yards on 11 carries for Green Bay.
While the Lions lost the turnover battle (3-1), Detroit held the ball for over 38 minutes and went 11 for 18 on third down. The win was the second straight for the Lions against Green Bay. But the Packers won 15 of 16 before that, including the previous five.
While the Lions have been able to buck their overall losing streak to the Packers, it has still be eons since they won at Lambeau. Detroit has lost 23 straight games in Green Bay, last earning a victory at the Frozen Tundra in December 1991. They have come close recently, with three of the last four being decided by less than a touchdown. But, last year, Green Bay stifled the Lions offense, winning 22-9.
Entering a week 16 road game at Chicago, the Lions are 3-3 on the road and 2-4 against the spread. That includes wins at the Jets and Vikings, and a nominal road win over the Falcons in London. Detroit’s three road losses have come at Carolina (24-7), Arizona (14-6), and New England (24-9).
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford is 2-8 against the Packers, career, with 13 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions.
Green Bay closes the season at home where they are undefeated and have won by an average margin of nearly 21 points. The Packers are 5-1-1 against the spread at Lambeau on the year. Their last two home games have been the two closest of the season: a 26-21 win over New England in week 13, and a 43-37 victory against Atlanta in week 14. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has 23 touchdown passes and no interceptions at home and is completing 66% of his passes at Lambeau. He is 9-2 all time against Detroit.
(Photo credit: Mike Morbeck (flickr) “Marshall Newhouse (74), Cliff Avril (92)” [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)