On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., Dec. 03, 2015 7:25 PM - 10:25 PM CST Packers at Detroit Lions Packers at Detroit Lions
  • Sat., Dec. 05, 2015 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM CST 10th annual Festival of Lights The family-themed event, free to the public, will take place in the Lambeau Field Atrium, and feature cookie decorating, holiday movies and cartoons, holiday card making, photo opportunities with Santa Claus and area high school choirs performing holiday music.
  • Mon., Dec. 07, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST Salvation Army Bell-Ringing (Hayward and Hyde)

    Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde

    Monday, December 7, 2015  6:00pm – 7:00 pm  
    Salvation Army Bell-Ringing (Autograph Signing)
    Big Red Kettle
    Lambeau Field Atrium

  • Thu., Dec. 10, 2015 5:00 PM CST Lambeau Field Atrium closed The Lambeau Field Atrium and all businesses will close at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10 for a private event.
  • Sat., Dec. 12, 2015 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM CST Alumni Appearance (Bowman, Bratkowski) Ken Bowman and Zeke Bratkowski
  • Sun., Dec. 13, 2015 11:25 AM - 3:25 PM CST Toys for Tots collection Toys for Tots collection



Packers, Lions in game of survival

Posted Nov 14, 2012

Green Bay Packers Tom Crabtree locks up with Detroit Lions Kyle Vanden Bosch

GREEN BAY—The Packers and Lions bear little resemblance to the two teams that faced each other on Thanksgiving Day last year.

It was a showdown for NFC North supremacy, featuring one team that was undefeated and a 7-3 challenger that wanted to make a statement. The Packers won the game, 27-15.

The two teams will meet again this Sunday at Ford Field in a game that’s more than a showdown, it’s a matter of survival for the Lions and the first of consecutive road games for the Packers that will go a long way toward deciding the Packers’ fate in 2012. After the trip to Detroit, the Packers head to New York to play the Giants.

“With the Packers coming up, it’s obviously the start to an important home stand for us,” Lions Coach Jim Schwartz said. His team will play three straight at home. The Lions, 4-5, need a sweep of the three to get back into the NFC playoff race.

“Last year, we got off to a good start and then battled .500 the rest of the season. This season we didn’t start fast but there’s still opportunity for us,” Schwartz said, detailing the difference a year has made for the Lions.

“The deal with this league is being able to concentrate on the next week. This league has proven that you have to battle it out week after week, and get hot at the right time, and that’s what we need to do this week. There’s no better time for us than this week.”

It can also be said Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson hasn’t been the touchdown-maker this season that he was a year ago. Johnson has only two scores this year, as compared to 16 in 2011.

Quarterback Matt Stafford has thrown just 11 touchdown passes through nine games this season, compared to 41 last year.

The Lions are near the bottom of the league in rushing yardage, again, which attaches particular importance to Stafford’s and Johnson’s production. They are the engine that drives the Lions, and that engine has driven the Lions to the top of the league’s pass rankings, but isn’t scoring often enough.

“We’re not trying to have balance, we’re trying to move the ball,” Schwartz said.

The Packers were the kings of moving the ball at this time a year ago. No team was moving it with as much ease, efficiency or explosiveness. This season, however, has seen the Packers dogged by injuries that have cost the team wide receivers Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, the team’s one-two punch of a year ago, and most recently tackle Bryan Bulaga, gone for the season with a significant hip injury. The Packers’ numbers aren’t as gaudy as they were a year ago.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the major link between the two seasons. He’s enjoying another MVP-like year.

“He’s one of the best in the league at doing everything a quarterback does. Throwing it quick and accurate, throwing it deep down the field. There’s nothing Aaron Rodgers does subpar. He completely understands their offense,” Schwartz said.

The emergence of Randall Cobb as a receiver is another big difference between this season and last.

“He’s a playmaker with the ball in his hands. He’s really taken a central role in the offense. He’s multi-talented and he’s been a big, big boost to their offense when they lost a great player like Greg Jennings,” Schwartz said.

Finally, the Packers defense is different.

“They got some young infusion of talent. Their schemes have pretty much stayed the same. They’re making a lot of big plays. They’re top 10 in third down. They’re second in sacks. They’re in the top 10 in interceptions. Those are drive stoppers. Those are times you get off the field and keep the offense from scoring. They’ve gone from the bottom defense in the league to the top 10 in a lot of categories,” Schwartz said of the Packers defense.

Different in many ways, yet, they remain two teams headed for another big game against each other in November. This one might even be bigger than last year’s.

Additional coverage - Nov. 14

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest News

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Trailer: Packers at Lions

    (:56) Posted 2 hours ago

    The Green Bay Packers face off against the Detroit Lions on Thursday Night Football in Week 13.

  • Daniels: "We want to get back on track"

    (3:34) Posted 3 hours ago

    Hear from Green Bay Packers DT Mike Daniels as he looks ahead to the Packers-Lions Thursday night showdown at Ford Field.

  • McCarthy Unplugged on the ups and downs of the NFL

    (24:05) Posted 4 hours ago

    The many sides of Mike McCarthy are revealed in this week’s podcast with Packers Analyst Larry McCarren. Among the topics discussed: The ups and downs of the NFL, critical plays, the June 1997 fight between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, and holiday shopping.