October 17 was definitely a turning point in the Green Bay Packers' 2004 season. That was the date they went into Ford Field and snapped a string of four straight losses with a 38-10 win over the Detroit Lions, setting them off on a course of six consecutive victories.
Especially dominant that day was the play of the Packers defense, holding the Lions to just 125 yards of total offense and scoring a touchdown of their own when Darren Sharper returned a Joey Harrington interception 36 yards for six points.
The Packers didn't allow Detroit to pick up a single first down in the second half and the 125 yards allowed were the fewest a Green Bay team had given up in a single game since 1985 when they held the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to 65 in a 21-0 win.
Their success in the two teams' first meeting this season was definitely impressive, but the Packers aren't taking this Detroit offense lightly, especially since two of their key cogs were non-factors when they clashed in Michigan eight weeks ago.
Wide receiver Roy Williams and running back Kevin Jones - the Lions' pair of first-round picks in April's draft and now their leading receiver and rusher respectively - played little to no part in the October game.
Williams was in uniform, but was held out of action with a sprained ankle. Jones, whose role in the Detroit offense has expanded greatly in recent weeks, carried the ball just twice for five yards against the Packers.
The presence of these two players in prominent roles this Sunday will mean that the Packers will be looking at a greatly different team on the other side of the ball.
In his last four games, Jones has become a workhorse, averaging 19 carries and 119 yards over that span, including a 196-yard performance in the Lions' win over Arizona last week. Williams leads all NFL rookies with five touchdown catches and ranks third with 39 catches for 605 yards on the year.
Safety Bhawoh Jue knows his squad will be facing a different Lions team at Lambeau Field than the one they rolled over in Detroit.
"They had a lot of people down in the first game," he said. They'll have a lot of those people back, so we're definitely not expecting the same type of game. They're moving the ball a lot better. I think they're averaging about 400 yards a game the past three games, so it's not going to be as easy as it was the first time to stop them."
Aaron Kampman is prepared for a much tougher test than received when the Lions could only muster 33 rushing yards in their previous contest, thanks to Jones.
"He's a very good back," Kampman said of the rookie from Virginia Tech. "He's a guy that I think really adds a lot to their offense. He brings a toughness, an elusiveness, he's got some good speed. I think he's a very good player and I think with him and (fullback Cory) Schlesinger - he'll be back - and Williams will be up, so we're going to see a lot better team than we saw up in Detroit."
Sharper thinks that Williams really changes things for the Lions' passing attack, but that if they play their game, the Packers should be able to produce similar results to the earlier game in the Detroit.
"He's a big receiver," said the defender. "He's their go-to guy, the guy that's making plays for them. He's similar to some receivers that we've seen in the past as far as his size and how he can get down the field and make plays when the ball is in the air.
"That's just a guy that's going to be added to their weaponry. You've just got to know where he's going to be in the offense. But if we play solid defense, it really won't matter who they have."