TODAY: Green Bay kicks off an 85th NFL season against one of its oldest rivals, the Lions. This marks Game No. 150 in the historic series…These teams open a season in Detroit for the first time since 1978, and only the second time overall…After sustaining a "basketball" sprain of his right ankle Sept. 1 at Tennessee, Brett Favre appeared on the team's injury report for the 43rd time during his consecutive-starts streak, which will reach 206 today (226 including playoffs)…Mike Sherman is tied with Mike Martz for the best division record (25-9, .735) among NFL head coaches since 2000. He's 8-2 vs. Detroit and including playoffs 6-1 vs. Steve Mariucci.
IRONMEN: This week marked one decade since the Baltimore Orioles' Cal Ripken surpassed the 2,130 consecutive starts by the New York Yankees' Lou Gehrig…While a handful of NFL players have started every game for their team's over a stretch of at least 13 years, Ripken and Gehrig are believed to be the only athletes in the history of the other major sports to stretch a starting streak over that period…Later this month, Brett Favre hopes to extend his current string to 13 years.
ROOKIES IN THE LINEUP: Green Bay could start as many as three rookies this afternoon. The last time the Packers entered a season with three rookies in the starting lineup was Sept. 4, 1988, when DT Shawn Patterson, S Chuck Cecil and first-round WR Sterling Sharpe got the nod against the Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau Field…The last time multiple rookies started the opener was Sept. 6, 1992 (LB Mark D'Onofrio, WR Robert Brooks).
-According to Elias Sports Bureau, last season, three teams had three rookie starters on opening day: Detroit, Arizona and San Diego.
-Safety Nick Collins is bidding to become the first Packers rookie to start a regular-season opener at safety since Cecil in 1988.
-Seventh-round choice William Whitticker could become the lowest-drafted Packers rookie to start the opener since Leland Glass (eighth round) in 1972. And, Whitticker would become the first rookie to start the season at guard since Bill Bain (Sept. 21, 1975, vs. Detroit).
-Also according to Elias, last season there were two rookies drafted in the seventh round or later that started on opening day: Michael Gaines (Carolina) and Shane Olivea (San Diego), both taken in the seventh round.
FIRST BLOOD ON THE ROAD: In regular-season games away from home, the Packers have won eight in a row and 10 of their last 11 when scoring first.
-The team's only loss during that span was Oct. 19, 2003, a 34-24 defeat at St. Louis.
-Green Bay went 4-0 last season in such road games.
FAVRE IN DOMES: Perception says that Favre has struggled in domes. In reality, especially of late, Favre has played very well under roofs. The quarterback has won three straight and four of his last six in domes. In going 4-3 over his last seven dome games, he's posted a 98.9 rating:
POOL REPORTERS: Mike O'Hara of the Detroit News is the pool reporter for today's matchup.
NEXT WEEK: Green Bay hosts Cleveland in the Lambeau Field opener Sunday at 3:15 p.m. on CBS; the Packers will retire Reggie White's number at halftime, a ceremony the team planned to conduct before the future Hall of Famer's untimely death…Earlier that day, Detroit travels to Chicago for another NFC North clash, a noon kickoff (CDT) on FOX.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY —
Needs four total tackles for 300 career. The first player ever to lead the Packers in tackles each of his first two NFL seasons, he enters 2005 with 296 career stops.
Needs four combined kick returns (punt and kickoff) to surpass No. 5 Walter Stanley (129), five to surpass No. 4 Billy Grimes (130) and 65 to surpass No. 3 Willie Wood (190). Chatman enters 2005 with 126.
Needs 37 rushing yards to become one of the first backups in team history with 1,000 career yards (he has just one start). In doing so, he could become one of the first Packers players to average more than 5 yards per carry at the 1,000 milestone. Davenport enters 2005 with 963 career yards.
Needs a reception match the sixth-longest receiving streak in team history, 49 games by Max McGee (1959-63). With a catch in his first three games, he can surpass the fourth- and fifth-longest streaks, 50 by Don Hutson (1941-45) and Paul Coffman (1979-82). Driver enters 2005 with a reception in his last 48 games.
Needs 266 yards passing to become the third in NFL history with 50,000, joining Dan Marino (61,361) and John Elway (51,475). Favre enters 2005 with 49,734.
Needs 130 yards for 1,000 career against Detroit.
-Needs three rushing touchdowns to surpass No. 2 Paul Hornung (50) on the Packers' all-time list. Green enters 2005 with 48.
-Needs two overall touchdowns to surpass No. 4 Paul Hornung (62) and six to surpass No. 3 Sterling Sharpe (66) on the team's all-time list. Green enters 2005 with 61 in a Packers uniform.
-Needs 14 points to surpass No. 10 Clarke Hinkle (379) and 15 to surpass No. 9 Ted Fritsch (380) all-time in franchise history. Green enters 2005 with 366.
-Needs one rushing touchdown for 50 career.
-Needs one 100-yard rushing game for 30 career.
Could reach 200 consecutive kicks without a block. Since his last blocked kick, a 2002 win over Chicago in Champaign, Longwell has hit 194 kicks — 65 field goals and 129 PATs — without a block.
-Needs one field goal of 50-plus yards for 10 career.
-With a field goal in his first two games, would tie his own franchise record for consecutive games with a field goal. Longwell enters 2005 with a 12-game streak. His record is 14 games (1997-98).