DETROIT – Recent history favors Green Bay, which is 11-1 against the Lions under coach Mike McCarthy.
A string of four consecutive wins has the Packers (6-3) within one game of Chicago for first place in the NFC North. They went into the bye after a 31-17 victory over Arizona on Nov. 4, then McCarthy gave the team the entire week off.
It was sorely needed, with the likes of Greg Jennings and Charles Woodson already injured, not to mention Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson and Bryan Bulaga all getting hurt against the Cardinals. While Woodson (collarbone) remains sidelined, Bulaga (hip) became the 11th Packer to be placed on injured reserve Monday. Matthews (hamstring) was ruled out for this game and it does not appear Jennings (groin) will return, though Nelson (ankle) practiced Wednesday and could play.
Considering the Packers have already overcome many injuries to bounce back from a 2-3 start, they seem to be in good position to begin the stretch run. Five of their final seven games are against NFC North opponents, with Sunday’s game giving them an opportunity for a franchise record ninth straight divisional win.
“I like where we’re at,” said Aaron Rodgers, whose 107.4 passer rating ranks second in the NFL behind Peyton Manning. His 25 touchdown passes are tied with Drew Brees for the league lead.
Rodgers is 6-1 against the Lions with 16 passing TDs compared to four interceptions.