LIONS INSIDER

GAME PREVIEW: Lions look to separate themselves from the rest of the NFC North

Posted Oct 6, 2013

Lions looking to break their 21-game losing streak in the State of Wisconsin

The losing streak on the road to the Green Bay Packers is at 21, which is something the Detroit Lions franchise has to own.

But this current batch of players, they don’t view it as their streak.

"This team right here has never lost to Green Bay," said new safety Glover Quin, who’s never played at Lambeau Field. "This team has never played Green Bay. The organization may have never won in 22 years. This team hasn't played there.

"Right now, we're going there to beat Green Bay."

This could be the most capable team of doing just that in more than a decade.

HISTORY

The Lions and Packers will meet for the 166th time in a rivalry that dates back to 1930.

The Lions have lost their last 21 games in the State of Wisconsin and have a career record of 10-29-3 at Lambeau Field, with their last victory coming in 1991.

A LOOK AT THE STATS

 LIONSPACKERS
Record 3-1 1-2
Points per game 30.5 (4) 32.0 (2)
Total yards per game 404.8 (5) 454.7 (3)
Rushing yards 95.8 (21) 128.0 (9)
Passing yards 309.0 (5) 326.7 (2)
Points allowed 25.3 (13) 29.3 (6)
Total yards allowed 378.8 (19) 404.3 (28)
Rushing yards allowed 110.8 (20) 93.3 (8)
Passing yards allowed 268.0 (22) 311.0 (28)
Turnover ratio +4 (7t) -2 (21t)

BY THE NUMBERS

8: Interceptions for the Lions defense through their first four games: DeAndre Levy (2), Glover Quin (2), Louis Delmas (2), Chris Houston (1), and Stephen Tulloch (1). The Lions had 11 interceptions in 16 games last year.

625: Yards after the catch this year for Lions receivers. The league average is 377.

182: The average total yards per game for Lions running back Reggie Bush in the two games he’s started and finished this year.

KEY MATCHUPS

CB Bill Bentley vs. WR Randall Cobb

The Packers have three receivers who have over 200 receiving yards this year, but Cobb leads them in receptions (21) and receiving yards (290) out of the slot.

The Packers run a lot of three-receiver sets and Bentley is likely to be matched up with him quite a bit today.

"He’s an electrifying player," Bentley said of Cobb. "He makes plays and he’s a competitor. Me getting an opportunity to go against him is a great opportunity for myself. It’s a great challenge to find out how well I’m really doing in the is league."

DT Ndamukong Suh vs. G T.J. Lang

Since Suh joined the league in 2010, the majority of his matchups vs. Green Bay have come vs. Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton. The Packers, however, had to shift around their offensive line because of injuries and Suh will face Lang for the first time.

Suh knows the key to beating Green Bay is to get after quarterback Aaron Rodgers and that means getting past Lang first.

"I think the biggest thing is always get in his face and allowing him to kind of get off spot, have to move around, which is also another dangerous thing with him," Suh said of Rodgers.

"He’s athletic and he can move around and throw on the run, whether that’s across his body going to the left or to his body when he’s going to the right. It’s always a challenge without question going against him and a guy like that."

S Glover Quin vs. TE Jermichael Finley

It’s been well documented how talented the Packers’ trio of receivers are, but Finley is just as capable of going off for a big game.

He has 11 catches in three games for the Packers this season with two touchdowns.

The Lions made Quin a free agent priority for his playmaking ability and his cover skills. Those skills will be tested today against Finley, who has receiver skills in a tight end body.

WR Calvin Johnson vs. CB Sam Shields

Shields, not Tramon Williams, will get the bulk of the work vs. Megatron today.

Shields has terrific speed, but will need to match Johnson’s physicality if he's going to have any success. That’s the thing that makes Johnson so special. He’s one of the fastest receivers in the game, but he’s also big at 6-foot-5 and 236 pounds and can play a physical brand of football.

The cornerbacks that have had any amount of success against him are physical with him at the line of scrimmage and try to get him off his route.

The interested thing to watch with matchup if the Packers give Shields safety help over the top all game or play single-high safety with one in the box helping with Bush.

Johnson has 26 catches for 505 yards (168.3 per game) and two touchdowns in his past three meetings with Green Bay.

Shields has an interception in each of last two games vs. Detroit.

OTHER PLAYERS TO WATCH: LIONS

Dominic Raiola, C:

Raiola hasn’t gotten enough credit for how well he’s played through he team’s first four games. The extra 15 pounds he put on this year has really paid off. He’ll be tested today, though. Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji is one of the strongest players in the NFL.

Brandon Pettigrew, TE:

Pettigrew was a big part of the game plan last week as the team tried to replace the early-season production of Nate Burleson, who was lost to a broken forearm. Pettigrew caught all seven of his targets last week and will continue to have a bigger role in the passing game moving forward.

Nick Fairley, DT:

We talked above about the matchup Suh will be dealing with today. Well, Fairley will get Sitton for a lot of the game, and is likely to get him in a one-on-one matchup with Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith shading more toward Suh’s side. Fairley has played very well in spots, but will need to have a consistent performance for 60 minutes today. He has three sacks and two forced fumbles in his past two meetings with Green Bay.

OTHER PLAYERS TO WATCH: PACKERS

Clay Matthews, LB:

He’s dealing with a hamstring injury, but will play. Matthews seems to always make a play in this game. He has five sacks in the last five meetings and aims for a sixth game in a row in row vs. Detroit with a sack or interception.

Eddie Lacy, RB:

The Lions will get their first look at the Packers second-round draft pick this year. Lacy is coming off a concussion, but has been cleared to play. He’s a big back (5-11, 230) and a very good runner between the tackles. Johnathan Franklin will get some carries, too, but Lacy is expected to get the bulk of the carries. The Lions will have to tackle well.

M.D. Jennings, S:

Jennings is turning into a playmaker for the Packers at safety. He had a 72-yard interception return vs. Detroit in Week 11 last year and had a 24-yard fumble return in a Week 3 loss to Cincinnati this season. His two touchdowns since Week 11 last year is the second-most for any defensive player in the league.