An attractive package deal on offer for the Green Bay Packers

Green Bay can stretch winning run over Lions and lift division title, writes Aaron Gray.
The Green Bay Packers’ Davante Adams, No 17, has never seen his side lose to the Detroit Lions, who they play on Sunday. Todd Rosenberg / AP Photo
The Green Bay Packers’ Davante Adams, No 17, has never seen his side lose to the Detroit Lions, who they play on Sunday. Todd Rosenberg / AP Photo

Green Bay’s Davante Adams has never seen the Packers lose to the Detroit Lions at home. He has not had the chance yet: the 22-year-old receiver was not born the last time it took place.

Adams is one of four Green Bay rookies who came into the world after the Lions’ most recent victory at Lambeau Field, a 21-17 victory on December 15, 1991.

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The Packers have won 23 successive home games over the Lions since that day, 22 during the regular season and once in the play-offs. It is a remarkable streak, considering the Lions are among the Packers’ oldest rivals.

There have been plenty of close games along the way, including four in the past six years that were decided by seven points or fewer.

Yet, the streak stayed alive each time.

“To me, it’s a coincidence,” veteran Packers cornerback Tramon Williams, who was eight years old when the streak began, said on Fox Sports.

“It’s good we’ve been winning like that against these guys at home for a long time, but it doesn’t guarantee you anything. We have to go out and we have to play and we have to perform against a quality team. That’s what we’re going to try to do.”

Today’s regular-season finale between Green Bay and Detroit, both 11-4, is about more than just a home winning streak.

If the Packers win, they will be assured a first-round bye in the play-offs and their fourth consecutive division title.

If the Lions win, the streak will be over, as Detroit will be division champions and earn no worse than the NFC’s No 2 seed.

A Detroit victory would also send the Packers on the road throughout the play-offs as the No 6 seed, beginning with a wild-card weekend showdown in Dallas against the Cowboys.

Going back to the streak: Green Bay’s first three victories (1992-94) were played in nearby Milwaukee, so the Lambeau Field portion of the streak is 20 games.

Totalling the past two-plus decades of Packers-Lions regular-season games in Wisconsin, the Packers have outscored their rivals by a 631-346 advantage.

The Packers also have one play-off home victory over Detroit during the streak, a 16-12 victory in 1994.

For Detroit, the streak serves as a constant reminder of their franchise’s unnerving futility.

The last time they went on the road and beat Green Bay, in 1991, was coincidentally the last time the Lions had a first-round play-off bye or won a play-off game.

Only four NFL teams have never appeared in a Super Bowl: the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Brown and, you guessed it, the Lions.

If Detroit can snap this streak today against Green Bay,it could be enough to propel them to the biggest game in North American sports – champions always tended to enter the play-offs with momentum.

But the Packers have other plans.

“Streaks are meant to be broken,” Williams said. “But, hopefully, this one is not, for a long time from now.”

agray@thenational.ae

Follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SprtNationalUAE

Published: December 27, 2014 04:00 AM

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