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National Football League
Preview
Green Bay at Detroit
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, September 21, 2014
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan

The Detroit Lions know they have to narrow the gap on Green Bay if they ever want to supplant the Packers as the kings of the NFC Central. Detroit hosts Green Bay on Sunday and it will be looking to end the dominance in which the Packers have won 15 of the past 17 meetings. The Lions did rout the Packers 40-10 last November when Green Bay was without injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers but beating them again with Rodgers would carry more weight.

The expectation of a high-scoring game looms with Rodgers teaming up regularly with Jordy Nelson and Detroit’s Matthew Stafford having the NFL’s top target in Calvin Johnson at his disposal. “Any time you go up against a great offense you know you’re going to be having to score points to win the game,” Stafford told reporters. “Seven (points) isn’t going to get it done. We know that.” Nelson leads the NFL in receptions (18) and receiving yardage (292) after racking up a career-best 209 yards in a win over the New York Jets last Sunday.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Lions –2.5. O/U: 53.

ABOUT THE PACKERS (1-1): Rodgers has thrown for 535 yards and four touchdowns and is connecting well with Nelson, whose yardage against the Jets was the most by a Green Bay player since Don Beebe had 220 in 1996. Green Bay is struggling to run the ball as Eddie Lacy (25 carries, 77 yards) is barely averaging three yards per carry and the Packers’ average of 80 yards ranks 26th in the NFL. Outside linebacker Clay Matthews has six sacks in his last seven games against the Lions but the rushing defense (176.5) has been leaky as Green Bay is next-to-last in stopping the run.

ABOUT THE LIONS (1-1): Getting running back Reggie Bush (15 carries, 41 yards) going is the big goal - Bush had 182 yards (117 rushing, 65 receiving) when Detroit thumped Green Bay last November. Stafford has thrown for 637 yards and three touchdowns while Johnson has 247 yards (second in the NFL) on 13 receptions. Veteran defensive tackle C.J. Mosley (two sacks), outside linebacker DeAndre Levy (four tackles for losses, one interception) and middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch (18 tackles) are performing well for a unit that ranks second in total defense at 255 yards per game.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Lions leading rusher Joique Bell (87 yards) is dealing with knee soreness.

2. Packers starting S Micah Hyde (knee) is expected to be a full-go after being hurt against the Jets.

3. Detroit offseason acquisition Golden Tate has 11 receptions for 150 yards.

PREDICTION: Packers 38, Lions 34
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Green Bay 1-1 W1 23.5 30.0 1-0 0-1 1-0 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-1
Detroit 1-1 L1 21.0 19.0 1-0 0-1 0-1 1-0 0-0 0-0 1-1
Last Meeting
Green Bay Detroit
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/28/13 GB 10 DET 40 126 24 102 561 241 320
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Green Bay M. Flynn 50.0 139 0 1
Detroit M. Stafford 62.9 330 3 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Green Bay E. Lacy 10 16 1.6 0
Detroit R. Bush 20 117 5.8 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Green Bay J. Jones 3 79 26.3 0
Detroit C. Johnson 6 101 16.8 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Green Bay M. Burnett 1
Detroit J. Bell 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Green Bay A. Rodgers 64.0 535 4 1
Detroit M. Stafford 61.3 637 3 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Green Bay E. Lacy 25 77 3.1 0
Detroit J. Bell 25 87 3.5 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Green Bay J. Nelson 18 292 16.2 1
Detroit C. Johnson 13 247 19.0 2
Touchdowns Player TD
Green Bay R. Cobb 3
Detroit C. Johnson 2