The Green Bay Packers Have the Detroit Lions' Number

Bob FoxContributor INovember 16, 2012

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 24:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers roles out to pass during the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on November 24, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  The Packers defeated the Lions 27-15.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Since Mike McCarthy became head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 2006, the Packers have beaten the Detroit Lions 11 times in 12 games. That includes winning five games out of six at Ford Field in Detroit, the location of the upcoming game between the two teams this Sunday.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers also enjoys playing the Lions. Rodgers is 6-1 versus Detroit, and his only loss came after he suffered a concussion in the 2010 game in Detroit.

Rodgers has thrown 16 touchdown passes in his career against the Lions, while throwing only four picks. That adds up to 1,876 career passing yards and a 115.7 career quarterback rating.

Overall as a franchise, the Packers have dominated the Lions, as the Packers have a 91-65-7 advantage in the series.

The series started in 1930, when the Lions were located in Portsmouth and called the Spartans. The franchise moved to Detroit in 1934 and became the Lions.

The last time the Lions won a NFL championship was in 1957. Ironically, that was also the year Lambeau Field (then called City Stadium) was built.

Since then, the Packers have won seven NFL titles, including four Super Bowls. The Lions have obviously never played in a Super Bowl.

The Packers and the Lions have met twice in the postseason.


The Packers won the 1993 Wild Card Playoff game at the Silverdome in Detroit 28-24, when Brett Favre threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Sterling Sharpe in the final minute.

A year later at Lambeau Field, the Packers held running back Barry Sanders to minus-1 yards in a 16-12 victory in another Wild Card Playoff game.

The Packers and Lions have also played many times on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit. That first happened in 1951, and the Packers actually played there every year all the way through 1963.

Vince Lombardi saw this as a clear disadvantage for the Packers, and that's why the series ended after the 1963 season. In addition to that situation, the Packers were also finishing their seasons on the west coast playing the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers.

Talk about a tough schedule. It's no wonder that the 1950s were the worst decade record-wise (39-79-2) of the Packers in their storied history.

Overall, the Packers have played the Lions 20 times on Thanksgiving Day, with the Pack only winning eight times. However, the Packers have won the last three of these Thanksgiving contests.

The most famous of these games occurred in 1962, when the Packers came into Detroit with a perfect 10-0 record. The Lions were ready for the Pack that day, as they sacked quarterback Bart Starr 11 times for 110 yards in a 26-14 win.

The Packers bounced back though, and won their last three games of the regular season before defeating the New York Giants 16-7 in the 1962 NFL Championship Game at Yankee Stadium.

When it comes to playing the Packers in the state of Wisconsin, the Lions have been totally dominated, as they haven't won a game in Green Bay since 1991.

Bottom line, the Packers definitely have the Lions' number. Even more so recently. I expect that to continue this upcoming Sunday.