Packers seek to extend home dominance over Lions

No matter the month, no matter the record, no matter the
weather, the Packers can beat the Detroit Lions at home.

Since 1992, a Green Bay victory against Detroit in Wisconsin has
been as regular as a Lions Thanksgiving Day game. Twenty-two
straight wins, counting one playoff victory. The 21-game,
regular-season home winning streak against Detroit is the longest
in NFL history.

The Packers would very much like to extend the Lions’ miserable
stretch Sunday at Lambeau Field, though they’re certainly not
gloating about it.

”No, we don’t talk about that. I’ve heard about it,”
quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. ”I just hope we can keep it
going.’

There are certainly more pressing issues for the Packers (1-2)
coming off a bye week headed into their first NFC North game. They
had a week to stew about the wild, 34-30 loss on Sept. 22 to
Cincinnati.

A loss to the Lions would leave them in a deeper hole with
Detroit already 2-0 in the division. The Packers may get safety
Morgan Burnett back on the field after a hamstring injury, though
the status of star linebacker Clay Matthews, who has his own
hamstring injury, is in question. The sack specialist was limited
in practice Wednesday.

The defense could use him against a Lions offense that’s
clicking right now with the dynamic duo of Reggie Bush making plays
out of the backfield and receiver Calvin Johnson giving cornerbacks
typical fits. Coach Mike McCarthy said Matthews has made progress
since getting hurt at Cincinnati.

So have running backs Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, along
with fullback John Kuhn, who were full participants in practice
after using the bye to help recover from various injuries. Tight
end Jermichael Finley was back Wednesday as a full participant
after suffering a concussion against the Bengals.

The Packers’ high-powered passing game seemed to get turned down
a notch after Finley went down during the first series. He watched
the replay of the hit once, and once only.

Cleared to play after going through concussion tests Tuesday,
Finley said he felt like a ”little kid” being back at
practice.

”It took several days. I took my bye week, rested up a little,
came back in Monday and did several tests, went to the hospital and
did a couple tests. It’s a long haul,” Finley said. ”You have to
do several things to get back and you have to respect the league
for doing it. It’s much respect from me.”

About that streak against the Lions, though? No, no bulletin
board material from Finley, either.

”I feel great, man,” Finley said about the success against
Detroit at home. ”The past is in the past, though. We’re 1-2 right
now, not a good record. The Lions are on a high right now, so we
have to bring them down a little and beat them at Lambeau.”

That streak covers games played in Milwaukee, too, when Green
Bay used to play there a couple times a year. According to the
Packers, the 21-game regular-season home winning streak is three
games better than the one the Redskins had against the Lions
between 1939 and 2007.

Detroit finally broke through with a win at Washington in Week
3. The Lions’ last victory on the road against the Packers came on
Dec. 15, 1991, a 21-17 victory.

But honest to goodness, it’s not an issue, coach Mike McCarthy
said, except perhaps for reporters.

”I doubt they care what a team 20 years ago did,” said Packers
guard T.J. Lang, a Michigan native. ”I know from being over there,
the media talks a lot about it. As a player, I doubt they really
care. Every year, it’s a new year. You’ve got a new team.”

Notes: CB Jarrett Bush (hamstring) was also a full participant
at practice Wednesday. CB Casey Hayward, who hasn’t played yet this
season, remains out with a hamstring injury. RB James Starks could
also miss two weeks following a knee injury at Cincinnati …
Finley said he thought the hit from Bengals safety George Iloka
that knocked him out was clean, and that he was surprised Iloka had
been fined $15,000 by the league. ”I didn’t think it was dirty at
all,” Finley said. ”If I was the safety, I’d do the same
thing.”

Online:

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