8 Lions players weren’t born yet last time Detroit won at Lambeau Field
Detroit Lions fans could be forgiven if they have a hard time recalling the specifics of their team’s last victory over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, but for Eric Ebron, Ameer Abdullah and six other members of the current Lions roster, remembering isn’t even an option — because they weren’t even alive when it happened.
Hard as it is to believe, the Lions’ last win over the Packers in Green Bay came on Dec. 15, 1991, a few days after Aaron Rodgers’ eighth birthday and a season before Brett Favre ever even slipped on a Green Bay jersey for the first time.
The victory came despite a comparatively poor day from Barry Sanders, who carried the ball 27 times for 85 yards, and featured a second-half comeback from Detroit, which trailed 10-7 at the break. In the fourth quarter, a touchdown pass from Erik Kramer to Robert Clark put Detroit on top 14-10, and a 78-yard punt return touchdown from Mel Gray gave the Lions all the cushion they needed in the 21-17 win.
At the time, the Lions were in the midst of a pretty successful half-decade against their then-NFC Central rivals, having won four of its last five games road games against the Packers — including one in 1988 at Milwaukee County Stadium, where the lone loss in that window also took place.
But while 1991’s 12-4 finish and division title may have been the start of a modest run of success for Detroit, which made the playoffs in six of nine seasons between ’91 and ’99, none of that success — including a playoff meeting between the teams in 1994 — included a happy trip home from Wisconsin.
It’s gotten to a point where the questions come up every year when the Lions prepare to travel to Lambeau, and earlier this week, even Rodgers got in on the fun.
"That’s a good question, but I don’t really think it does," Rodgers said earlier this week when asked if the streak gives Green Bay an advantage, according to the Detroit Free Press. "Because there are probably some guys on both teams who weren’t born when that streak began. I’ve been a part of a lot of the games. There have been some close ones over the years, some battles. It’s just kind of fell our way the last 20 times or whatever but it’s always been very competitive."
Rodgers later clarified that he wasn’t trying to pile on, but he doesn’t have to apologize for how bad the Lions have been in the series. And in fairness, there have been some close calls over the years, including a pair of 16-13 Green Bay wins in 2004 and 2005, the latter going to overtime — however, only six of the 24 losses have come by seven points or less.
Now to be fair (or perhaps to pile on further), the Lions’ road losing streak against the Packers isn’t the longest in terms of years between victories. That honor goes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who haven’t lost to Detroit at home since 1955. However, the teams have only played in the Steel City 10 times in that span, effectively highlighting how remarkable Detroit’s road drought against the Packers has been.
Unfortunately, if you’re a Lions fan looking for an end to the streak, it probably won’t come this weekend, either. The 6-2 Packers host 1-7 Detroit on Sunday, and after two straight losses for Green Bay, it’s highly unlikely that the woeful Lions hand them a third.
Still, Detroit’s players are remaining positive — and after more than two decades of futility on the Frozen Tundra, what other choice do they have?
"You know how I feel about records," Lions safety Glover Quin — a 5-year-old at the time of the ’91 win — told the Detroit Free Press earlier this week. "If it’s there, somebody’s going to break it at some point in time. Some streak is going to get snapped at some point in time, and this is the perfect year to go up and snap the streak."
You can follow Sam Gardner on Twitter or email him at email@example.com.