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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