NFL Nation: Vince Workman

Packers could help Lions end streak

December, 29, 2011
12/29/11
3:30
PM ET
It's been interesting listening and reading to the NFC playoff scenarios this week. It usually goes something like this: The Detroit Lions can clinch the No. 5 seed with a victory against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

I wonder if everyone realizes how monumental that would be. It's been more than 20 years since the Lions last won a game in Wisconsin: A 21-17 victory by a Lions team on its way to a 12-4 season against a Packers team that was nearing the end of a 4-12 campaign. Erik Kramer threw two touchdown passes for the Lions on a 10-degree day, and Mike Tomczak's late touchdown pass to Vince Workman left the Packers four points short.

The Lions' ensuing 19-game losing streak in Green Bay/Milwaukee is the longest against a single opponent in NFL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"I think it had a lot to do with the guys they had playing quarterback since 1991 more than anything," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said.

Which brings us to Sunday. Packers coach Mike McCarthy hasn't announced his personnel plans, but with the Packers unable to improve their playoff standing, it's hard to imagine that he will play quarterback Aaron Rodgers the entire game. (Former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon tweeted Thursday that he spoke with McCarthy and that people "should expect to see some of" backup Matt Flynn.)

The Lions have a bit more incentive, given the consequences for a fifth seed over a sixth. It makes sense for the Packers to pull back and for the Lions to push full steam ahead. In all likelihood, the game will hang on a matchup between Flynn and Matthew Stafford. Will that be the combination that ends the streak? I doubt the Lions will care.

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