Who has scored all the touchdowns in the Packers-Lions series?
Before you read the rest of this blog, see if you can answer this trivia question: Which Green Bay Packers’ player has scored the most career touchdowns in games versus the Detroit Lions?
Answer in the text.
The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions on Sunday will face off for the 184th time (regular season games). The game will be played in Detroit. The Pack holds a 103-73-7 lead in the series that began in 1930 when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Portsmouth Spartans, 47-13.
The Lions won the last contest between the teams, 37-30 in Detroit, and have won three of the last five versus the Packers in Detroit.
In the 24 games between the two teams since 2010, Green Bay holds a 15-9 advantage.
In the 183 previous games, Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson has the most TDs scored in this series with 15. Here are the Detroit Lions players with the most career TDs in games versus the Packers:
7-Marvin Jones, Barry Sanders, Doak Walker
On the other side of the ball, the most career TDs versus the Lions by a Packers player is 11 by Hall of Fame fullback Jim Taylor.
Here are the Green Bay Packers players with the most career TDs in games versus the Lions:
8-Ahman Green, Don Hutson
7-Davante Adams, Carroll Dale, Aaron Jones, Max McGee
Rodgers chases Brady, Brees in passing stat
In the Packers’ loss to the Washington Commanders, QB Aaron Rodgers attempted 35 passes, had a pair of TD passes to Aaron Jones, and did not have a pass intercepted. It was the 45th time in his career that he reached those numbers in an NFL regular season game.
Rodgers 45 games with 35+ pass attempts, two or more TD passes and no interceptions in a game rank third all-time behind Tom Brady and Drew Brees on the NFL list. Brady tops the list with 62 such games; Brees is second with 50.
It’s interest to note that in the two games this season that Rodgers reached those numbers, the Packers lost. The team is now 33-12 in games when Rodgers reaches these passing stats, a .733 winning percentage.
Here is a look at the NFL all-time Top 10 in this category… career games with 35+ passing attempts, two or more TD passes, and no interceptions.
Tom Brady, 62
Drew Brees, 50
Aaron Rodgers, 45
Peyton Manning, 33
Matt Ryan, 32
Brett Favre, 27
Ben Roethlisberger, 24
Matthew Stafford, 22
Philip Rivers, 21
Kirk Cousins, 21
Rodgers and Favre were not the only two Packers’ QBs to reach these stats in a game. Rodgers tops the Green Bay list with his 45 games followed by Favre with 25 during his time with the Pack. Also on the list are: Don Majkowski (two games) and Brett Hundley, Mike Tomczak, Randy Wright and Tobin Rote with one game each.
Packers kick returns have not helped the points column for a long time
The Green Bay Packers’ special teams has been a whipping boy for the teams’ struggles for a long time. The unfortunate part is that there are elements of the special teams that have been good.
You don’t have to look much further than Mason Crosby for a Packers’ special teams player who has succeeded. In fact. Crosby, the Pack’s kicker since 2007, has fashioned a career that could end in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Even some of the punters have had degrees of success. But one area where the Packers special teams have struggled has been with punt and kickoff teams. Specifically, the Packers running back kick-offs and punts and coverage when they are punting or kicking off to opponents.
Recently, I heard a friend question: When was the last time Green Bay even had a kick-off or punt returned for a TD? Great question. Problem is, as a Packers fan, you may not want to hear the answer.
Well, here goes…
The last time the Packers returned a kick-off for a TD: September 8, 2011, by Randall Cobb (yes, he did return kicks at one time in his career).
The last time the Packers returned a punt for a TD: December 28, 2014, by Micah Hyde.
One, a kick-off return for TD, has been more than a decade, while the other, a punt returned for TD, is fast approaching 10 years since.
When you look at the last time opponents have returned a kick-off and punt for TD, it’s a lot more recent…
The last time an opponent returned a kick-off for a TD: December 23, 2018, by Andre Roberts of the New York Jets.
The last time an opponent returned a punt for a TD: December 21, 2021, by Jakeem Grant of the Chicago Bears.
Here’s another eye-opening stat: If you turn the calendar back to 2015, the Packers have no kick-off returns for TD and no punt returns for TD. The opponents, on the other hand, have two kick-offs for TD and three punts for TD.
Considering that the 2022 Packers are struggling at 3-3 after Week #6, it would be nice if the special teams other than Crosby could help put some points on the board. Based on what we’ve seen, however, it may be another year with no kicks returned for TD for the green and gold.
Packers at 3-2: Fans rally around the ‘Don’t forget the 2010 season’
No doubt the loss to the New York Giants in London was a tough pill to swallow for the green and gold faithful… especially in a game where they held a 10-point lead at halftime (in the 61 games prior where the Pack had a 10-point or larger lead at halftime they were 57-3-1).
But as they say… on to next week.
The Packers stand at 3-2 on the season and a game behind the Vikings in the NFC North. They are currently one of eight teams with a 3-2 record.
Since 2008, the year that Aaron Rodgers took over as starting QB for the Packers, the team has now been 3-2 after five games in six of those seasons. In fact, many all-knowing Packers fans will quickly point out that when the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2011 (2010 season), they started that 2010 campaign with a 3-2 record, and in fact saw their record drop to .500 at 3-3 that season with a 23-20 overtime loss the following week to Miami.
Here’s a look at some numbers from the first five games of the season from 2008-2021 (14 seasons):
Started season, Made playoffs, Season record
2-3, 2 times (2008, 2012)
made playoffs once, finished 6-10 and 11-5
2-2-1, Once (2018)
did not make playoffs, finished 6-9-1
3-2, 5 times (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016)
made playoffs five times, finished 11-5, 10-6, 8-7-1, 12-4 and 10-6
won Super Bowl after 2010 season
4-1, 4 times (2017, 2019, 2020, 2021)
made playoffs three times, finished 8-7-1, 13-3, 13-3, 13-4
5-0, 2 times (2011, 2015)
made playoffs twice, finished 15-1, 10-6
Based on research on pro-football-reference.com, there were 131 teams that started the season 3-2 from 2008-2021. Of those 131, 46.6% made the playoffs that year. Included in those 131 teams are five 3-2 teams that went on to win the Super Bowl (2010-Green Bay, 2011-New York Giants, 2014-New England, 2018-New England, and 2020-Tampa Bay, and four 3-2 teams that lost in the Super Bowl.
Note: Had the Packers won the game this past weekend versus the Giants, they would have been 4-1 for the fourth straight year.
Rashan Gary is becoming a sack machine
Four games this season… four games where Rashan Gary has a sack.
Gary collected a sack in his fourth straight game this season with a two-sack performance on Sunday against the New England Patriots. His stat line also included seven combined tackles, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. Significant work for the 4th-year Packer who was the team’s first round pick (12th overall) in the 2019 draft.
Gary has 21.5 sacks in 51 career games and has had at least one sack in 18 of those games… the Packers are 16-2 in those contests. He has at least one sack in nine of his last 12 games.
Gary’s run of a sack in four straight games this season puts him in some special company: He becomes the 11th player in Green Bay history to have a sack in four consecutive games. The team record is five games held by Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and Tim Harris who each had sacks in five straight games in their careers. Gary will look to join this duo if he can secure a sack versus the New York Giants this Sunday in the Pack’s contest in London.
Here are the 11 Green Bay players who have had four or more consecutive games with a sack:
Matthews tops the above list with four times that he had sacks in four or more consecutive games. Harris did it three times, while Gbaja-Biamila, Jones and White each twice had streaks of four or more straight games with a sack in their careers.
There have been 40 times in the league where a player had at least one sack in seven or more straight games. Chris Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018 set the NFL record for most consecutive games with a sack with 11. Prior to that, DeMarcus Ware (Cowboys in 2007-08) and Simon Fletcher (Denver, 1992-93) held the record with 10 straight games with a sack.
Those 40 times where a player had seven or more consecutive games with a sack has been done by 36 players. Four players, Reggie White, DeMarcus ware, Robert Mathis and Simon Fletcher) each accomplished this feat twice in their careers.