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Packers Lions Preview

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The past two games between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions exemplified the biggest difference between these two teams.

Green Bay has an uncanny ability to win close games. Detroit keeps finding new ways to lose them.

The Packers swept their two regular-season meetings with the Lions last year despite never leading either game until Mason Crosby made a game-winning field goal as time expired. They meet again Sunday in Green Bay's home opener.

"It was pretty much a miracle that we were able to win both those games," Packers coach Matt LaFleur said.

The Lions are trying to bounce back after blowing a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 27-23 loss to Chicago last week.

That marked Detroit's 10th consecutive defeat, a skid that began last November.

"It doesn't matter if you lose it, win it, win it by 10, lose it by 10, whatever it is, lose a close one, win a close one," Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "You've got to move on to the next one. Shoot, lucky for us, Green Bay gets our attention pretty quick."

Green Bay went 9-1 last year in games decided by eight points or fewer before opening this season with a 43-34 victory at Minnesota. Detroit had a 2-0-1 record early last season with a pair of three-point victories, but has since gone 1-9 in games decided by eight points or fewer.

The Lions have lost 11 games they led in the fourth quarter under coach Matt Patricia, who just took over in 2018.

Detroit will have a tough time building a lead against a Green Bay offense operating at peak efficiency. 

Aaron Rodgers threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns without an interception against the Vikings. Davante Adams caught 14 passes to tie Don Hutson's 78-year-old franchise single-game record.

But the Packers are taking nothing for granted.

"Quite frankly, they should have won last week," LaFleur said. "There's no doubt about it. And they definitely could have beaten us twice last year. So you know we've got a big task in front of us."

Here are some things to know heading into the Lions-Packers game.

The Detroit Lions will be without a starting offensive guard against Green Bay. Detroit put guard Joe Dahl on injured reserve due to a groin injury on Saturday, a day before playing the Packers on the road.

The Lions signed guard Kenny Wiggins off the practice squad. Detroit also elevated defensive back Dee Virgin and defensive tackle Kevin Strong from the practice squad. Oday Aboushi will likely replace Dahl in the lineup.

The Lions have ruled out wide receiver Kenny Golladay and cornerback Desmond Trufant against Green Bay.

On Saturday the Packers placed WR Equanimeous St. Brown on injured reserve and elevated TE John Lovett and DL Willington Previlon from the practice squad to the active roster for gameday. The transactions were announced by General Manager Brian Gutekunst.

Alec Ausmus

Sports reporter

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