Green Bay Packers

The Lions Are A Different Team On the Road This Year

Photo credit: Mark Hoffmann-Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers have their most important game of the season on Sunday. If they beat the Detroit Lions, they will reach the playoffs after being 4-8 with a 2% chance of making the postseason after 12 weeks. It will be a Sunday Night Football game at Lambeau Field, and playing at home may be a huge factor in determining the winner.

“Hopefully, our fans show up and show out for us and support us and don’t sell your tickets to the Lions fans,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said on Monday.

Detroit Lions

The game could have a strange feeling. Besides beating the Packers, the Lions need a Seattle Seahawks loss to get in. Therefore, if the Seahawks beat the Los Angeles Rams earlier on Sunday, the Lions will step on the field already eliminated from contention. Regardless, the Lions have been much different playing at Ford Field and away from home this season.

Detroit started 0-3 in away games. But the good news for them is they won three of the last four. Still, their offensive production has suffered on the road. The Lions have averaged 19.2 points in their away games, but they average 33.1 points per game at Ford Field.

Dan Campbell‘s team is 3-4 playing away from Detroit and 5-4 at home. NFC teams played one extra home game this season, but the Green Bay Packers didn’t have this advantage because they played the extra game against the New York Giants in London.

“It means something that we climbed back out of the cellar and got ourselves in position to play for one more meaningful game here before the year ends,” Campbell mentioned. “And that’s a step in the right direction.”

The Lions had some bad away losses to start the season, which included the New England Patriots shutting them out and the Dallas Cowboys blowing them out, 24-6. They had a good sequence of two away wins with good offensive production, beating the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants, scoring 31 points in each game. However, they haven’t scored more than 23 in the last two.

Jared Goff

Goff has had the best year since he led the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl in 2018.

He’s ninth in EPA+CPOE composite (expected points added per play and completion percentage above expected), seventh in passer rating, sixth in QBR, fifth in adjusted yards gained per pass attempt, fourth in touchdown passes, and sixth in total yards. Statistically, there is no question that Goff has been the best quarterback in the NFC North in 2022. But that’s not necessarily true in away games.

Goff had just one away game with a passer rating above 90, and it was against the tanking Chicago Bears. He had poor performances against the Minnesota Vikings (79.0 passer rating), New England Patriots (62.7), Dallas Cowboys (71.2), New York Giants (83.0), and New York Jets (88.9).

His splits home and away made him look like two different players.

Jared Goff in home games

  • 65.8 completion percentage
  • 274.6 yards per game
  • 2.5 touchdowns per game
  • 0.3 interceptions per game
  • 109.3 passer rating

Jared Goff in away games

  • 63.7 completion percentage
  • 248.8 yards per game
  • 0.8 touchdowns per game
  • 0.57 interceptions per game
  • 87.6 passer rating

Since Goff played with the Rams, there’s a narrative that he performed worse in cold-weather games. This season, his passer rating in indoor games is 103.7, and it goes down to 91.8 in outdoor games. Historically, Goff tends to throw many more interceptions in outdoor stadiums. The Sunday matchup won’t be played under particularly cold weather, as the forecast for Green Bay indicates temperatures between 21° and 30°. Nonetheless, it’s still a much different situation than playing indoors.

The Packers

Even in a turbulent season, the Packers have still been relatively good at home. They won seven games at Lambeau, against the Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, and Minnesota Vikings. Their only losses in Green Bay were to the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans. The Packers averaged 25.3 points per game at home, and the number decreased to 19.3 for away games.

Aaron Rodgers, in particular, has been much better playing at Lambeau Field. His passer rating at home is 101.4, and it goes down to 81.9 in away games. His TD:INT ratio goes from 14:2 down to 11:9.

The game against the Lions will be a tough one because Detroit started the season 1-6 and was able to recover and get to Week 18 with a real shot to make the postseason. However, Lambeau Field is a significant factor, and the Packers must take advantage of that to go to the playoffs.

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