If the Lions could only win one game against the Packers this year, which would you have chosen before last week’s game?
That is a question I thought a lot about leading up to the Thanksgiving game. The Packers have been so dominant that I didn’t even consider the scenario where the Lions took both games from them so I started thinking about which game I’d rather see them win.
Now we know that if the Lions are to take a game from the Packers it will have to be the season finale in Green Bay thanks to the loss suffered on Thanksgiving Day. That’s just fine with me, that is the game that was the answer to my question above anyway.
If you’re already ready to disagree with me don’t worry, I’m not mad at ya. It has been seemingly forever since the Lions won on Thanksgiving Day so choosing that as the one win over the Packers is a perfectly acceptable answer – I just don’t agree.
Sure, a win over the Packers in front of a national audience would have brought praise from the national media and shut up that crazy uncle that ribs the Lions at your Thanksgiving get-together every year despite not watching a down of Lions football otherwise. Ultimately, a win on Thanksgiving Day just would have led to some good talk and the end of the Thanksgiving drought.
But winning in Green Bay would end a much longer losing streak. The Lions haven’t won in the state of Wisconsin since 1991, a span of 20 games including the playoff game in 1994. It is one of the biggest remaining monkeys on the Lions’ back and one that predates the Millen-era.
We must also consider what the season finale might mean in terms of its historical significance. With the Packers marching through the season unbeaten so far the talk of a perfect regular season is starting to pick up. Should the Pack enter that final game with a 15-0 record you can bet that a Lions win would be sweeter there than it would have been on Thanksgiving Day. Of course it is possible the Packers lose before their rematch with the Lions and end up resting some of their starters. It would still be an opportunity to end an embarrassingly long losing streak and increase the chances for a win, something that would likely give them a leg up on other NFC contenders like the Bears and Falcons, both of whom have already lost to the Packers.
Losing to the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day was a punch to the gut, particularly the way it played out. Fortunately, the Lions will get another crack at the Pack and that is the game I have circled on the schedule.