Lions vs. Packers preview: Go out on a high note
James Hawkins of The Detroit News breaks down Sunday’s Lions-Packers game at Ford Field (1 p.m. Fox/WJR 760).
PACKERS TO WATCH
Brett Hundley, QB: Hundley has played far better on the road than at home this season. In his last three starts away from Lambeau Field, he has completed 72.2 percent (70-for-97) of his passes for 722 yards and seven touchdowns. Only three of his 10 interceptions this season have come on the road, with all three coming in a Week 6 loss at Minnesota.
Blake Martinez, LB: The second-year pro has nearly doubled his defensive production from last season and leads the league with 138 total tackles. Martinez has recorded at least 10 tackles in a game eight times this season, including 10 in the teams’ Week 9 meeting. He also has six passes defensed and an interception.
Randall Cobb, WR: With top receivers Davante Adams (concussion) and Jordy Nelson (shoulder) both sidelined with injuries, Hundley has to throw the ball to someone and Cobb should receive a healthy number of targets. He ranks second on the team in receptions (62) and receiving yards (608).
■ End of an era? While coach Jim Caldwell won’t speculate about his future, it’s the biggest question heading into the finale. Will Caldwell’s four-year run come to a close after last week’s disastrous to the Bengals eliminated the Lions from playoff contention? Or will a win and a second straight winning season will be enough to help save his job?
■ Ziggy’s push: This game doesn’t appear to have much meaning, but it does for contract-year players like defensive end Ziggy Ansah. With five sacks his last five games and a three-sack outing against the Bengals last week, a repeat performance and strong finish would certainly boost Ansah’s case in free agency
■ Last chance: While Caldwell said he has no plans to rest his starters nor play Jake Rudock over Matthew Stafford at quarterback, the finale could still be an opportunity for some of the younger players to get a longer look. Rookies Jarrad Davis, Teez Tabor, Kenny Golladay and Jalen Reeves-Maybin all played career-high snap counts last week and could top that this week.
■ Snap streak: The Packers and Lions have met in the regular-season finale 14 times over their long rivalry. Green Bay holds a 7-6-1 edge in those matchups and has won each of the last five (2007, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2016), highlighted by the de facto NFC North title game the past two meetings.
FACTS AND FIGURES
■ Ziggy Ansah has recorded at least three sacks in a game three times in his career, joining Robert Porcher as the only Lions player to achieve the feat since 1982.
■ Quandre Diggs is the first Lions player with interceptions in three consecutive games since Glover Quin had an interception in four straight games from Week 13-16 in 2014.
■ Matthew Stafford joined Drew Brees as the only players in NFL history to throw for at least 4,000 yards in seven straight seasons.
■ Darius Slay’s 23 passes defensed is tied for the second-most in a single season by a Lions players since 1991 with Robert Bailey (23 in 1999).
■ Tahir Whitehead (104 tackles) is the eighth Lions defender since 1991 to record 100-plus tackles in multiple seasons.
■ Matt Prater joined Jason Hanson as the only players to score 120-plus points in a season twice during their career in Detroit.
■ Golden Tate ranks sixth in the league and leads all receivers with 529 yards after the catch this season.