Packers-Lions Series History: Games in Detroit (Part 1 of 4)

Owing to the extremely short week between games, I am having to rush two parts of my "series history" posts regarding the Green Bay Packers playing the Detroit Lions. Here's how the other three parts will look at this series' history:

Part 2: The Packers-Lions history on Thanksgiving Day.

Part 3: The Packers-Lions games in Green Bay and Milwaukee.

Part 4: General series overview.

I will post Part 2 later this week, depending on my schedule. I will post Parts 3 and 4 before the game in Green Bay.

More on the games in Detroit after the jump.

The Detroit Lions started out in the NFL as the Portsmouth Spartans, playing their home games in southern Ohio. The Spartans never lost to the Packers in Ohio during this time, winning two games and tying one. The team moved to Detroit for the 1934 season and became the Lions.

From 1934-1947, the Packers won 12 of 14 games in Detroit. Included in this run were some blowouts, even when the games in Green Bay or Milwaukee were close or Lions wins. In 1940, for instance, the Lions won 23-14 in Green Bay, while the Packers won 50-7 in Detroit.

In the late 1940s and for most of the 1950s, the Packers were a very bad team, and, like many series, it showed in this one. The Lions won 10 of 11 games in Detroit during this span.

When Lombardi arrived, the teams traded wins in Detroit, then tied during the 1963 season. Lombardi would win his last four games in Detroit as Packers coach. Even in the late 1960s, the Packers and Lions tied in Detroit in 1968, and then the Packers won in 1969. However, the Lions ended the Packers' 1970 season on a low note, winning the game in Detroit 20-0, and ending Phil Bengston's time as Packers head coach.

Until the late 1970s, the Packers only won in Detroit during Dan Devine's 1972 season, when Green Bay won the NFC Central title. The Lions won every other game in Detroit until 1978. Then in the opening game of the 1978 season, the Packers won 13-7 in the Silverdome. The 1979 season was a disaster for the Lions, when they lost their starting quarterback for the season before the regular season even began, and the Packers again won in the Silverdome in the final game of the season.

In the 1980s, the Lions started by winning five straight games in Detroit, followed by three straight Packers wins in the mid-1980s. This includes a game where the Packers had a late punt return touchdown, winning 44-40. The Lions then won 3 of 4 home games before Favre showed up.

The only NFC Central team the Packers would sweep in 1992 would be the Lions. Following this, the Packers struggled nearly every year in the Silverdome, winning just the playoff game in 1993 and in late 1996. This trend would continue until the 2000 season.

In 2001, the Lions started the season 0-12, with the Packers winning in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day. This would begin nearly a decade of Packer dominance over the Lions. The Packers have won 7 of 10 games in Detroit during this span, losing only in 2003, 2005, and 2010.

Overall, the Lions currently lead the series in Detroit 41-36-3, while the Packers lead the playoff series in Detroit 1-0. What are your memories of the Packers and Lions playing each other in Detroit?

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