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Lions must take advantage of home field against Packers

Given their history at Lambeau Field, the Detroit Lions need to take advantage of Sunday's home game against the Green Bay Packers.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions' struggles in road games against the Green Bay Packers over the years are no secret. The Lions haven't won a road game against the Packers since 1991. Lambeau Field has proven to be a house of horrors for the Lions, and that is where they will wrap up their 2014 regular season.

On Sunday, the Packers are coming to town to take on the Lions at Ford Field. It's still extremely early in the season, but the importance of Sunday's game shouldn't be overlooked given the location of the Lions' season finale. By the end of the season, the Lions could be battling the Packers for a playoff spot or even the NFC North title, and it's a huge advantage for Green Bay that the Lions have to go to Lambeau in Week 17. That's why the Lions have to take advantage this week and hold serve at home, where they have actually had some success over the last couple decades against the Packers (by their standards, anyway). Take a look:

At home against Packers (Ford Field/Silverdome)

2013: Won, 40-10
2012: Lost, 24-20
2011: Lost, 27-15
2010: Won, 7-3
2009: Lost, 34-12
2008: Lost, 48-25
2007: Lost, 37-26
2006: Lost, 31-24
2005: Won, 17-3
2004: Lost, 38-10
2003: Won, 22-14
2002: Lost, 37-31
2001: Lost, 29-27
2000: Won, 31-24
1999: Won, 23-15
1998: Won, 27-20
1997: Won, 26-15
1996: Lost, 31-3
1995: Won, 24-16
1994: Won, 34-31
1993: Lost, 28-24 (playoffs)
1993: Won, 30-20
1992: Lost, 27-13

RECORD: 11-12

(Note: The years listed are representative of the season, not the exact date of each game.)

Winning less than half of your games against a team at home obviously isn't great, but keep in mind how many bad teams the Lions had and how many good teams the Packers had during this time. Plus, a near-.500 record looks quite good compared to the Lions' road record against the Packers from 1992-2013:

On the road against Packers (Lambeau Field/Milwaukee County Stadium)

2013: Lost, 22-9
2012: Lost, 27-20
2011: Lost, 45-41
2010: Lost, 28-26
2009: Lost, 26-0
2008: Lost, 31-21
2007: Lost, 34-13
2006: Lost, 17-9
2005: Lost, 16-13 (OT)
2004: Lost, 16-13
2003: Lost, 31-6
2002: Lost, 40-14
2001: Lost, 28-6
2000: Lost, 26-13
1999: Lost, 26-17
1998: Lost, 38-19
1997: Lost, 20-10
1996: Lost, 28-18
1995: Lost, 30-21
1994: Lost, 16-12 (playoffs)
1994: Lost, 38-30
1993: Lost, 26-17
1992: Lost, 38-10

RECORD: 0-23

(Note: The years listed are representative of the season, not the exact date of each game.)

Although each year's team is different and you never know what could happen by Week 17, it would be unrealistic to expect a Lions win at Green Bay at the end of the season given their history there. As a result, the Lions need to make use of their home-field advantage on Sunday and come away with a win to stay a step ahead of the Packers. By the end of the year, the game at Lambeau could very well turn out to be meaningless, but if the Lions want to truly compete for a division title, they can't really afford to drop a home game to the Packers.