December 15, 1991. That’s the date of the Detroit Lions last win at Lambeau Field. The Lions play NFC North rival Green Bay Packers on the road once every season and can’t seem to win at the NFL’s second oldest stadium. During Sunday Night Football, the Lions extended the streak to 22 straight losses at Lambeau Field, to extend an NFL record.
After securing a 14-0 lead, two costly turnovers by the Lions made the score 14-10 in favor of Detroit at halftime. The Packers fought back and won the game 27-20, as Detroit could only secure two field goals from Jason Hanson in the second half.
The loss by the Lions extends a shameful streak of losses at Lambeau Field. In 1991, the Lions won at Lambeau behind a 78 yard punt return by Mel J. Gray that gave the Lions a 21-10 lead. The Lions won the game 21-17 on a day that featured 10 degree weather and a wind chill of negative six degrees. Barry Sanders rushed for 85 yards during the win and Robert Clark added two touchdowns from quarterback Erik Kramer. Eddie Murray kicked the extra points for the Lions and is the last Lions kicker to win at Lambeau. That’s correct, legendary Lions kicker Jason Hanson has not won in Green Bay.
Lambeau Field is known for having a huge home field advantage for the Packers, particularly in the cold winter months. The outdoor stadium now has a heated field, but as seen today can have slippery conditions that cause turnovers and trouble for players not used to playing outside in the snow. Lambeau was named for legendary team owner Curly and is the second oldest stadium in the NFL behind the Chicago Bears Soldier Field.
Sunday’s win gave the Packers an impressive 6-1 home record. The win also kept the Packers ahead of the Bears in the NFC North standings.
In 1991, the Lions won both meetings against the Packers, who finished with a 4-12 record. The Lions won the NFC North with a 12-4 record and secured a home playoff game in the 1991 NFL Playoffs. After beating the Dallas Cowboys at the Pontiac Silverdome, the Lions would lose to the Washington Redskins in the NFC Championship Game.
After Sunday’s win, the Packers now hold a 93-65-7 all-time record in the series with the Lions. The Lions will have to wait another year to try and break the streak. Perhaps the Lions should start holding some outdoor practices in the snow to get ready for their next opportunity.