Both teams attempt to win their first game of the year Sunday when the Packers visit Detroit.
Williams’ guarantee that the Lions would beat Chicago last week fell flat, as the Bears hammered Detroit 34-7.
He didn’t make the same promise for Sunday’s game, although he continued to say Detroit (0-2) should win every game if it plays to its potential.
“You can all run with this: We will win the (next) game,” the third-year receiver said. “I don’t care who it’s against. We will win the game as long as we do what we’re supposed to do. That’s my comment for the whole week.”
Williams may want to check the record books if he’s thinking about issuing another guarantee. Since Favre became Green Bay’s starter during the 1992 season, he’s 21-9 against the Lions, including two playoff wins.
The 36-year-old quarterback, who contemplated retirement after Green Bay went 4-12 last year, doesn’t possess the same skills he once had, but he’s still enjoyed plenty of success against Detroit.
Favre has completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 7,726 yards, 49 touchdowns and 35 interceptions. The passing yards are his most against any team.
The Lions have never swept a season series from the Packers with Favre at the helm, and Green Bay (0-2) has won nine of the past 11 meetings.
Favre is hoping that success carries over to this Sunday, because his team desperately needs a victory after starting the season with consecutive home losses.
Chicago shut out Green Bay 26-0 in Week 1, the first time Favre had been shut out in his career. He responded with 340 yards and three touchdowns against New Orleans in Week 2, but the Packers blew a 13-point lead and lost 34-27.
“I give them a great deal of credit, but that’s a game we should have won and we didn’t do it,” said Favre, who needs one touchdown pass to become the second player in NFL history with 400. “We may not be in that situation too often this year where we’re up 13-0 … at home. If we are, we’ve got to find a way to close that out. Not to make excuses, but inexperience and youth is a big part of that—thinking the game’s over.”
It was the first multi-touchdown game for Favre since Nov. 21 against Minnesota, but Green Bay clearly hasn’t had the start it hoped for.
The Packers are in danger of starting 0-3 for the second straight season. Before last year, when Green Bay began 0-4, the team hadn’t had a worse start since opening 1988 with five losses.
Favre attempted 607 passes and threw 29 interceptions last season, both career-highs. He posted a 70.9 passer rating—a career low—and has a 70.0 rating through the first two games.
After the Lions played defending NFC champion Seattle tough in a 9-6 loss in Week 1, they took a step backward against the Bears.
Detroit had three fumbles, committed 14 penalties and rushed for only 46 yards, though it did manage to score its first touchdown of the season.
“Let’s be honest,” said quarterback Jon Kitna, who scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter. “The Bears’ defense is a good defense, but, that being said, I thought it was a lot more of us than it was them. … We caused ourselves problems.”
Like Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy, new Detroit coach Rod Marinelli is still searching for his first NFL victory.
Detroit’s offense, led by coordinator Mike Martz, is averaging 248 yards, 26th in the NFL. The Lions have rushed for only 84 yards combined in the first two games, the second-worst total in the league.
“We’ve got to get better as a staff,” Marinelli said. “It’s about teaching. If a guy is jumping offside, then we haven’t emphasized that enough in practice. If they didn’t want to try, we would get rid of them, but they want to try.”
The Lions have lost eight of their last nine games dating to last season.
The teams split their two meetings last season, with each winning at home. Green Bay leads the all-time series 80-64-7.