The Detroit Lions have been a dominant team on offense at Ford Field but an average one on the road during the 2022 season, a fact that should favor the Green Bay Packers when the Lions visit Lambeau Field for the regular season finale on Sunday night.
It certainly won’t hurt the Packers – who are one win away from a playoff spot – that a dome team will be playing outdoors in January weather in Wisconsin to close the season.
Over nine home games this season, the Lions scored an NFL-high 298 points (33.1 per game), averaged 6.32 yards per play (second-best) and outscored opponents by 70 points (fourth-best) despite a 5-4 record.
On the road, the fearsome Lions lose their roar.
Over seven road games in 2022, the Lions scored points (19.3 per game), averaged 5.46 yards per play and were outscored by opponents by 48 points (ninth-worst) while posting a 3-4 record.
It’s important to note that the Lions have won three of the last four games on the road, including a 13-point win over the sixth-seeded New York Giants in November. Many of the Lions’ statistical issues stem from playing a three-game stretch against the Vikings, Patriots and Cowboys during the first half of the season when the Lions started 1-6. It’s turned around lately, but not all the way. This is still a much better football team when playing at Ford Field.
Nothing shows the split better than the Lions’ passing numbers home and away.
At Ford Field, Lions quarterback Jared Goff has thrown 23 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. Detroit ranks first in home touchdown passes and passer rating (109.3), second (only to Green Bay) in interceptions thrown at home and third in passing yards (2,478).
Away from home, Goff has thrown six touchdown passes (fourth-fewest) and four interceptions, with an 87.6 passer rating.
It’s worth noting that Detroit’s run game also has a drastic home/road split. At home, the Lions are averaging 5.1 yards per rush. On the road? Only 3.8.
The same idea applies situationally.
On third down, the Lions convert 46.8 percent of the time at home (third-best) and only 34.1 percent of the time on the road (fifth-worst).
On fourth down, the Lions convert 56.3 percent of the time at home and only 47.4 percent of the time on the road.
The Lions have only six turnovers in nine games at home and nine turnovers in seven games on the road.
The last time the Lions went on the road, Detroit gave up 520 total yards – including 320 rushing yards – in a 37-22 loss to the Carolina Panthers, who are now eliminated from playoff contention.
Can the Packers, with a playoff spot on the line, take advantage of a team that favors playing indoors at home? Lambeau Field could be a deciding factor come Sunday night.
Lions home/road splits, 2022
Home (9 games)
Away (7 games)