GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Detroit Lions are so close to ending a two-decade stretch without a division title.

The Green Bay Packers have been so good that it's a surprise when they don't win the NFC North.

Upstarts vs. standard-bearers. Tackle Ndamukong Suh and one of the league's top defenses against quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the potent Packers offense. The winner of Sunday's showdown between Detroit and Green Bay at Lambeau Field takes the NFC North championship and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Both teams (11-4) are already guaranteed postseason berths. But the loser gets relegated to a road game next week as a wild card.

The winner gets some needed rest and a guaranteed home game in two weeks. That's considered a huge advantage in the postseason.

"Yeah, there's a lot on the line. It's an opportunity to win our fourth straight division title, which would be pretty sweet. We get a chance for a bye, which would be great to get some rest for all of us," Rodgers said. "A home playoff game is the most important thing; that's what we play for every year."

According to the Packers, this will be the first time that teams each with 11 wins will play in a regular-season finale to determine a division champion since Dallas and the New York Giants met in 1993. The Cowboys won that game — and went on to win the Super Bowl.

That year is also the last time Detroit won a division title. This often-forlorn franchise has been to the postseason just once since 2000, a 45-28 loss to New Orleans in the wild-card round in the 2011 campaign.

"One of the things that we talk to them about is the fact that this doesn't happen very often," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said when asked Sunday's game will mean to his players.

And he's just talking about the playoffs.

If Detroit wins the North, it would have earned the title by snapping a 23-game losing streak against Green Bay in Wisconsin. The last time the Lions left the state happy was a 21-17 victory at Lambeau on Dec. 15, 1991.

That's so long ago that Hall of Famer Barry Sanders was still Detroit's running back, gaining 85 yards. So forgive the Lions if they're more pumped up than usual this weekend.

"The guys have fought some real battles and have done a tremendous job and we've got a great opportunity ahead of us," Caldwell said. "And do you expect them to be a little off the ground here in the next couple of days in intensity and focus? Absolutely, because obviously we're playing a great team in a historic place."

Some key areas to watch on Sunday:

AARON'S HEALTH: The Packers practiced Tuesday, a typical day off, to get Christmas off on Thursday. Rodgers was hoping the late-week rest would help him get over a sore left calf that he strained last week against Tampa, not to mention a lingering head cold.

Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league in extending plays, and his mobility could come in handy, especially against Detroit's smothering defense. Both Rodgers and coach Mike McCarthy were confident the Pro Bowl quarterback would be able to run the full game plan against Detroit.

PICKY LIONS: Rodgers has been especially successful at Lambeau, where he has thrown 396 times and 34 straight touchdown passes without an interception — both NFL records. Rodgers' last interception at Lambeau came Dec. 2, 2012.

An improved Detroit secondary features safety Glover Quin, who leads the league with seven picks. Fellow safety James Ihedigbo has four interceptions, and the Lions have had 12 straight games with a pick.

One impressive streak is going to end.

SITTING OUT: Lions center Dominic Raiola lost his appeal of a one-game suspension for stepping on Chicago Bears defensive tackle Ego Ferguson last week, meaning he'll have to sit out Sunday's game.

Rookie Travis Swanson is next on the depth chart at center. He might be matched up against defensive lineman Mike Daniels, one of the keys to the Packers' improved play of late against the rush.

RUNNING MEN: Welcome back, Reggie Bush. The veteran, who has been slowed by injuries this season, had seven carries for 54 yards and a touchdown last week against the Bears, while also catching six passes for 44 yards.

The Packers' running game has improved in the second half of the season following a sluggish start, which included a 76-yard outing in the Week 3 loss at Detroit. Eddie Lacy, who is over the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight season, and James Starks will have to earn yards against the Lions' stout run defense.

CLAY-MAKER: Packers linebacker Clay Matthews is on a pass-rushing roll with 5 1/2 sacks in his last three games to get to 10 on the season.

"The one thing you look for more important than the sacks is the pressure that's being generated, and I felt myself around the quarterback a lot these last several games," Matthews said.

Green Bay has 10 sacks overall in its last two games.

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