Aidan Hutchinson hopes Lions become 'prime-time team'

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- For Aidan Hutchinson, practice makes perfect. And not just on the football field.

As the Detroit Lions' No. 2 overall pick prepares to make his prime-time debut against the Green Bay Packers on "Sunday Night Football," the Michigan native admitted to rehearsing his player introduction lines in the mirror before shooting the actual video after Thursday's practice.

"A couple times," Hutchinson said, smiling. "I feel like it's so iconic with everybody. So, it's going to be fun and like I said, everything about this game is what I love about football."

When the Lions travel to Lambeau Field to face the Packers, it'll be Detroit's first prime-time game since Week 2 of last season -- which was also at Green Bay.

"It's really big, and I think we're excited for it," Lions quarterback Jared Goff said on the magnitude of the national game. "I think it's something we've earned, and we're playing for a playoff spot, and been through a lot this year. We're ready for a game that'll be fun in front of everybody."

The Lions are the only team that hasn't played in a prime-time this season -- outside of their annual Thanksgiving Day Game.

After a 1-6 start, Detroit (8-8) has won seven of its past nine games to earn an opportunity to clinch its first playoff berth since 2016. They need to beat the Packers and the Seattle Seahawks need to lose to the Rams. In Week 9, the Lions beat Green Bay 15-9 at Ford Field but are 3-27 on the road against the Packers since 1992.

"No doubt. This is huge, man. Obviously, we can't control our entire destiny, but either we're getting in or we're knocking someone out so it's going to be fun," Hutchinson said. "I'm just so excited to be prime time. To do my intro here pretty soon for "Sunday Night Football." Everything about being on a prime-time game and being one of those prime-time teams is something that I think playing for the Lions that I want to get used to."

Hutchinson and linebacker James Houston are the first pair of rookie teammates to each record at least 7.0 sacks in a season since sacks became official in 1982. Hutchinson has registered 7.5 sacks and Houston has 8.0 sacks in his first six career games -- the fastest mark for any player, per ESPN Stats & Information research.

If any Lions rookie gets a sack at Green Bay, Detroit (18.5) has a chance to surpass the 1999 Titans (19) for the most combined sacks by rookies in a season. Hutchinson is also tied for the team lead in interceptions (three) and could potentially become the first rookie in NFL history to lead his team in both sacks and interceptions in one season, regardless of position, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

As he works to reshape the culture in Motown, Hutchinson is hoping to have more opportunities for national games.

"I know that we didn't have any this year besides the Thanksgiving game, but that was a 12:30 [p.m.] game and people were still waking up I feel like. So to have this one is going to be special and hopefully we'll have more next year so yeah, I'm going to take advantage of it and play my best ball," Hutchinson said.