GREEN BAY – Lions safety Glover Quin says stopping Aaron Rodgers is about stopping the Packers' running game.
"I think they like to run the ball. When you can slow down the running game, that makes it harder to pass the ball. They played against Minnesota and they were able to run the ball and they pulled off a really big win. It's about getting the run game stopped," Quin told Packers media on Sunday.
Quin and the resurgent Lions will host the Packers on Thursday in a game of critical importance to the visitors. The Lions are on a three-game winning streak, but a 1-7 start sabotaged their playoff hopes.
The first of the Lions' three straight wins was at Green Bay on Nov. 15. The Lions defense, No. 26 in the league and No. 30 against the run heading into that game, held the Packers in check until a desperate dash late in the game. The key to victory, in Quin's opinion, was holding the Packers to 47 yards rushing. It allowed the Lions to be physically aggressive with the Packers' receivers.
"It worked well for us that day. We executed what we were trying to get done that day. We made enough plays to give ourselves a chance to win," Quin said.
Quin made it sound as though the Lions will rely on the same defensive game plan the second time around.
"I still see Aaron Rodgers and I still see Clay Matthews. I still see the same offense. They have talent all over the field. All it takes is for those guys to start making some plays, and they're still the same group. I still see them as an explosive offense, and we have to make sure we get this run game stopped so we give ourselves a chance to win," Quin said.
What have the Lions done to rebound from 1-7 to 4-7?
"We took a hard look at who we are and what we were doing. We went back to the drawing board. We had to get everyone on board and everyone bought in. We always knew we were talented, we just weren't playing very well. These last few weeks, we've been executing better defensively and we've been stopping the run," he said.
Since the win over the Packers, the Lions defense has risen to No. 20 overall, No. 24 against the run, and those rankings are likely to improve when new rankings are released following today's games.
"When you win, you feel better," Quin said.
Stopping the Packers' running game will focus on stopping Eddie Lacy, who has reached the 100-yard mark in consecutive games.
"He's definitely a tough tackle. Guys in the open field are missing him, guys in the hole are missing him. You can't rely on one guy getting him down. You have to swarm him. We have to make sure we're doing a great job of gang tackling," Quin said.
Asked if winning out is the goal, Quin said: "We can't win out if we don't win on Thursday. That's where my focus is, win on Thursday, and then we'll move onto the next game."