Lions-Packers Final Thoughts: Darrell Bevel's consistent message; Random Thoughts on defending Aaron Rodgers, and his stats; Adrian Peterson's emotion; Jonah Jackson helping the offensive line and my pick:
The message is the same, with the hope of getting the same results in Darrell Bevell's second game as interim head coach of the Lions.
"Keep playing" is the mantra that got the Lions through rough spots in last week's 34-30 win over the Chicago Bears.
The Lions are facing a much tougher test today in a game against the Green Bay Packers, and while the the game plans might change, the message "Keep Playing" won't.
"That's the thing we're trying to instill, is to do exactly that," Bevell said. "Make sure you don't measure the game.
"You've seen it before. You get great momentum from the opening kickoff or touchdown and you lose 35-7. You're up at the half, 21-0, and you lose 28-21."
We've already seen plenty of that from the Lions this year. Double-digit leads vanished repeatedly – including against the Packers, when they saw a 14-3 lead in Week 2 turn into a 42-21 loss.
The Lions are on the fringe of the NFC playoff race with a 5-7 record and four games left.
They have a tough four-game stretch ahead of them: Packers (9-3), Titans (8-4), Bucs (7-5) and Vikings (6-6).
The Lions will have to just play their best ball every week to get through that gauntlet.
"It doesn't really matter how you start, although you want to start well," Bevell said. "It does matter how you finish, whether you break it down to a play, break it down to a quarter, to a half and all the way through the end of the game.
"Don't measure it. It helps you avoiding the emotions you get caught up in in the game.
"It's just play the next play. Let's go ... have a great time doing it. And at the end, when the clock has 0:00, that's the time to look up and see how the game went.
"That's what we're trying to get here."
Defending Aaron Rodgers: It isn't one thing the Lions have to do to hold Rodgers in check. It's everything, and that might not be enough.
"Playing Aaron Rodgers makes you adjust to everything," Bevell said. "He does an outstanding job of understanding and diagnosing what you're presenting him, and then he gets the ball out as quickly as anybody."
Rodgers' ratio: An amazing stat: Rodgers has 36 TD passes and only four interceptions. That breaks down to three TD passes per game, and one interception every three games.
Talk about playing keep away.
Adrian Peterson, jacked up: Peterson's display of emotion after scoring the game-winning touchdown last week shows what the game still means to him in his 14th season.
On his 16th carry of the game, and the 3,171st of his career, he scored on a five-yard run and celebrated as if he were a rookie back in 2007.
"To have that moment, it's a situation where you can help seal the deal -- not settling for three points," Peterson said as he prepared for today's game.
"It came out (the emotion) in the end zone, when I was able to spike the ball. One big moment played out."
Near the goal line, I say play it out again.
"I feel good on the left side," Jackson said. "I played there in previous years."
Peterson ran through the left side on his winning touchdown.
"Just a regular zone downhill play," Jackson said. "Just try to punch it in. I had to make sure I was tight inside so Adrian could cut inside.
"He did his job by taking on two guys and leaping into the end zone."
Prediction: I like the message Bevell has sent since taking over as interim head coach, but there is a real question of whether what worked against the Bears, who've lost six straight games, will work against the Packers, who've won six NFC North titles in the last nine seasons. The Lions can score on the Packers, but the Packers can score more. Look for the Lions to make it a game.
Pick: Packers 30, Lions 26.