All the way back in Week 3, the Lions beat the Packers, 19-7, in Detroit. The Lions limited Aaron Rodgers to 162 yards – his second fewest of the season – and they limited the Packers to their season-low in points.
But did we mention that was back in Week 3?
In other words, is there anything from that game that Detroit can apply to this Sunday’s game at Lambeau? Especially with the NFC North up for grabs?
“Both teams are doing different things now,” Lions safety James Ihedigbo said on Tiki and Tierney. “We did a good job then. We had a great game plan, we executed it well, we made life tough for (Rodgers). So we have to take on a similar mindset, but we’re going to have a few different wrinkles. That was so early on in the season that teams are really playing their top football at this time of year.”
But how do you stop Rodgers? He’s an MVP favorite, and he’s undefeated at home. Plus, if the Lions beat Green Bay – and Seattle and Arizona both lose – Detroit would have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
There’s a lot at stake this Sunday.
“Yeah, it’s a huge game; it’s a huge game,” Ihedigbo said. “We understand that. We knew winning last week would lead up to this game as the main event. We’re excited about it. We know they’re going to be ready, but we’re going to be ready as well. In terms of stopping Rodgers, you got to limit him. I don’t know if it’s possible to stop such a dominant quarterback in this league, but you got to limit him. You got to be able to get pressure on him, and you got to be able to show him multiple looks. Bring pressure, bring coverage, make it look the same, make it look different and really get him off his spot.
“But like I say, he’s an athletic quarterback,” Ihedigbo continued. “He can get out of the pocket. He can make plays. We’re going to have to limit that. But we’ll be geared up and ready for the challenge.”
Unfortunately for the Lions, they’ll be without center Dominic Raiola, who has been suspended for one game without pay after stepping on the ankle of Bears defensive lineman Ego Ferguson in Detroit’s 20-14 win this past Sunday.
“It’s a tough situation,” Ihedigbo said. “I watched it, and personally – maybe it’s biased – but I didn’t think it was that bad. I didn’t think it was worthy of a suspension. If anything, fine him and let him play the game. But I didn’t think it was malicious enough to warrant a suspension. But with that being said, it’s up to our coaching staff. They’ll have to move guys around, but we’ll make it work.”
In a way, Ihedigbo liked what Raiola did.
“His job is to protect a $100-million quarterback, so he’s going to do everything he can to do that,” Ihedigbo said. “I want a guy like that on my team.”
He also wants a guy like Matthew Stafford. Ihedigbo, 31, has played with several well-known quarterbacks, including Mark Sanchez, Tom Brady and Joe Flacco. He knows what it takes from a quarterback to win a championship.
Is Stafford ready?
“I think he’s more than ready to win a championship,” Ihedigbo said. “Everyone talks about his talent and his arm strength, but he’s a great quarterback in this league. He’s continuing to work day in and day out. I think – not think, I know – he has what it takes to lead this team to win a championship.”