Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz had to say after Monday's walkthrough. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
On playing the Houston Texans last Thanksgiving in comparison to playing Green Bay this Thanksgiving: "I don't know if there's a whole lot of difference. Obviously this is an opponent we've played before, but I think that can cut both ways. You don't know the other team real well, but they don't know you very well either. That was the case last year and I think this is a little bit different. These teams know each other pretty well, even though there has been some different personnel in there over the last few games. I think each team has a pretty good idea of how to play each other."
On dealing with the last two losses: "That's part of this business is dealing with losses and things like that. They were two bitter defeats and they were two missed opportunities that we had. I think we all need to remind ourselves, like we did yesterday, the fact is that there is five games remaining and we are in first place. We need to conduct ourselves accordingly and we can't worry about what happened last week and we can't worry about what happened yesterday. We need to worry about what is going to happen in the future. I like our team's mindset that way."
On recapturing the mentality of a first place team: "Well, we made some mistakes over the last couple of weeks. You look across the League, I think there are a lot of teams that are no different. I didn't see very much of the game last night, but when I saw a score, I thought the game was over. Obviously it wasn't. I'm sure Denver is talking about missed opportunities. Chicago is probably talking about a missed opportunity against the Rams. Green Bay is probably not feeling good about having a tie. Again, we know ourselves real well. We haven't played our best the last couple of weeks, as a result we have had a couple of losses. The fact remains we have a five game season ahead of us. If we dwell too much on the past, then we're not going to be ready for these last five games."
On facing Packers backup QB Matt Flynn instead of Aaron Rodgers: "He came in and gave them a spark yesterday. They had Seneca Wallace and they put the rookie in, then they pulled him and went to Flynn yesterday. He brought the team from 16-down, I think it was 16 in the fourth quarter. Ran their offense. I think that's probably the key. They're going to run their offense regardless of who the quarterback is. Flynn's a veteran quarterback. He knows where to go with the ball and he'll give us a challenge the same way that Rodgers would."
On WR Calvin Johnson's preparation being a factor to play on Thursday: "Yet to be seen. It will change his regiment, but that's no different for Calvin than probably half a dozen other guys we have that have been going through the same kind of things. Every team in the NFL now plays a Thursday game. It's just part of this business now making that turnaround. Going from Sunday, going out today, having a walk through, we'll do a light workout tomorrow, we'll do another walk through on Wednesday. A lot of the work has to come mentally. It has to be mental focus this week, it's not as much a physical week. You have to get your body right, get your body back and then fool yourself on Thursday into thinking that it's Sunday. Our team is used to doing it, but then again every team in the NFL is used to doing it now."
On why has the team had problems in the second half of the season in the past years: "Well, I mean, I think it's too early to say we've struggled in the second half of this season. We still have a long way to go. We did struggle in the second half of last year. A couple of years before that, we finished really strong. The playoff year we had to win a couple games late to be able to qualify for the playoffs. I think every year is different. One year we had a lot of guys that were injured that we were waiting to get back. We were trying to hold the fort for those guys. Other times we have been playing with backup quarterbacks and we were winning games. I think I said this at the Bye Week I guess it was, the story of our team isn't going to be written in the first half, it's going to be written in the second half. It is going to depend on what we do. We need to be able to stop this two-game skid. We need to be able to come out with a win."
On the DEs stopping the offenses runs: "They do rush a little different way. I think that any scheme works if you execute within the scheme and your personnel matches your scheme. I think that we have done a good job of that. Early in the season, I thought we were playing good run defense with the expectation of letting a couple big ones, particularly Adrian Peterson got one on us and Matt Forte got one on us. That sort of took away from some of the run defense that we were playing. It has been a positive force. I think we have Lacey coming to town. He has really carried the load for them since Rodgers has been hurt. They're averaging about 30-carries a game since Rodgers went down. That will be important in this game also. When we played them the first time with Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson and (James) Jones and Jermichael Finley, Aaron Rodgers, they spread you really thin. A lot of those guys, or a couple of those guys are now injured. They have really have had Eddie Lacey carry a load for them and he's done it. He's really done a nice job with it. Certainly a guy that we have to stop. I think that's the strength of our team. "
On QB Matthew Stafford having to change his approach to avoid additional turnovers: "Well I think it was just a couple of weeks ago that we were taking questions about how we weren't aggressive enough. You certainly need to balance both of those. What has been our great strength has also turned out to be a weakness at times. Some of the plays that we made were because we were aggressive and got the ball to Calvin even if he was covered and things like that. I think there are a couple of parts to that. One is, we can take better care of the ball on offense. A couple of those were pretty fluky type plays, but a couple of them weren't. I think another key is, we need to get back to getting some turnovers on defense. Early in the season when we have done well we have gotten the ball and we missed a couple opportunities against Pittsburgh. We didn't have very many opportunities last week, but that's something we need to come back to of coming back out of the plus side of that turnover ratio."
On this being the best run defense he's had in five years: "We'll wait until the end of the season to talk about where the whole season was. We have a long way to go. We're doing some good things in the run game. Again, what happened last week, what's happening over the last month or so, only has any bearing if we continue it these last five games."
On his confidence with finishing the five-game stretches to make the playoffs: "I think the only thing we have to have confidence in is this week. We have to stay focused week-to-week. I think that it's easy to get ahead of yourself. I don't think we did. I think we took both of these last opponents seriously. We didn't win because we didn't play well physically. We made some physical errors out there. When you start looking at the last five games, it's a cliché and everything else, but it's one at a time. You really have to do that. How confident we are over the last five games is going to be how confident we are in a week-to-week basis."