Manning: We Know They'll Play Hard

Peyton Manning huddled with the media Wednesday for his weekly press call. See what the superstar quarterback had to say about the Detroit Lions, what the offense is working on as the season hits the stretch run, the team's winning streak, and more!

On playing the Detroit Lions this week:

"That's the next game, so we need to have a good week of practice. We had a good week of preparation last week and I thought we took that preparation to the field, which is what you want to do every week. That will be the plan again this week."

On what he sees watching Detroit on film:

"That's all we're looking at is what we see on film and getting ready for the Xs and Os part of it. That's what we did last week, and that's what we have to do again this week. They're similar to our defense in some aspects, although they do some things that are unique to them. They have good players as well. That's what we have to do. We need to worry about getting our team better. Like we have been all season, we're dealing with some injury situations. That always requires other players to step up, and that will be the case this week."

On the Detroit Lions:

"What I've seen on film from their defense is that the defense plays hard. They should have won the game against Minnesota, it seems like, from a defensive standpoint. They created, I think, four turnovers on defense and had chances for a couple more, actually, that just barely went the other way. They played hard on Sunday. We know they'll play hard this Sunday, and that's what we need to get ready for."

On what the offense has been trying to improve this week:

"A lot of the same things we try to do every week. We want to score touchdowns in the red zone. We want to protect the ball, we call it play 100 percent ball security, protect the ball at all times. For the most part, we were pretty good on first and second down. We stayed out of those 3rd-and-longs and avoided penalties, so nothing necessarily earth shattering as far as being new, but a lot of the same things that we talk about every week. You have to do it each week in practice and take it to each game."

On if he saw the six-game winning streak coming:

"We started out in a hole this year, which is new for a lot of the players around here, some of our new players, but that's how it worked out. We had a tough game coming back here against New England (on Nov. 2). That was kind of a critical game in the season to see are you going to have a chance to stay in the mix in this thing or are you going to fall too far behind? If you go 3-5, maybe you are playing catch-up, especially in the AFC. It was critical to get that win, and once we got that win we were able to establish a little rhythm and get a little confidence. It's truly been that one-week-at-a-time mentality. I know I keep repeating that, but that's been the philosophy. That's what it was last week, and that's what it has to be again this week. That's all we're talking about is Detroit. With some of our new players playing and these young players playing, how can you think about anything else than trying to get your team ready to play, get some of these new guys ready to play and go out and try to play another good game on Sunday?"

On the fact that the games in December really matter this season:

"No question, they're extremely important. All of these games are. We really have felt like, since we were 3-4, we had to win every single game just to give ourselves a chance, and we still feel that same way. But, the thing is, we haven't looked beyond the upcoming opponent, which has been the right philosophy. It's something that everybody has bought into and that's the plan this week is trying to take care of Detroit."

On Detroit continuing to play hard and trying to win:

"We're really focused on a lot of the things that we're doing, trying to improve our offense, our defense, our special teams, trying to figure out who's going to play and who's going to be put in this position. You never know whose number is going to be called. (TE) Gijon Robinson had his best game as a Colt on Sunday and didn't necessarily know that going into the game, but, like I said, everybody has to be prepared to step up. That's what we're focused on is improving our team and doing whatever it takes to try to get a win."

On if the team prepares any differently for two games in five days:

"I think Coach (Tony) Dungy may factor that in to the practice schedule a little bit, but I don't think the players this week will necessarily think about it. We've had those Thursday night games before. It's always a cramped week, but we'll deal with that next week. As far as this week, it's a pretty normal routine and just trying to do whatever we have to do to try to get this win."


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