It all starts with the ground game for the potent Detroit Lions offense and this weekend they'll be targetting a Patriots defense that will be shorthanded along their defensive line, with vet Lawrence Guy ruled out for the second game in a row.
"Oh, [the running game is] definitely a priority for them, they take pride in it, as well we take pride in stopping it so we are looking forward for the challenge," said linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley on Friday afternoon. "They've got a lot of great guys, good o-linemen, good scheme for sure. So we're just excited about it, but they're definitely a physical football team. That's what you'd like to see."
The Patriots defense is 26th in rushing yards against and 29th in yards-per-attempt while coming in at 31st in DVOA, with the Lions coming in at 32nd. After back to back week of allowing nearly 200 rushing yards they must improve against Detroit, no easy task.
Bentley assessed what needs to be better based off the team's film study.
"One I would say improving on tackling, things like that, defeating blocks, defeating one on one blocks. Understanding what offenses are trying to do and what we can do on the other side of the ball to stop it and I would say that's the main point of emphasis," said the linebacker.
Bentley has seen an increased role this season, taking some snaps on the edge of the defense as he's built some versatility into his game since re-signing with the team this past off-season on a two-year deal.
"I'll wear any hat my defense needs me to wear whether that's on the edge or in the middle, anything they need, I'm down for it," said Bentley. "Obviously I play a lot in the middle but being on the edge is nothing foreign to me. So if I need to do that, I'll do that as well."
Sitting at 1-3 with one of the best offenses coming to town, Bentley hopes this weekend will provide a turning point for a Patriots team fighting to break a two-game losing streak.
"You obviously want to be better than 1-3, but you just got to take it one day at a time. I would say obviously you want to be undefeated at this point in the season. So you just got to kind of roll with the punches and just enjoy the process. Obviously it's a grind. Every game there's gonna be a winner, gonna be a loser but you'd look to just come out on top of those things. We look to turn the corner very soon."