BST&N Week 12 Preview: Patriots @ Lions
Coming off of two huge wins, the Patriots head to Detroit to face a 2-8 Lions team. It’s a short week as the Patriots have the honor of playing in the game for the third time in eleven years.
Not to worry, this team will be ready.
The loss to the Browns a few weeks ago is the perfect motivation to not let up against a Detroit team that already has eight losses. No team can be overlooked in this league because any given Sunday anyone can win.
This Lions team in particular is a good eight loss team (if that makes sense). Five of their eight losses have been under five points and their average loss is by just 6.625 points. Not bad considering they have a tough schedule having to play in the tough NFC North and having to face the NFC and AFC East divisions.
What’s it going to take to make sure this game isn’t as close as it should be?
- Contain Calvin Johnson. #81 Calvin “MegaTron” Johnson is a specimen. The 6’5″ wideout is second in the NFL in touchdown receptions with 10 and is the focal point of the offense. The Pats need to shade safety help his way and take him out of the game. With their starting running back Javhid Best out of the game, the Lions will be throwing most of the afternoon. The Patriots pass defense is 31st in the league and to start improving the leaky secondary they need to shutdown Johnson.
- Keep Brady Upright. Much like our keys to the game for last week’s game against the Colts, the Patriots need to continue to execute against a team that brings pressure. The Lions are tied for sixth in the NFL with 27 sacks in ten games. Rookie second overall pick Ndamukong Suh is a beast. The Lions appear to have hit a rare home run at the top of the draft in the defensive lineman and he already has 7.0 sacks this year. Keep an eye on #90 as he is truly a game changer.
- Run the Football. The Lions are very susceptible to the run and have yielded 1,306 yards (27th in the NFL) and 11 touchdowns (tied for 28th). BenJarvis Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead will have plenty of holes to run through and we have seen how their effectiveness has helped open up the passing game the past weeks.
The Patriots need to take care of business on Thanksgiving Thursday. No excuses here. Go in and come out with the team’s ninth win.
Coach Bill Belichick needs to make sure his team does not overlook the Lions with the Jets heading into town in week 13. The short week coupled with the unexpected loss to the Browns should be a good enough reason for this young team to be focused.
Enjoy the game and have a very happy Thanksgiving BST&N readers!
Prediction: Patriots 34 Lions 17