For three quarters, the Lions finally gave us a good early Thanksgiving game. Then the Patriots reminded everyone why they are the highest scoring team in the league and showed why the Lions can’t close games out.
New England defeated Detroit 45-24, scoring 28 unanswered points in the final 21 minutes. Rookie Patriot Devin McCourty picked off two passes for a defense that struggled to get off the field. Tom Brady completed 21-of-27 passes for 341 yards and four touchdowns. He’s thrown 13 scores with no picks in his last six games.
The Patriots dramatically changed their offensive approach this offseason away from their spread approach. Despite no true No. 1 threat, they’ve arguably come up with the second best New England offense of the Brady era.
They averaging 30.4 points-per-game because of the brutal efficiency of their two tight end sets and the effectiveness of their ever-changing weekly game plans. They don’t turn the ball over or take penalties.
On Thursday, Deion Branch got involved with a long score and Wes Welker continued his improved play of late with eight catches, 90 yards, and two scores. Rob Gronkowski chipped in with five catches and 65 yards.
The Lions defensive line dominated action early, knocking Brady to the ground multiple times. The Patriots adjusted on the fly with quick throws to slow the pass rush down, then found more time for vertical plays late in the game.
No one adjusts better than Brady and the Patriots. With a motley crew of weapons, Brady has to be near the top of any MVP talk with 23 touchdowns and four interceptions. More importantly, the team moved to 9-2 with Thursday’s win.
The Patriots now have 11 days to prepare for their titanic Monday Night matchup with the Jets, who play in the Thanksgiving nightcap in a few hours.
Your move, Rex.