The Detroit Lions lost in New England during their week 12 match up 34-9 on Sunday. The Lions once again came out flat and provided absolutely no offense to speak of against the Patriot’s defense. While they were not expected to defeat the Patriots, they were expected to keep the game relatively close and show that they are a playoff caliber team. Unfortunately, none of that happened Sunday.
The Lions actually looked like they were going to make it a good game in the first quarter. They drove down the field on the Patriots, scoring the first points of the game on a 48 yard Matt Prater field goal. The Detroit defense did not help out though, allowing Tom Brady to drive down the field and hit Tim Wright for a 4 yard touchdown. The Lions again drove the field and cut into the Patriots lead, getting another Prater field goal, this time a 20 yarder. With the game at 7-6, Detroit was keeping pace with the best team in the AFC, even though they were not scoring touchdowns. That was about to change though.
The next three drives for the Patriots in the second quarter were scoring drives. They countered Detroit’s field goal with a drive that resulted in a LeGarrette Blount 3 yard touchdown run. Their next drive was capped off by yet another Brady to Wright touchdown, this time from 8 yards out. as if a 21-6 lead was not big enough, the Patriots drove one more time to end the half, getting a field goal from Stephen Gostkowski with no time left to make it a 24-6 lead at halftime.
Detroit played better defense in the second half but their offense was still bad. They could not get anything going both with the run or the pass. Stafford was wildly inefficient, the blocking was poor (losing left tackle Riley Reiff in the first drive to a knee injury did not help) and the receiver just started dropping passes. They allowed only three points to the Patriots in the third quarter, making it a 27-6 Patriot lead, but coach Jim Caldwell decided that field goals were more important than touchdowns and early in the fourth quarter, needing 21 points, Caldwell sent out the field goal unit for a 49 yard field goal, giving them 9 points and cutting the lead to 18. Brady finished the game off by driving the field and aided by a Detroit penalty, getting a 1 yard Blount touchdown run.
Detroit heads home for a Thanksgiving Day match up against the Chicago Bears in what has become a must win game in the Lions want any chance at a playoff spot. They are in a 4 way tie for the 2 remaining wild card spots, but they have the easiest remaining schedule. They likely need 10-11 wins to get in, and their next three games are home games against Chicago, Tampa Bay, and Minnesota. A loss in any of those three games will likely end Detroit’s playoff hopes as they finish the season on the road against Chicago and Green Bay.