Two teams that are looking to be playoff bound face off in New England on Sunday afternoon. The Patriots got off to a slow start this season but have now one 6 straight after their 43-20 dismantling of the Colts last Sunday Night. Quarterback Tom Brady has erased any of the doubt that all of the miles on his arm and body have diminished his abilities in any way, as he is as good as he has ever been. He went 19/30 for 257 yards and 2 touchdowns but was nowhere near the significant offensive contributor on this night. Injuries at running back forced the team to start undrafted rookie Jonas Gray who was not even a starter during his 4 year college career at Notre Dame. Going into the game he had 32 NFL carries for 131 yards and no touchdowns on the season. Given a chance to start with a prime time audience he had a game for the ages with 37 carries for 201 yards and an incredible 4 touchdowns. In an amazing stat he had just as many rushing touchdowns last week as the rest of the league combined. The Lions faced off with the Cardinals last Sunday in a game between two of the leagues best and most surprising teams. The Cardinals were without starting quarterback Carson Palmer who was lost for the season with a knee injury. The Lions did the job defensively by allowing only 14 points, which is usually enough for any team to win. Instead the team did not score again after a second quarter field goal and the team got into the Red Zone a total of one time the entire game. Wide Receiver Golden Tate is having a Pro Bowl season and superstar receiver Calvin Johnson is finally healthy, leading many to question how an offense could be so ineffective with such talent.
The Lions face the Patriots a week after facing the Cardinals in what can be considered the toughest two game stretch for any team this season. The face a Patriots offense that is really tough to prepare for. They won a game 3 weeks ago by passing the ball all over the field against the Broncos and then ran the ball down the Colts throat all game last week so their offense is very unpredictable. However the Lions is at the top of the league defensively, it is the offense that will need to pick up its play if they are serious about making a Superbowl run.
The Patriots are playing as well as any team in the league right now. They added veteran running back LeGarette Blount after he was released by Pittsburg earlier in the week. That gives them depth in case Gray is unable to duplicate his success. One good matchup will be Patriots tight end vs. a Lions defense that usually shuts down opposing tight ends. Don’t be surprised if Brady is forced to look for his receivers more this week.
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