The 1-1 New England Patriots will travel to Detroit to take on the 0-2 Lions in the third Sunday night game of the season. This is the second time in 3 weeks the Patriots will face off against a former assistant to Bill Belichick as the Lions are coached by Matt Patricia who spent the prior 14 years as a Patriots assistant. New England made a huge trade earlier in the week when they agreed to send a draft pick to the Cleveland Browns for star wide receiver Josh Gordon. Both teams are coming off disappointing weeks where neither team had a lead after the first quarter. The Patriots were easily defeated 31-20 on the road last week by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Detroit dropped their second game in a row to start the season with a 30-27 loss to the 49ers in San Francisco. To add insult to injury cornerback Darius Slay suffered a concussion and will be out for this game.
The Patriots defense couldn’t stop Blake Bortles and the Jaguars offense as they gained 481 yards. Bortles threw 4 touchdowns and 9 different Jacksonville receivers had receptions that gained at least 11 yards. They forced 2 turnovers with an interception and a fumble recovery but could not sack Bortles. They limited the Jaguars to 104 rushing yards on 24 carries, which is an average of 4.3 yards per rush. Offensively, Tom Brady played decent by completing 24 of 35 passes for 234 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interception and 1 lost fumble. His favorite target was James White who had 7 catches for 73 yards. Chris Hogan had a nice day with 3 catches for 42 yards, which included both touchdown receptions. They struggled running the ball gaining just 82 yards on 24 carries.
Matthew Stafford had a big game last week but it wasn’t enough. He completed 34 of 53 passes for 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. His favorite target was Golden Tate who had 7 catches for 109 yards. The team had success running the ball gaining 98 yards on just 18 carries. Defensively, they sacked Jimmy Garoppolo 6 times but couldn’t stop the rush. The 49ers gained 190 yards on 28 carries, which is an average of 6.8 yards per run. In the first 2 games this season the Lions defense has given up 78 points.
The Lions will have home field advantage for this game and are still 7 -point underdogs. Both of these teams have gone 1-1 against the spread so far and with the addition of Gordon, Brady now has another big time offensive weapon at his disposal. This could be a milestone game for owner Robert Kraft who is seeking his 300th victory. With a win, he would become the fastest owner to reach this historical amount. Patricia would like nothing more than to earn his first victory over his former team and they need another big game out of Stafford to even have a chance.