But what about Detroit's daunting defense you ask? While I do think Detroit does have one of the better defensive teams this season, they aren't as dominating as some people might have you believe. You know how everyone always claims that the Patriots aren't that good because they haven't played anyone while conveniently forgetting that their opponents were cruising along through a successful NFL season before the Patriots knocked them off their tracks? Well, the Lions impressive successes on the defensive side of the ball become a little less impressive when you look at the competition they've faced.
- Game 1 was home against the Giants where they gave up 53 yards on 22 carries and a total of 14 points. The Giants are currently ranked 21st in rushing and 21st in points.
- Game 2 at the Panthers they were outscored 24-7 and gave up 62 yards on 24 attempts. The Panthers are 23rd in yards rushing and 24th in points.
- Game 3 was home against the Packers where they held the Pack to 7 points and 76 yards on the ground. While this was pretty impressive, keep in mind that the Packers may have sucked worse than the Patriots did 3 games into the season. Currently Green Bay is ranked 18th in rushing and 1st in points.
- Game 4 at the Jets, final score 24-17 in favor of Detroit. The Jets ran for 132 yards on 27 carries and are currently 4th in rushing yards per game. Of course 29th in points will not win you many ball games.
- Game 5 was a 17-14 home loss against the Bills. Buffalo only manage 41 yards on the ground, but since they are ranked 25th overall, that's par for the course. When it come to points, the Bills are 23rd.
- Game 6 they went into Minnesota and held the Vikings to just 3 points. Of course the Vikings are ranked 28th in scoring this season, so it loses a little bit of its luster.
- Game 7 home against New Orleans with a 24-23 win. The Saints had 73 yards on 21 carries that game and are currently the 8th best rushing teams.
- Game 8 at Atlanta for their second 1 point win in a row 22-21. The Falcons ran for 78 yards which is just 18 less than their average.
- Game 9 home against the Dolphins. While Miami has been one of the better running teams this season (really), this was post Knowshon Moreno being place on injured reserve. Of their 19 rushing attempts, Damien Wilson had 7 of them (he's now had a total of 31).
- Game 10 at Arizona for their 3rd loss of the season 14-6. While the Cardinals are the 30th worst team in the NFL with running the ball, they helped keep the Lions as a run stopper by only gaining 46 yards on 26 attempts. Of course most of those attempts were late in the game when the real goal of the play was to run time off the clock.
As usual, the Patriots need to avoid the dreaded 3 and out on offense and get a few on defense. Tom Brady will also need to avoid giving away possessions. Assuming those two things are taken care of and Josh McDaniels doesn't try to get too cute, the Patriots should rack up another home victory before heading to Lambeau.