Lions 3-3-0-3 — 9
Patriots 7-17-3-7 — 34
All year, the New England Patriots have made division leaders look like cellar dwellers.
The Patriots had already routed the Bengals, Broncos and Colts heading into Sunday’s game against the Lions. Now, they can add Detroit to that list.
The Lions, who came in sharing the NFC North lead with the Packers, were thoroughly overmatched as the Pats rolled to a 34-9 win — New England’s seventh straight after a 2-2 start and the Pats’ ninth of the year, clinching their NFL-best 14th straight winning season.
Check out the box score here and read on for a recap.
LeGarrett Blount Scored 2 Touchdowns in His Return to New England
LeGarrette Blount’s bizarre season keeps getting more and more interesting. Blount was with the Patriots last year but signed with the Steelers over the offseason, only to get released last week after he walked off the field before the game ended.
He resigned with New England during the week and has been the primary ball-carrier against the Lions, with Jonas Gray — fresh off a 4-touchdown performance at Indianapolis — on the sidelines after oversleeping and showing up late to practice during the week.
And Blount, fitting right in with an offense that keeps plowing through defenses, punctuated his return to Foxborough with a 3-yard touchdown run with 12:43 left in the second quarter, then celebrated by doing a version of former teammate Antonio Brown’s touchdown dance.
Blount than added a garbage-time touchdown from a yard out with 1:57 left to make it 34-9.
Tom Brady Threw 2 Touchdown Passes to Tim Wright
The Patriots got on the board with 3:10 left in the first quarter when Tom Brady hit tight end Tim Wright on a 4-yard touchdown pass.
The score capped a 9-play, 64-yard drive that took 2:37 for Brady and Co. to execute.
The game started to get out of hand for Detroit when Tom Brady hit Tim Wright for another touchdown pass, this one from 8 yards out with 2:42 left in the first half to stretch the lead to 21-6.
The catch marked the first multiple-touchdown game for Wright, who came over from Tampa Bay in the Logan Mankins trade in August.
Detroit had a chance to chip away at the lead on its ensuing possession, but Matt Prater’s 53-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left, giving the Pats the ball back with 35 seconds left in the half and a chance to add even more to their lead.
Brady and Co. then proceeded to shred the Lions defense on their ensuing drive, quickly getting into field goal range and leading to a 35-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal on the final play of the half that made it 24-6 at the break.
Brady finished 38-for-53 passing for 349 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. His counterpart, Matthew Stafford, who’s been plagued all year by shoddy offensive line play and the absence of any kind of running game, was just 18-for-46 passing for 264 yards, no touchdowns and 1 interception.
The Lions Got on the Board on Their Opening Drive
Matthew Stafford led the Lions into field goal range on their opening drive, and Matt Prater made it 3-0 visitors when he kicked a 48-yard field goal with 11:44 left in the first quarter.
Preview: Patriots Hoping to Keep Rollin’
Two months ago, the Patriots were 2-2 and the most talked-about topic in football was the imminent demise of the Brady-Belichick.
Heading into Sunday’s game at Gillette Stadium against the Lions, the Pats have won six straight and are an even trendier pick to win their fourth Super Bowl than they were before the season started, when a beefed-up defense figured to be exactly what Tom Brady and Bill Belichick needed to get over the hump and bring back the Lombardi Trophy for the first time since 2004.
New England (8-2) has scored 40 or more points in three straight games, the latest of which was a 42-20 thrashing of the Colts last Sunday night in a game New England entered as a 2-point underdog.
The Lions, for their part, are 7-3 and tied with the surging Packers for first place in the NFC North. Calvin Johnson will be playing in his third game since returning from a high ankle sprain, bolstering an offense than has struggled throughout the year.
Bovada has New England as a 7 1/2-point favorite.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Eastern time, with TV coverage on Fox. We’ll have live updates right here throughout the game, so keep it here throughout the afternoon.