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Monday, November 24, 2014

This Is Getting Silly: Patriots Crush Another So-Called Contender-the Lions-34-9

At some point soon, maybe next Sunday in Green Bay, a team is going to challenge the Patriots. Until then, we can only bask in the glow of another beating. New England (9-2 overall, 6-0 home) destroyed Detroit (7-4 overall, 3-3 away) 34-9 this afternoon at Gillette Stadium. The Lions came in with the top-ranked defense in the league but they honestly didn't stand a chance as the Patriots picked up their seventh straight win. You'd have a hard time objectively arguing that the Pats are not the best team in the NFL at the moment for what it's worth (nothing).

Sock puppet Lions head coach Jim Caldwell and his penchant for kicking field goals down three touchdowns in the second half or even better, taking a timeout then choosing to punt on fourth down never stood a chance. It takes a little more balls and creativity to beat the Patriots at Gillette. We should have known that he was not the guy to get it done.

Tom Brady (38 of 53 for 349 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) spread it around to five different receivers who all had at least five catches, led by Brandon LaFell (9 catches, 98 yards), Julian Edelman (11 catches, 98 yards) and Rob Gronkowski (5 catches, 78 yards). The two unexpected x-factors on offense that came through today were their goal-line weapon Tim Wright who caught two more touchdowns and LeGarrette Blount (12 rushes, 78 yards) who ran for two scores in his return to New England. Last week's hero Jonas Gray never got off the bench as he served his punishment for showing up late to practice. As if you didn't know this already, Blount proved that they literally can put any bum off the street in there and odds are they will produce.

New England's defense continued to excel, holding the Lions to three measly field goals by disgraced ex-Broncos kicker Jason Prater. Logan Ryan picked off Matthew Stafford (18 of 46 for 264 yards, 1 INT) while Rob Ninkovich and Akeem Ayers each notched a sack. Reggie Bush didn't play for Detroit and Golden Tate (4 catches, 97 yards) was the only Lion to have any real success on offense. The normally unstoppable Calvin Johnson (4 catches, 58 yards) took a trip to Brandon Browner Island and he wasn't really heard from as you can tell.

Two Stephen Gostkowski field goals accounted for the other New England points. The scary part for opponents is that the Patriots weren't flawless: they punted five times (a 66-yard bomb by Ryan Allen was a key play in the first half) and Brady threw an interception. What I'm trying to say is that they could potentially play even better than this which sounds ridiculous. Granted it was 24-6 at halftime so you never thought they could lose. Danny Amendola had an 81-yard kick return for the Pats so you knew it was their day.

New England will go for the sweep of the NFC North next Sunday (4:25, CBS) at historic Lambeau Field in what should be the biggest game in the NFL this regular season. You know everyone will be calling it a Super Bowl preview so I might as well get that out of the way too. Similar to the Patriots, the Packers (8-3 overall, 1st in NFC North) have been on fire (7-1) since a shaky start (1-2). Aaron Rodgers is probably the leading candidate for NFL MVP so you have to enjoy it because games like this don't come around that often. Now all we need is a little snow and there potentially could be record ratings.

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