Jamie Pacheco, a New England Patriots blogger at Musket Fire, and I exchanged questions and answers in preparation of the Lions game against the Patriots. You can read my questions and his answers here and watch Musket Fire for my answers to Jamie’s questions.
Zac Snyder: Fans in Detroit are obviously used to having our team play on Thanksgiving Day. This will make the third time in the last 11 seasons that the Lions host the Patriots for the annual classic, what do fans on the east coast think of the Patriots participating in Thanksgiving Day games?
Jamie Pacheco: I think that most Patriots fans are excited to see their team play on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving football is a rich tradition that we don’t always get to be a part of, so we welcome the opportunity. Whether the actual Patriots feel that way about having a short week of preparation may be a different story.
ZS: What is your take on Randy Moss leaving town?Now that he is on his third team of the year it looks like the Patriots maximized his value and got out at the right time.
JP: I don’t think that Randy Moss was a poisonous element in the locker room, but I do think he made the Patriot offense something that they are not meant to be- a down-field passing team. Brady is much more efficient with the short and intermediate passing routes that require crisp route running and precision passing. Moss became almost like a crutch to Brady. When things weren’t going well, let’s throw it up to Randy Moss and see if he can come down with it. With Moss gone, the Pats may be less explosive, but they are much more efficient on offense.
ZS: What do the Patriots need to do to win?
JP: The Pats need to play their game on offense and have Brady work his way down the field while mixing in the running game to keep the defense honest. The big challenge I foresee is stopping the Lions’ passing attack and Calvin Johnson. The biggest strength on the Lions also happens to be the Pats’ biggest weakness- pass defense. It will be interesting to see how they try and slow down Calvin Johnson.
ZS: Under what scenario could the Lions win this game?
JP: If the Patriots come out flat like they did against the Cleveland Browns, then you can expect a similar result- a Patriot loss. The Lions are going to have to put up points (which they are capable of doing) if they hope to win, because I think Brady will have success against the Lions’ defense.
8-2! While most fans were optimistic about the season, we also knew that this was going to be a rebuilding year with all of the young players getting significant playing time. I can honestly say that I did not think the Pats would be 8-2 at this point in the season. They have far exceeded my expectations up to this point in the season. Myself and the rest of the Musket Fire staff will be rolling out more things we are thankful for on Thanksgiving Day.
ZS: What is your game prediction?
JP: I think that the Lions will put up a good fight but the Patriots seem to be getting better week after week and they have the Cleveland example to help maintain their focus and not not take the Lions lightly. I think the Pats win 31-20.