The New England Patriots have spent Thanksgiving Day in Detroit on two previous occasions. The Lions beat the Patriots 34-9 in the 2000 Thanksgiving Classic while the Patriots beat the Lions 20-12 in 2002.
We will have to wait until Thursday to find out what will happen this year, but each of the SideLion Report writers are here to weigh in on what they think will happen.
Matt: There was a time when the Lions always played well on Thanksgiving day, but there was also a time when making playoffs was a possibility. I just don’t see the Lions being competitive at all on Sunday. The Patriots don’t always win in the most impressive fashion, but it they do win, and win a lot. It just seems like the club hasn’t been able to recover from the letdown loss against the Jets a few weeks ago.
New England is a team that always finds a way to win, and Detroit is a team that always finds a way to lose. That right there is all we need to know. Patriots 34, Lions 17
Latif: I think this weeks matchup against the Patriots is intriguing to say the least. On one hand, the Patriots have been winning games; they are 8-2 on the season, but it hasn’t been in the same dominant fashions as years past.
On offense, I think our defense matches up pretty well when looking at player to player matchup. Chris Houston is good for covering Brandon Tate, Alphonso Smith, who is a solid tackler, should do well against Welker, who seems to have lost a step. The big question is whether or not our defensive line can get to Tom Brady. If they can, then the Lions should hold the Patriots to less than 25 points.
On defense, the Patriots may not be ranked high on any statistical category, but they are the prime example of a “bend but don’t break” defense. They will give up yards and even points but they will tighten up when the game is on the line.
Overall, I think the Lions can score points on the Patriots, but I don’t think they can win this game. Patriots linebackers are solid in coverage, which should limit Pettigrew and Scheffler. Plus, we are most likely going to down to our 3rd string back in Maurice Morris carrying majority of the load. Final score: Patriots 34, Lions 27
Ross: The Lions have lost six straight Thanksgiving Day games. It’s going to be tough to snap the streak against the 8-2 New England Patriots.
The Patriots do have a weak spot; their secondary (as mentioned in Latif’s post). The secondary is consisted of a rookie, two second year pros, and one third year player. The Patriots rank 31st in passing defense, allowing 290 yards per game. Hopefully our talented receiving core, which ranks 6th in receiving yards, can have a big game.
And then there is New England’s offense led by Tom Brady. The Patriots offense is one of the best in the league. They average the most points per game in the NFL (29). The Lions defense is good, but it’s going to be very difficult to stop the Patriots. New England’s offense combined with the lack of a running game for the Lions tells me to chose the Patriots. Patriots 35, Lions 21
Brian: Come Thanksgiving Day, Ford Field will be rockin’. In fact this was the earliest sell out the franchise has seen all season long. The Patriots enter in to Thanksgiving Day coming off a not so convincing win at home against the Colts (at least in my eyes). With this being said, how can the Lions capitalize and get a win Thursday? The Lions key injuries in the backfield with Jahvid Best as well as our “franchise” QB Matt Stafford certainly continue to hold this team back, but we can’t put all blame on this. Without mention of the multiple mindless penalties, it is obvious there are still questions to be answered in the long run in terms of on field personnel.
Sure, this city is SO hungry for a win but let’s face it, Detroit has not won on Thanksgiving since 2003. So gobble, gobble! Enjoy your turkey and time with family because the Lions (sorry to say) will continue their struggles on the season, century, and national stage. Patriots 35, Lions 17
Zac: There was a time when the Lions really rose to the occasion when on the national stage but they aren’t back to the point where they can pull off an upset like this. Considering the number of bad to average quarterbacks the Lions have made look like Hall of Famers over the past few years, I’m pretty scared to see Tom Brady get his chance. The Lions have been better defensively this year but the possibility of getting torched by an elite quarterback is still very real.
The complete lack of a running game is concerning on its own, never mind the problem that causes when trying to beat an upper echelon team. The Patriots may be having some problems in their secondary but can mostly be attributed to a lack of experience rather than a lack of talent. Maybe the last couple weeks have turned me into a pessimist but I can see the Patriots youngsters putting it all together and giving the Lions fits.
The Thanksgiving losing streak hits seven: Patriots 31, Lions 16
You’ve heard what we are thinking, what do you say?