|11.23.14 at 2:30 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Two quarters are done here at Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots lead the Lions, 24-6. Tom Brady (21-for-27 for 233 yards) threw two touchdown passes to Tim Wright, Brandon LaFell had six catches for 71 yards and the Patriots sacked Matthew Stafford twice and kept the Lions out of the end zone over the first two quarters to help build the lead.
Here are a few quick notes on the first two quarters:
— Shane Vereen got the start at running back for the Patriots, while LeGarrette Blount saw his first action on New England’s third series of the afternoon. Blount returned to Gillette in style with a 3-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, and has two carries for five yards after two quarters.
— The Lions got on the board first with an eight-play drive that ended when Darrelle Revis knocked away a pass play intended for Tate, forcing Detroit to settle for a field goal. Matt Prater connected on a 48-yarder with 11:44 left in the first to make it 3-0. It was a really nice series for Detroit, which was able to pick up some good chunk yardage on a couple of impressive connections from Stafford to Tate.
— The Patriots answered with a crisp, efficient drive at the end of the first quarter, a nine-play, 74-yard sequence that took 2:37 and ended with a four-yard touchdown pass to Wright to make it 7-3. It was Wright’s fifth touchdown reception of the season. In addition, it was the 19th catch on 21 targets this year for the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, who remains as reliable as they come.
— The Patriots were able to get a couple of really nice tackles in punt coverage in the early going, with Nate Ebner doing a great job on Ryan Allen’s second punt of the afternoon. (Matthew Slater continues to overwhelm opposing blockers while working as a gunner.) The biggest special teams play of the first half came when Danny Amendola delivered with an 81-yard kickoff return early in the second quarter. That set up the Patriots second touchdown of the game, a three-yard run from Blount to make it 14-6 with 12:43 left in the second quarter.
— New England added to it with an impressive 13-play drive for the Patriots (the third-longest drive of the year for New England) that took 93 yards, consumed 5:03 and included 16-yard pass plays to both Julian Edelman and Vereen. It ended with Wright’s second touchdown reception of the day and sixth of the season, an 8-yard catch that made it 21-6 with just over two minutes left in the half.
— The Patriots put a capper on the half with a quick drive at the end of the second quarter, a series that included a 24-yard pass play to Rob Gronkowski and ended with a 35-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski to make it 24-6.
— The Patriots were able to overwhelm the Detroit offensive line on a few occasions and get to Stafford. The Detroit quarterback — who had taken 31 sacks coming into the game, one of the highest totals in the league for a pocket passer — was sacked by Akeem Ayers and Rob Ninkovich. (For Ninkovich, it was his sixth sack of the season, and marked the fourth straight year with at least six sacks for the Purdue product.)
|11.23.14 at 11:38 am ET|
FOXBORO — The following players are inactive for Sunday’s game against the Lions: defensive linemen Chandler Jones and Dominique Easley, offensive linemen Cameron Fleming and Jordan Devey, cornerback Malcolm Butler, wide receiver Aaron Dobson and running back James White.
Jones (hip) and Fleming (ankle/finger) had already been ruled out. LeGarrette Blount and Jonas Gray are both active, as Blount was signed Thursday morning, while Gray missed practice on Friday as he was late to the facility and sent home.
Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard is active for the first time in three games, while Easley is missing just his second game of the season. Dobson has now been inactive for five straight games.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|11.23.14 at 11:09 am ET|
|11.23.14 at 9:47 am ET|
FOXBORO — A chilly morning will give way to a seasonably comfortable day as the Patriots look to improve their top position in the AFC with an early afternoon game against the Lions at Gillette Stadium.
Temperatures are expected in the low 50s with a chance of rain. Wind is likely going to be the biggest factor on the day, coming out of the southwest at 10 MPH but gusting to as high as 16 MPH.
The Patriots are playing their first home game since beating Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on Nov. 2. They are paying tribute to America’s service men and women with several activities planned. There will be a pregame flyover by two F-15Cs from the 104th Fighter Wing, 131st Squadron from Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Mass. The F-15C is an Air Dominance aircraft. The men and women of the 104th provide around-the-clock Homeland Defense of the Northeast Region as well as providing air power around the world.
The national anthem will be performed by the Massachusetts Army National Guard “Voices of Freedom” and the color guard will be provided by the U.S. Marine Corps out of Devens, Mass.
Once the game begins, the Patriots will look for their seventh straight win, which would give them their 14th straight winning season. That streak would match the Green Bay Packers of 1934-47 for the fifth longest in NFL history. Dallas holds the all-time record of 20 from 1966-85. The 14 straight winning seasons would be the third-longest in the NFL since the 1970 merger.
The Patriots will be without pass rusher Chandler Jones for a fourth straight game with a hip injury while Cameron Fleming is out with a ankle injury. Fleming had just returned last week from a five-game absence with a finger injury.
For the Lions, they will likely be without running back Reggie Bush for a second straight week as he rehabs his ankle after re-injuring it against the Dolphins on Nov. 9. It would be the fourth time in the last six games Bush has been inactive since initially suffering the injury in a Week 5 loss to the Bills. The Lions are also without defensive lineman Nick Fairley and offensive lineman Larry Warford, both out with knee issues.
Hearing Reggie Bush is a no-go for the Lions big game in New England Sunday. Not ready to go yet. Still working to get back
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 22, 2014
|11.23.14 at 9:26 am ET|
Join Pete Davidson of WEEI.com and Rotobahn.com for a live chat, helping you set all your fantasy football lineups for Week 12. It all starts at 11 a.m. so get your questions in now …
|11.22.14 at 10:44 pm ET|
Our pal Sarah Wroblewski of Fox25 says that if you’re headed to Foxboro for Lions-Patriots, it’s going to be a nice fall afternoon.
— Sarah Wroblewski (@sarahwroblewski) November 23, 2014
|11.22.14 at 6:14 pm ET|
After being released this week to make room for running back LeGarrette Blount, defensive lineman Casey Walker is back with the team, as he was signed to the practice squad on Saturday. To make room for Walker, the team has released linebacker Ja’Gared Davis.
Here is a portion of the release from the team:
Walker, 24, was signed by the Patriots from the Carolina practice squad on Sept. 27. He originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Carolina out of Oklahoma on April 30, 2013. The 6-foot-1, 340-pounder spent part of the 2013 season on the Carolina practice squad and went to training camp with Carolina this past summer. He was released on Aug. 30 and signed to the Carolina practice squad on Aug. 31. Walker played in five games with one start for the Patriots and accumulated 10 total tackles and one sack.
Davis, 24, began the 2014 season on the practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster on Oct. 4, 2014. He played in three games before being released on Oct. 22 and signed back to the practice squad. Davis did not record any statistics. The 6-foot, 238-pounder, spent the majority of his rookie season in 2013 on the Patriots’ practice squad, but did see action in one regular-season game and both postseason games after joining the 53-man roster. He was originally signed by Houston as a rookie free agent out of Southern Methodist on May 10, 2013, released by Houston on Aug. 27, 2013, and claimed off waivers and awarded to the Patriots on Aug. 28, 2013.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
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