Patriots/Lions Game Thread

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    Patriots/Lions Game Thread

    Patriots official press release

    www.patriots.com/news/index.cfm?ac=pressreleasesdetail&pid=46170&pcid=47
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Five things to watch: Patriots at Lions

    November, 24, 2010

    By Tim Graham
    The New England Patriots and Detroit Lions will play at 12:30 p.m. for your Thanksgiving enjoyment.

    Here are five questions to consider for the Patriots:

    Can the Patriots win three games in 11 days? The Cleveland Browns, of all teams, pummeled the Patriots in Week 9, creating plenty of concern about the defending AFC East champs. Since then, however, the Patriots merely knocked off the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts -- the past two AFC champions and the only two teams in the conversation when discussing the greatest team of the past decade. Now the Patriots face the lowly Detroit Lions. Should be a piece of pumpkin pie, right? In many ways, this will be the toughest of the three games. The Patriots are on the road with four days to prepare for a tradition the Lions consider their Super Bowl. It will be a test. Legitimate contenders close these games out.

    Can the Patriots put together a 60-minute defensive performance? The Patriots' defense had its moments Sunday versus the Colts. They intercepted Peyton Manning three times, including the game-clinching pick snagged by safety James Sanders with 31 seconds left. But the Patriots were clinging to a three-point lead because they'd been dominated by Manning for much of the second half. The Patriots rank 30th in total defense, 17th in run defense and 31st in pass defense.

    How do the Patriots cover Calvin Johnson? With injuries hampering the Lions backfield, they'll need to rely heavily on their superstar receiver. The Patriots have struggled in defending the pass, but they have done well against specific receivers, namely Randy Moss in Week 8 (one catch for 8 yards). Johnson presents a more multidimensional problem. New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis held Johnson to one catch for 13 yards in Week 9. But the Patriots don't have a Revis, and that's the only game "Megatron" hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 3.

    Will DanJarvus Green-Woodhead control the game again? This could be another big day for New England's effective backfield combo of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead. The Patriots have been successful on the ground against 4-3 defenses, including Sunday's victory over the Colts. The Lions feature a rugged defensive line that's anchored by rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and right end Kyle Vanden Bosch. Even so, the Lions rank 26th in run defense and 28th in average allowed per carry.

    Which Patriots rookie tight end will have honors this week? Tom Brady has been alternating back and forth between Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez almost by the week. Hernandez had two touchdown receptions against Cleveland. Gronkowski had three against Pittsburgh. Hernandez had one against Indianapolis. Thanksgiving was supposed to be a big day for the Gronkowskis, but the Lions traded brother Dan Gronkowski to the Denver Broncos in September. Dallas Cowboys fullback Chris Gronkowski will play the New Orleans Saints at 4:15 p.m.
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Here is the complete Patriots injury report:

    Patriots
    Player Pos. Injury Wednesday Participation Game status
    Mike Wright 
    DL Neck/Concussion Did Not Participate Questionable
    Tom Brady QB Right Shoulder/Foot Did Not Participate Questionable
    Stephen Neal G Shoulder Did Not Participate Questionable
    Jonathan Wilhite CB Hip Did Not Participate Questionable

    Jarrad Page S Calf Limited Participation Questionable
    Myron Pryor NT Back Limited Participation Questionable
    Fred Taylor RB Toe Limited Participation Questionable


     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Chris Gasper cgasper The last time TB12 was listed as questionable for a game was last season against the Carolina Panthers (shoulder, rib, finger).
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Bruschi's Breakdown:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/nfl/columns/story?id=5846400

     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    ESPN's Patriots-Lions prediction roundup

    November, 24, 2010
    Nov 24

    By ESPNBoston.com
    A roundup of how ESPN’s analysts see Thursday’s Patriots-Lions game playing out:

    * ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss: Patriots 34, Lions 24. making a prediction for this game, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s close early on before the Patriots pull away late. I think it’s going to be tough to go in there and start as fast as they want to with all the factors in play -- short week, road game, fired up crowd on Thanksgiving. But in the end, I see the Patriots as the more talented team. I like a lot of points in this game.

    * ESPNBoston.com’s Tedy Bruschi: Patriots 31, Lions 21. Shaun Hill will attack the Patriots secondary. I see him putting up good numbers, but the Patriots will continue to cause turnovers. It will be a Happy Thanksgiving for Pats fans.

    * ESPN experts: All eight of the experts pick the Patriots to beat the Lions

    * Sunday Countdown: Keyshawn Johnson, Mike Ditka, Cris Carter and Tom Jackson all pick the Patriots.

    * AccuScore simulations: Patriots 30.4, Lions 20.4 (on average).

    * Madden simulation: Patriots 27, Lions 17. The Lions make a game out of a mismatch, but in the end, turnovers ruin any plans of an upset as Shaun Hill throws two costly interceptions in New England's 27-17 win. Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes and Wes Welker caught six passes for 72 yards and a score to help the formidable Pats move to 9-2 on the season.

    * Ken Moll, Scouts, Inc.: Patriots 26, Lions 20. (Insider)
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    How beat up are the Patriots for tomorrow’s game against the Lions?

    www.bostonherald.com/blogs/sports/rap_sheet/index.php/2010/11/22/patriots-agree-today-wasnt-monday-and-tomorrow-wont-be-tuesday-and-links/"

    />There was little time to recuperate this week. That was well-documented. The Patriots and Lions both will play with just three days of rest, which would even be short for a pitcher in baseball. All of which lends the question…

    How do they feel?

    WR Deion Branch:I felt pretty good. We were blessed this week. Most everybody came out pretty good.”

    LB Gary Guyton:For me, I feel all right right now. I think I’ll be OK.”


    LT Matt LightWe’re going to get a little time afterward, especially with the short week and not really having any off-time. I think Bill (Belichick) will probably throw us a bone and we’ll have a late turkey day.”

    RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis:I don’t even need any Advil as of right now. God blessed me, the line did a good job and I kinda stayed protected and ran behind my pads and things are going pretty well.

    WR Wes Welker:It’s one of those deals where you can’t really think about a day off or anything like that. Just gotta push through and rest over the weekend. You just gotta buckle down and stay on top of it. You have less time but you use all the time you can to make sure you’re ready to go by Thursday.”

     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    National Guard NationalGuard #KidRock will perform “Born Free” during halftime of the Patriots/Lions game Thursday! @realpatriots 
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Good stuff, man. You should run your own video blog where you preview these games. I'd watch it over the network pre-game garbage.
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    In Response to Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread:
    [QUOTE]Good stuff, man. You should run your own video blog where you, preview these games. I'd watch it over the network pre-game garbage.
    Posted by DynastyXXXVI[/QUOTE]

    Thanks.....But, just passing on info to Pats fans who do not have access, nothing special
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Felger & Mazz: Tom Brady’s Injury

    November 24, 2010 6:15 PM


    New England Patriots President Jonathan Kraft joined Felger and Massarotti to discuss the Patriots and even the Red Sox.


    Audio:
    http://boston.cbslocal.com/2010/11/24/felger-mazz-tom-bradys-injury
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    I think all Patriots fans are....lol  Smile

    Ian R. Rapoport RapSheet Jonathan Kraft also told 98.5 The Sports Hub on Thanksgiving Eve: "We're thankful the #Jets cut Danny Woodhead." He's probably not alone.
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Fred Taylor is not out yet............

    New England Patriots realpatriots

    Patriots announce 4 players downgraded to Out; Stephen Neal, Myron Pryor, Jonathan Wilhite and Mike Wright. #fb

     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Mike Reiss MikeReiss Pryor (back) and Wright (concussion) are the team's top interior rushers in sub packages. Gerard Warren/Brandon Deaderick top candidates...

    Without Jonathan Wilhite (hip), the Patriots will once again have just 3 corners active, relying on safeties in sub packages.

    And without starting right guard Stephen Neal (shoulder), the Patriots will once again have Dan Connolly starting at that spot.

    Ian R. Rapoport RapSheet That's a tough deal for the Patriots as far as inside rushers. No Wright or Pryor means it'll be... everyone, really helping out

    Ian R. Rapoport RapSheet Neal has a shoulder, Wilhite a hip. RT @couga189: @RapSheet What's wrong with Neal and whilhite?
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Mike Reiss MikeReiss RB Fred Taylor has made the trip. ... The Patriots will have to deactivate four more players 90 minutes before kickoff.
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Ian R. Rapoport RapSheet Interesting that @JarradPage44 hasnt been downgraded. That means he made the trip and will be a game-time decision. Hasn't played in a month
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Thanks a lot Rocky. This is becoming a great tradition. And it is not self-serving at all. You are doing the board a service my friend, and I hope you keep these pregame threads going for years to come. 
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Patriots downgrade four players to out for Thursday11.24.10 at 7:45 pm ET
    By Christopher Price

    The Patriots announced Wednesday nigh that four players — offensive lineman Stephen Neal, defensive lineman Myron Pryor, cornerback Jonathan Wilhite and defensive lineman Mike Wright — have been downgraded to out for Thursday’s game in Detroit against the Lions. All four players have struggled with injury over the last week, with Wright sustaining a concussion last week against the Colts, while Neal (shoulder), Pryor (back) and Wilhite (hip) have all had injury issues over the last week or two.

    With Neal out, expect Dan Connolly to get a heathy amount of reps at the right guard spot, while the absence of Pryor and Wright will place more responsibilities on the shoulders of defensive linemen like Brandon Deaderick,

    Ron Brace
    , Gerard Warren and Vince Wilfork. And the loss of Wilhite means that Darius Butler is likely to see more time at cornerback — Butler returned to semi-regular duty for the first time since Week 2 last Sunday against the Colts, as Kyle Arrington was shuffled from his spot at corner to an outside linebacker/defensive end role.

    Two interesting names who have been late pregame scratches recently — safety Jarrad Page and running back Fred Taylor — were not on the list, which opens up the possibility that both could see game action for the first time in a couple of months. Page hasn’t played since Oct. 17 and Taylor hasn’t been seen in a game since Sept. 26.

     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Nuggetpalooza Previews Pats-Lions Feast!11.24.10 at 11:29 am ET
    By Gary Marbry

    http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/sports/newengland/football/patriots/2010/11/24/nuggetpalooza-previews-pats-lions-feast/

    So you think the Patriots are getting a breather this week after their tough schedule over the last several weeks? Be careful. Detroit isn’t the pushover that you are used to. New England should win, but it’s worth tuning in!

    As I mentioned last week, when you see “passing ratings”, I don’t use the NFL’s rating. What I’m using is basically net passing yards above or below the league average adjusted up for touchdowns and down for interceptions. There are some other adjustments to make the numbers easier to compare as well.

    Enjoy the game and Happy Thankgiving! I’m thankful for all of you that take the time to read my work.


    * - Don’t panic. The Lions have scored first in three of their last four Thanksgiving Day games, but ended up losing all three by more than 10 points.


    * - New England has allowed 37 total points in their last two fourth quarters. That’s the most such points allowed in two consecutive wins in the NFL since at least 1997. The closest: 35 allowed in consecutive wins by the 2006 Bears.


    * - The Patriots allowed 78.6 percent conversions on third downs last week (11-for-14), the highest single game percentage by any NFL team since Week 16 of the 2008 season and the first time that the Pats have allowed greater than 72 percent conversions in any game since they began tracking the stat in 1991.


    * - The Pats have allowed nine fourth quarter touchdown passes this season through 10 games. That’s more than they allowed in the fourth quarter in any other FULL SEASON except one since 2000. (2005)


    * - Detroit converted nine first downs via passing on third-and-7 or fewer yards to go in last week’s game, the most by any team in the NFL this season and only the fifth time it’s happened since 2003. Nobody has had more than nine since 2003.


    * - The Patriots allowed 396 passing yards to Peyton Manning and the Colts last Sunday, their most allowed in 229 games (413 in 1996). In between, they allowed an average of 214 passing yards per game.


    * - The Lions are on their way to their 10th straight year allowing 10 or more first half points per game as they are at 12.6 so far in 2010. The Patriots have allowed an average of 10 or more such points exactly ONCE in the last 10 years and are at 9.0 this season.


    * - New England (Tom Brady) boasts the league’s second best passing rating on third downs (+8.16), while Detroit’s (Stafford/Hill) ranks a surprisingly strong fifth (+7.72). Having said that, Detroit’s recent (over the last four weeks) third down pass DEFENSE has been the NFL’s worst (+9.80). New England’s third down defense in that span? 20th (+7.19).


    * - Detroit went 10-for-18 (56 percent) on third downs last Sunday. It was just their second time over 50 percent in their last 20 games.


    * - New England forced three turnovers on Sunday and it was their 42nd consecutive win when forcing three or more miscues. Nobody else is even close (SD has won 20 of their last 21 such games). Here’s the CRAZY thing: Detroit has LOST their last nine games when they have FORCED three or more turnovers!


    * - Last Sunday was New England’s sixth turnover-free game this season, their fourth season since 1990 with six such games, joining 1997, 2001, and 2007 (they’ve never had seven such games in that span). The NFL record in a season is nine, by the 2008 Giants.


    * - In the last four games, the Patriots have attempted 17 passes in the red zone without giving up a sack. In the five games prior to that, they tried 28 red zone pass plays and were sacked eight times.


    * - On third down and seven yards or less to go, the Patriots have completed 28 passes and 27 of them got the first down (96 percent), the highest percentage in the league.


    * - Detroit has managed only one pass play of 25 or more yards on first down all season, the fewest in the league:

    1 - Lions
    3 - Browns
    3 - Panthers

    The Patriots have allowed nine such plays on first down.


    * - New England has allowed 22 passing first downs in each of their last two games. They hadn’t allowed 22 or more such first downs in any previous game since they began tracking the stat in 1991. The last team to allow 22+ in consecutive games: The 2004 Raiders. So what are the odds of continuing the streak to three games? Well, Detroit hasn’t managed even 20 passing first downs in their last 56 games.


    * - New England is the only team that hasn’t taken a first quarter sack this season and their “sack-free” first quarter streak is now at 20 games. Since 2003, the longest such streak is 26, by the Titans in 2007-2008.


    * - The Pats allowed 467 yards last week, the fourth straight game allowing 400 or more. Since 1990, they’ve never allowed 400+ in more than four in a row. Only Washington (4,111) and Houston (4,088) have allowed more total yards this season than New England (3,984).


    * - The Lions have won just 2-of-48 since 2007 when they’ve trailed at some point during the game.


    * - 16 different times already this season, Detroit has completed a pass on third-and-8+ to get the first down. That doesn’t sound like a crazy-high number, but it’s just one fewer such passing first downs than they had in ALL of last season and MORE than they managed in 2006, 2007, or 2008.


    * - For the season, opponents have completed 71 percent of their passes against the Patriots, the highest in the league:

    71% - Patriots
    68% - Jaguars
    68% - Steelers


    * - Detroit’s 46 receptions by running backs behind the line of scrimmage leads the league, followed by New Orleans (44) and San Diego (42). Note: This stat does not include Week 11 results.


    * - Since the start of the 2000 season, the Patriots are +140 in first quarter scoring margin in road games, the best mark in the NFL:

    +140 - Patriots
    +101 - Eagles
    +48 - Packers


    * - The Pats converted 7-of-11 third downs last Sunday (64 percent), their best mark since Week 1. They had gone just 6-of-21 over the last two weeks (28 percent).


    * - The Lions have rushed for 100 or more yards in just three games all season.


    * - For the fourth week in a row, the Patriots allowed a reception by an opposing running back to gain 25 or more yards. The Patriots had allowed just two such receptions during each of the last two seasons. If the streak reaches five on Thursday, it would tie the longest such streak in the NFL since at least 2003.

     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Patriots minus top interior rushers

    November, 24, 2010
    By Mike Reiss
    DETROIT -- The Patriots will be without their top interior pass rushers for Thursday's game against the Lions, as defensive linemen Mike Wright (concussion/neck) and Myron Pryor (back) have been downgraded to out on the team's injury report.

    In addition, starting right guard Stephen Neal (shoulder) and cornerback Jonathan Wilhite (hip) will miss their second straight game, the team announced.

    Wright leads the Patriots with 5.5 sacks, and in the team's 4-2-5 nickel package, he most often lines up at tackle next to Pryor while playing a penetrating-type role.

    So the Patriots will have to alter that part of their plan, with veteran Gerard Warren a top candidate. The Patriots have Ron Brace, Vince Wilfork and Brandon Deaderick as starters in the base 3-4, and those players could also join the rotation in passing situations, along with rookie free agent Kyle Love.

    On the offensive line, Neal will be replaced by five-year veteran Dan Connolly, who has filled in capably this season at both guard spots.

    On a related note, veteran running back Fred Taylor (toe) had made the trip and could be active for the first time since Sept. 26. Safety Jarrad Page (calf) has also made the trip and could play for the first time since Oct. 17.
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    From the Hart: Lions Wednesday Six-Pack

    Written by Andy Hart on November 24, 2010 – 6:39 pm -

    http://blog.pfwonline.com/?p=3981
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread



    Mike Reiss MikeReiss OL Mark LeVoir's downgrade is because of an elbow injury.
     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Tom Brady's rise to stardom started at Michigan

    By Larry Lage AP Sports Writer / November 24, 2010

    DETROIT—Tom Brady has become one of the NFL's best quarterbacks, leading New England to three Super Bowl titles and winning two MVP awards.

    Brady said his "incredible" experience in college at Michigan prepared him to play for Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

    "It's a very tough football program," he said. "I think our head coach, Lloyd Carr, really demanded the best out of us every day in practice -- very much along the lines of what coach Belichick does. That taught me about competition and what it means to be a leader."

    He learned well: Brady's career record is 119-36, including the playoffs.

    Since he became a starter in 2001, the Detroit Lions are 35-119.

    The league has matched up the lowly Lions with a marquee QB for their annual showcase game on Thanksgiving, as usual in the hopes of holding viewers for a game that is often lopsided. Detroit has lost a franchise-high six straight games on the holiday by an average of 23.2 points, and eight of nine in its showcase game.

    "It presents a platform and opportunity to show people who don't watch us on a weekly basis that we are better than a 2-8 team," said Lions quarterback Shaun Hill, who will start in place of injured Matthew Stafford for a third straight week and eighth time this season.

    New England (8-2) is tied for the NFL's best record and Detroit's mark is better than only the one-win Carolina Panthers.

    "We still believe we've got the pieces to be a good team, and at times we're playing really well," Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said. "But it's a bottom-line business and our record isn't good. It's time to start winning and beating a good team at home would be big for this locker room and the perception of this team.

    "The thing we feel good about in a way is that we haven't been outclassed or overmatched by anybody in the league. It's just a matter of winning."

    Brady's path to being one of the best winners in sports began on the bench at Michigan.

    "Tommy had to work for everything he had," said Florida Gators quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler, who tutored Brady as a student and graduate assistant. "But you always knew he was going to be a winner because his intangibles are off the charts."

    Brady barely played as an underclassmen, backing up Brian Griese on the 1997 national championship team. As a senior, he had to compete with Drew Henson for playing time. That perhaps led to him being a sixth-round pick, drafted 199th overall, behind four teammates.

    "He was hoping to play sooner than he did, then he had to prove himself again and again," said Lions offensive tackle Jeff Backus, a teammate of Brady's at Michigan. "He has talked about playing with a chip on his shoulder for not being drafted until the later rounds. He just wasn't going to be stopped because he just has a natural ability to stay poised. Anybody in a huddle with him can tell that right away."

    Carr hasn't been in a huddle with Brady, but he has looked into his eyes enough to see something special. The last time Carr did it, he knew New England's upcoming opponents were in trouble.

    The former Michigan coach went to Cleveland earlier this month to watch Brady play the Browns with one of his former teammates and best friends, Aaron Shea.

    "We talked a little bit before the game and only for a minute after the game because he was not happy," Carr recalled. "After seeing the look he had in his eye, I told Aaron, `Watch what this team does going forward.'"

    Brady and the Patriots bounced back from a 20-point loss at Cleveland by winning at Pittsburgh in a rout and beating Indianapolis by three points on Sunday to tie the New York Jets for the best record in the AFC East.

    "He's got one thing on his mind: winning another Super Bowl," Carr said.

    If Brady can lift New England to another championship, his fourth would tie Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana for the most by a QB in league history.

    If the Lions don't win another game this season, they will sink to the NFL's lowest winning percentage over a 10-season span. The Philadelphia Eagles won just .219 percent of their games from 1933-42 and an 0-6 finish would make the Lions' mark a fraction worse than that.

    Detroit linebacker Julian Peterson, who pulled off a rare feat against Brady by holding off his comeback attempt at Michigan State in 1999, said the Lions are still determined to turn around the season.

    "This is like a playoff game with us because I doubt we'll make the playoffs this year," Peterson said. "If we can beat a great team like the Patriots, this would be a stepping stone for us."

     
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    Re: Patriots/Lions Pre-game Thread

    Lions-Patriots scouting report, prediction

    BY DAVE BIRKETT
    DETROIT FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER


    http://www.freep.com/article/20101124/SPORTS01/101124064/1048/rss03
     
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