The Detroit Lions have a test ahead of them that few have rarely passed in recent years and that is to go into Foxborough and escape with a victory. The New England Patriots await the Lions, armed with a 19-1 record in their last 20 regular-season games. Tom Brady has been putting on an aerial show at Gillette Stadium this season, throwing for 15 touchdowns against one interception in five games.
New England was left for dead by many after it was pummeled 41-14 on Monday Night Football in Week 4 by the Kansas City Chiefs. Since then, the Patriots have won six straight games and seen a much more productive Rob Gronkowski. After going through multiple injuries over the past few seasons, Gronkowski has rebounded to amass 53 catches and 734 yards with nine touchdowns in 2014, with 94+ receiving yards on four of the last six contests.
Detroit will have to limit Gronkowski by hurrying Brady, and it's well-equipped to do so. The Lions have a terrific front four led by Ezekiel Ansah and Ndamukong Suh, who will certainly pose a challenge for New England's average offensive line. Under Jim Caldwell, Detroit has become the top-ranked defense in the NFL, allowing a meager 290.3 yards per game. Against the pass, the Lions check in ninth in yards against per attempt at 6.9.
The contest is rife with playoff implications for both teams. The Patriots are 8-2 and will likely win the AFC East but are only one game ahead of the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs for the top spot in the conference The Lions are 7-3 and are tied atop the NFC North with the Green Bay Packers. A loss could put Detroit's hopes of a playoff berth in serious jeopardy in the crowded NFC.
How to Watch
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough
When: 1 p.m. ET
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
For more on the Lions, check out Pride of Detroit.
To keep up on the Patriots, head over to Pats Pulpit.