This Saturday’s pairing between The New England Patriots and Detroit Lions should be one of the more interesting matchups this preseason has to offer. The Pats have been hands down the most impressive team this preseason. With huge offseason acquisitions learning how to fit in on both sides of the ball, be prepared to see much of the same out of New England this week. Last week the Pats played a very strong, up and coming team from Tampa, and wasted little time going to work on them. With Tom Brady behind the ball, they put up 21 points in the first quarter alone. Teams have a hard enough time stopping Brady in the regular season, never mind preseason. With a 28-0 lead at half, the Pats coasted to an easy 31-14 victory. We also were entertained by Ochocinco’s first (but hardly last) TD as a Pat.
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As for the Lion’s, this isn’t the same 0-16 team, fans are often reminded of. This team, through flawless drafting, and determination to get out of the basement, is one of the best ATS teams in the league. They fight for every inch—nothing comes easy to these guys. Defense has taken extraordinary strides to become one of the top 10 defenses in the game, and with Calvin Johnson having the ability to catch just about anything in sight; the offense should do just fine. The only pending question is if the Lion’s quarterbacks are up to the challenge of leading this team every single week. It’s possible Stafford may come into his own, but the guy can only take so many big hits before injuries begin to materialize. It’s also likely that Hill and Stanton will be battling for back up duties. Stafford hasn’t done enough to lose his starting job yet, but after letting his shoulder heal up this offseason he better be prepared to defend his spot on the roster.
There should be no shortage of offense in this game, as both are looking to seal up final spots on both sides of the ball–not to mention these are the 1 and 2 squads in PTS per game. New England is very deep in all positions, and since the Pats haven’t won the coveted Lombardi Trophy since Belichick stopped taping their opponent’s practices, look for them to not give up anything easy, including preseason. They’re coming from all angles—offense, defense, hell even special teams. They have a great leg in Gostkowski, who is pretty much lights out from 55 yards and in. New England is one to fear this season, love or hate them; they will be someone to keep an eye on.
Although I love how the Lions have turned things around, and have had a great pre season, the streak comes to an end at home this week. The Pats are too good, and fire on all cylinders night in and night out. With it being week 3 of the preseason expect to see a little more from Brady and Friends and big numbers early, with Gostkowski getting them through the later portion of the game with long FG’s to bring home the “W”. Lines playing at -4 in favour of the Pats, keep a close eye as it may jump to a more attractive line as the game approaches.