In The Red Zone: Detroit Lions @ New England Patriots Preview Week 12

In the Red Zone

This Week

Detroit Lions @ New England Patriots

The New England Patriots host the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro MA on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Lions The Patriots
Overall Record 7-3 Overall Record 8-2
Road Record 3-2 Home Record 5-0
AFC East 2-1 NFC North 2-0
AFC Conf 2-1 NFC Conf 2-0

Tony Corrente is the referee for the game.

The Line/Prediction

As of Thursday the line on the game from sportsbetting.ag via Yahoo Sports has the Patriots at MINUS 7. The over/under is 48.

My Prediction is Patriots 31, Lions, 20. Give the points (Patriots) and take the over. I am 7-3 against the spread and 6 of 10 on calling the over/under in 2014.

Tickets

The Patriots are reporting the game as a sell out. It is the 224th consecutive sell out dating back to the 1994 season opener. The record includes preseason, regular season and playoff games.

Tickets to the game, if available, can be purchased through Ticketmaster. You can check the availability here.

After market tickets are available through the Official Patriots Ticket Exchange where season ticket holders can sell their unused seats to fans on the season ticket waiting list.

Getting to the Game

If you’re lucky enough to be going to the game in Foxboro make sure you check out the links.

Here is the up to date weather forecast from the Weather Channel for Foxboro MA.

Click for all the game day information including stadium directions, parking information and map and a Gillette Stadium seating chart.

Tailgating

Here’s a bunch of different tailgating recipes from Tailgating.com. There’s something there for everyone and every type of meal or snack. I’ve tried some of the recipes and they’re very good.

You can find other recipes from the team on their website. Includes Gronk’s Buffalo Chicken Dip, Carne Asada Fries, Cincinnati Chili and more.

And with tailgating many people enjoy some adult beverages. With that in mind check out Drink Nation for how to make all sorts of great drinks. You can look things up by name, ingredient(s) or theme.

Whether it’s at the game, a bar or a friend’s house moderation is always the key to a great time. Please don’t drink and drive and designate a sober driver. Remember drive sober or get pulled over.

BROADCAST INFORMATION
Television

FOX in televising the game regionally and Joe Buck will do play by play while Hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman will provide the game analysis and Erin Andrews works the sidelines. You can look here for your local affiliate.

See if you’re getting the game courtesy of J.P. Kirby at the506.com.

The DirecTV designation is Channel 712.

Here are all the rules on NFL TV broadcasts including explaining the blackout rules; flex scheduling and commercial breaks.

Radio

The Patriots Radio Network broadcasts the game from flagship station WBZ-FM, 98.5 the Sports Hub in Boston. Bob Socci handles the play-by-play and former Patriots QB Scott Zolak will do game analysis. It all starts with Gary Tanguay and Andy Gresh with the pregame show at 10 a.m. on the network. The post game starts after the final gun and continues for three hours along the network.

The Patriots Radio Network call is available on Sirius Channel 85, XM Channel 85 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 818.

The Lions Radio Network has Dan Miller calling play by play with Jim Brandstatter doing the color and Tony Ortiz on the sidelines via their flagship stations WXYT-FM 97.1 and WXYT-AM 1270.

Their call is available on Sirius Channel 135 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 810.

ESPN Radio will have the game with Marc Kestecher calling the game, Bill Polian doing analysis and Ian Fitzsimmons on the sidelines.

Patriots All Access

Patriots All-Access features behind the scenes looks, interviews and breakdowns with head coach Bill Belichick and in depth features on the team. It’s hosted by Steve Burton of WBZ-TV (Boston) and airs weekly in most New England television markets.

  • Boston MA on TV 38 Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
  • Providence RI on WNAC Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
  • Manchester NH on WMUR Saturday at midnight
  • Portland ME on WMTW Saturday at 5 a.m.
  • Hartford CT on WCTX Saturday at 5 p.m.
  • Springfield MA on WFXQ Saturday at 7 p.m.
  • Bangor ME on WVII Sunday at 11 a.m.

You can also watch it anytime on the teams website in the media section.

Last Week

The Patriots ran all over the Colts in Indy, 42-20.

The Lions lost to the Cardinals on the road, 14-6.

History

  • This is the 11th meeting between the Patriots and the Lions all since 1971.
  • New England leads the series 6-4
  • Patriots have won the last 3 meetings.
  • The Patriots won the last meeting between the teams on Thanksgiving Day 2010 at Ford Field, 45-24.

Patriots Team Notes

Here is the Patriots roster, depth chart and injury report for the game.

2014 Patriots Schedule/Results

Franchise notes:

  • The Patriots overall franchise record is 446-375-9. They have won three Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) in seven appearances. Overall they are 25-18 in the post season.
  • They last appeared in the playoffs in 2013 when they beat Indianapolis in the AFC Divisional Round 43-22 and lost at Denver 26-16 in the AFC Championship Game.
  • It was the 3rd consecutive AFC Championship game appearance for the franchise and 10th overall. They are 7-3 in those AFC title games.
  • The Patriots were 12-4 (1-1 in playoffs) in 2013 and are the defending five-time AFC East Champions. They have won the division 11 times and the conference 5 times since 2000.
  • New England is the only NFL team to finish .500 or better in each of the last 14 seasons (2001-2014).
  • They are the first team in the free agency era (1993) to win more than half their games in a 13-season span.
  • They have 11 consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins.

The Kraft Family Era (1994-present):

This is the 21st season of Patriots ownership by the Kraft family. Since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994 they:

  • Have the most Super Bowl wins, 3.
  • Have the most regular season wins, 225.
  • Have the most wins including playoffs, 246.
  • Have the most conference titles, 6.
  • Have the most division titles, 13.
  • Have the most playoff wins, 21
  • Have played the most playoff games, 33.
  • Are tied for the most playoff seasons, 15.
  • The fewest head coaches within the division, 3.
  • Have drafted the most Pro Bowl players, 20.

From 1960 to 1993 the New England/Boston Patriots won a total of 225 games.

In the Belichick Era (2000-present):

  • Since 2003 the Patriots have the NFL’s best record at 146-40.
  • Since 2000 the Patriots are 91-23 in the second half of the season. They have gone 8-0 four times and 7-1 three times.
  • Since 2001 New England is 39-14 in November the best record in the NFL.
  • Since 2000 they have the best road record in the NFL 76-41.
  • Have 14 consecutive seasons without a losing record.
  • Patriots are 11-4 after a bye week.
  • New England has won 73 straight home games when leading at halftime. The last loss at home when leading at halftime was December 24, 2000 vs. Miami they lost 27-24 after leading at half 21-17.

Against the NFC:

Since re-alignment in 2002 New England is 41-9 vs. the NFC.

Have won 13 consecutive games vs. NFC North teams.

They are 21-4 vs. the NFC at Gillette Stadium.

Against the Lions:

  • Last game in 2010 Tom Brady was 21 of 27 for 341 yards and 4 TD’s. Deion Branch (3 catches, 113 yards), Wes Welker (80 catches, 90 yards) and BenJarvis Green-Ellis (12 carries, 59 yards) each had 2 TD’s.
  • Patriots have won the last 3 games, 4 of the last 5 and 6 of the last 8 between the teams.
  • As the home team the Patriots are 3-2 vs. the Lions.
  • Three of the last four games were in Detroit and all three were played on Thanksgiving Day (2000, 2002 and 2010). New England went 2-1 in those games.
  • This is the 5th meeting in the Belichick era (15 seasons) after playing only 6 times in the previous 29 years.
  • This is the Lions second visit to Gillette Stadium, the last was in 2006 and they lost 28-21.
  • This is just Detroit’s third visit to Foxboro in the last 21 years.
  • Brady made his NFL debut at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, 2000. He was 1 for 3 for 6 yards in a 34-9 loss.

Last Week vs. the Colts:

  • Win secured 14th straight season without a losing record.
  • Won their 6th consecutive game the longest win streak in the NFL and currently have the NFL’s second best record behind Arizona (9-1) and hold the top seed in the AFC.
  • RB Jonas Gray became a national sensation rushing 37 times for 201 yards and 4 TD’s on SNF. The Patriots are now 40-1 since 2000 when they have a 100-yard rusher.
  • Gray set a franchise record with 4 TD’s. RB LeGarrett Blount had 4 TD’s vs. Indianapolis in the 2013 AFC Divisional Game but playoff records and regular season records are separate. Corey Dillon, Curtis Martin, Mosi Tatupu, Tony Collins and Sam “Bam” Cunningham all had 3 rushing TD’s in a regular season game.
  • Gray’s 201 yards rushing are third most in team history behind Jim Nance (208, 1966 vs. Oakland) and Tony Collins (212, 1983 vs. NY Jets).
  • Gray had 100 rushing yards (14 carries) in the first half and 101 yards (23 carries) in the second half.
  • The team had over 200 rushing yards for the second time this season.
  • Patriots held Colts to 19 rushing yards the fourth lowest total in team history.
  • Had four scoring drives of 80 yards or more.
  • Had 33 first downs to the Colts 17 first downs.
  • New England had 501 total yards to Indianapolis’ 322.
  • Patriots had 5 penalties vs. the Colts for 53 yards.
  • The Colts top 10 yardage plays allowed by the Patriots were all passing plays the longest being 46 yards. Their longest rush against the defense was 7 yards by Andrew Luck.
  • Six of the top 10 yardage plays for the Patriots were pass plays the longest being the 39-yard pass to Shane Vereen. The longest rush was by Julian Edelman for 25 yards.

In the 2014 Season:

  • With 1 more win they win have their 14 consecutive winning season by far the most currently in the NFL.
  • Have won 14 games in a row at Gillette including playoffs since losing to Baltimore in the 2012 AFC Championship Game. It is the longest current home win streak in the NFL.
  • Have won 6 games in a row after a 2-2 start. Won vs. Cincinnati, at Buffalo, vs. NY Jets, vs. Chicago, vs. Denver and at Indianapolis since a miserable loss in Kansas City Week 4.
  • New England has 84 penalties this season in 10 weeks and has been penalized 752 yards. This eclipses the Patriots totals for 2013 when they had 69 penalties and lost 625 yards in 16 weeks.
  • Patriots have had multiple turnovers in both losses this season while having no turnovers in 5 of their 8 wins.
  • New England is PLUS 11 in turnover differential they are 2nd in the NFL. They have 11 INT and have recovered 8 fumbles while they have thrown 5 INT’s and lost 3 fumbles.
  • The Patriots are 2nd in points scored averaging 32.3 points per game and are 13th in points allowed with 21.8 points per game.

Patriots Staff Notes

This is the link to head coach Bill Belichick’s Wednesday press conference on the Lions.

Bill Belichick notes:

  • Bill Belichick is 3-3 vs. the Lions. He is 3-1 with New England and 0-2 with Cleveland.
  • Overall in his NFL career Belichick is 207-106 in his 20th NFL season as a head coach. He is 171-62 with New England and 36-44 with Cleveland. He is 19-9 in the playoffs, 18-8 as head coach of the Patriots in the post season. When you combine his regular season and post season records he is 226-116.
  • Belichick’s 226 wins are good for 5th all-time. Hall of Fame member Curly Lambeau is 4th with 229 wins.
  • He has won 5 conference titles; he needs one more to tied Don Shula’s record of 6.
  • He is the first head coach to have had 4 teams that scored at least 500 points in a season.
  • Belichick is one of five head coaches in NFL history whose father (Steve Belichick) played in the league. The others are former Kansas City head coach Todd Haley (Dick Haley), former San Francisco head coach Mike Nolan (Dick Nolan), former Cincinnati head coach David Shula (Don Shula) and former NY Jets head coach Joe Walton (Frank Walton).
  • Belichick is one of just four coaches to win three Super Bowls, joining Chuck Noll (4), Joe Gibbs (3) and Bill Walsh (3). Those men are all in the Hall of Fame.
  • He is the only coach in NFL history to win three championship titles in four seasons.
  • No coach either as the head coach or an assistant has appeared in more Super Bowls than Belichick who has been to 8 (five as a head coach).
  • He is the only coach in NFL history to have led his team to 10+ wins in 11 consecutive seasons.
  • He has been NFL Coach of the Year three times he and Chuck Knox are the only three time winners, while Don Shula won four times.
  • Was the Lions special teams coach (1976-77) and tight ends/receivers coach (1977).

Other Personnel/Coaches:

  • Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was a grad assistant at Michigan State in 1999.
  • Tight ends coach Brian Dabol was a Michigan State grad assistant in 1998-99.

Patriots Possible Starters

Offense:

  • LT: Solder
  • LG: Connolly
  • C: Stork
  • RG: Wendell
  • RT: Vollmer
  • TE: Gronkowski
  • WR: LaFell
  • WR: Edelman
  • WR: Tyms
  • QB: Brady
  • RB: Gray

Defense:

  • DE: Ninkovich
  • DT: Wilfork
  • DT: Chr. Jones
  • DE: Moore
  • LB: Collins
  • LB: Hightower
  • LCB: Revis
  • RCB: Arrington
  • DB: Browner
  • S: Chung
  • S: McCourty

Patriots Players Notes

Tom Brady Notes:

  • This is his 15th NFL season he is 3-0 vs. the Lions in his career. He is 88-13 at home in the regular season.
  • He is 40-10 in his career vs. the NFC in the regular season.
  • Overall he is 156-45 as a starting QB and is 18-8 in the playoffs for an overall record of 174-53. He is a 9 time Pro Bowl QB; 3 time All-Pro selection; two time NFL MVP and has won 3 Super Bowls while twice being named the games MVP. He is also listed as the 21st Greatest Player in the History of the NFL according to the NFL Network.
  • Has multiple TD pass games for 6 consecutive games. Week 5 vs. Cincinnati (2), Week 6 at Buffalo (4), Week 7 vs. NYJets (3), Week 8 vs. Chicago (5), Week 9 vs. Denver (4) and Week 11 at Indianapolis (2).
  • 383 TD passes in his career makes him 4th in NFL history by 1 TD pass over Drew Brees.
  • 156 career wins are 3rd all-time behind only Brett Favre and Peyton Manning.
  • He has thrown for 2 or more TD’s in 121 games; the team’s record is 104-17.
  • Has put up 50+ points on an opponent 7 times all since 2007 and now has the most 50+ point games for a quarterback in NFL history. Len Dawson is 2nd with six games of 50+ points.

Rob Gronkowski notes:

  • Has caught a pass in 60 consecutive games it’s the 4th longest streak currently for a tight end.
  • With 1 more TD catch will become first TE in NFL history to have four seasons with 10 or more TD catches.
  • Had 9 catches for 105 yards and 1 TD Week 9 vs. Denver.
  • Leads team in TD’s with 9 and receiving yards with 734.
  • Had 9 catches for 149-yards and 3 TD’s vs. Chicago Week 8.
  • It was his 15th 100+ receiving yard games in his career. Extending his own team record.
  • Had 6 catches for 100-yards and 1 TD vs. Cincinnati Week 5.
  • Is 2nd in team history with 52 touchdowns (51 rec, 1 rush). Stanley Morgan is first with 68 TD’s (67 rec, 1 return).
  • Second fastest player to 50 TD’s in NFL history (tied with Randy Moss, 59 games).

Julian Edelman notes:

  • Named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 9.
  • Had 9 catches for 89 yards and 1 TD and an 84-yard punt return for a TD Week 9 vs. Denver for 173 total yards.
  • Punt return TD vs. Denver Week 9 was his 13th punt return of 30+ yards (2nd in franchise history) and his 4th for a TD (new team record).
  • Had 9 catches for 91 yards, 1 carry for 10 yards and 3 punt returns for 12 yards for 113 total yards Week 6 at Buffalo.
  • Has 4 career games with 10 or more catches after a 10-catch game Week 3 vs. Oakland.
  • Leads team in receiving with 59 catches.
  • Opened the season with a 95 receiving yards at Miami and added 81 yards receiving at Minnesota Week 2.
  • Had 156 total yards Week 2 at Minnesota (81 receiving, 9 rushing and 66 on punt returns).

Jonas Gray notes:

  • Named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 11.
  • In Week 11 at Indianapolis had 37 carries for 201 yards and 4 TD’s.
  • Gray set a franchise record with 4 TD’s Week 11 at Indianapolis. Breaking the record shared by Corey Dillon (vs. Detroit 2006), Curtis Martin (vs. Miami 1996), Mosi Tatupu (at LA Rams, 1993), Tony Collins (vs. NY Jets 1983) and Sam “Bam” Cunningham (at Buffalo, 1974) who all had 3 rushing TD’s in a regular season game.
  • Gray’s 201 yards rushing (Week 11 at Indianapolis) are third most in team history behind Jim Nance (208, 1966 vs. Oakland) and Tony Collins (212, 1983 vs. NY Jets).
  • Only 3rd NFL player to get his first four career TD’s in one game and first since Herb Henderson of the Evansville Crimson Giants in 1921.
  • Tied a single game NFL record with 15 rushing first downs Week 11 at Indianapolis with Corey Dillon and Edgerrin James.
  • Leads team in rushing TD’s (4).
  • Is second on team in rushing yards with 332 just 8 yards behind Stevan Ridley who is on the season ending IR.
  • Had 86 yards on 17 carries in his second NFL game Week 8 vs. Chicago.

Tim Wright notes:

  • Had 7 catches for 61-yards and a TD vs. Chicago Week 8.
  • Has TD catches in 4 of the last 6 games Week 5 vs. Cincinnati, Week 6 at Buffalo, Week 8 vs. Chicago and Week 11 at Indianapolis.

Brandon LaFell notes:

  • Had 6 catches for 53 yards and 1 TD Week 9 vs. Denver.
  • Had 11 catches for 124 yards (both career highs) and 1 TD vs. Chicago Week 8.
  • Had 4 catches for 97 yards and 2 TD’s at Buffalo Week 6 it was his 2nd two TD game of his career.

Shane Vereen notes:

  • Had 29 rushing yards and 38 receiving yards and 1 TD catch Week 9 vs. Denver.
  • Had 43 rushing yards on 11 carries and 5 catches for 71 yards and 2 TD’s for 114 total yards from scrimmage Week 7 vs. New York.
  • Had 90 rushing yards on 9 carries and 3 catches for 18 receiving yards for 108 yards from scrimmage Week 5 vs. Cincinnati.
  • Set franchise record with receptions (12) and receiving yards (153) by a running back in a single-game Week 14 (2013) vs. Cleveland.
  • Became just fourth NFL running back to post 150 receiving yards in a single-game in the last 10 seasons.

LeGarrette Blount notes:

  • Returns to Foxboro after being released by Pittsburgh. Signed a two-year deal at veteran minimums.
  • Had 266 yards rushing with 2 TD’s on 65 carries for the Steelers this year. Also caught 6 passes for 36 yards.
  • In his first career playoff game vs. Indianapolis 2013 AFC Divisional Game he scored a Patriots franchise playoff record 4 rushing TD’s.
  • Was AFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 17, 2013 for Patriots vs. Bills.
  • Had first 2 TD game as a Patriot week 16 at Baltimore. It was the third of his career.
  • Set franchise record with 334 total yards Week 17 vs. Buffalo (189 rushing; 145 KOR)
  • Set career high with 189 rushing yards Week 17 vs. Buffalo. Previous high was 164 vs. Seattle Week 15 in 2010 while with Tampa Bay.
  • Led team in TD’s with 7 (career high) with Stevan Ridley in 2013.
  • Second in rushing yards with 772, one yard behind Ridley in 2013.

Stephen Gostkowski notes:

  • Had a 15-point game vs. Chicago Week 8 with 3 field goals and 6 XPT’s.
  • Missed his first field goal attempt of 2014 in first quarter, Week 6 at Buffalo.
  • Had a 19-point game vs. Cincinnati Week 5 with 5 field goals and 4 XPT’s. The five field goals were a new career high.
  • Has converted 32 consecutive 4th quarter field goals.
  • Has not missed an extra point since Week 17 2006 at Tennessee in his rookie season.
  • Lead NFL in scoring in both 2012 and 2013.
  • Has scored at least 1 point in 116 consecutive games a franchise record.
  • He is tied for second in team history in points with Gino Cappelletti (1,130), trailing only Adam Vinatieri (1,158).
  • Has team record of 13 career field goals of 50+ yards.

Vince Wilfork notes:

  • Was in on 6 tackles (2 solo) Week 6 at Buffalo.
  • Had his 3rd career INT vs. Oakland Week 3. He is the first Patriots lineman to have 3 career INT’s.
  • Has 7 fumbles recoveries since 2010 the second most in the NFL in that span behind teammate Rob Ninkovich.

Darrelle Revis notes:

  • Has 23 career INT’s and is one of the top shutdown corners in the NFL.
  • Got his 2nd INT of the year at the end of half Week 8 vs. Chicago.
  • Had his first forced fumble of the year Week 5 vs. Cincinnati.
  • In Patriots debut Week 1 at Miami had 1 tackles, 2 passes defensed and recovered a fumble.
  • Had his first Patriots INT Week 2 at Minnesota against Matt Cassel. Also had 3 tackles and 1 pass defensed.

Rob Ninkovich notes:

  • Had 5 tackles (4 solo), a sack, a tackle for loss and 2 QB hits Week 11 at Indianapolis.
  • Had 3 tackles (1 solo), 1 INT and 1 pass defensed vs. Denver Week 9.
  • Had his 13th career fumble recovery Week 8 vs. Chicago. The 13-fumble recoveries are the most in the NFL since 2010.
  • The TD return was the second of his career. He had an INT return for TD in 2011 Week 9 at NY Jets.
  • Leads team with 5 sacks.
  • Week 6 at Buffalo had 6 tackles (4 solo) and 3 sacks. It was his first career 3-sack day.
  • Week 2 at Minnesota had 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss and 2 QB hits.

Dont’a Hightower notes:

  • Had 6 tackles (3 solo), 2 QB hits and 1 pass defensed Week 11 at Indianapolis.
  • Had 10 tackles (4 solo) vs. Chicago Week 8.
  • Returned after a 2 week absence and had 13 tackles (9 solo), 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss and 1 QB hit Week 7 vs. the Jets.
  • Didn’t play Week 5 vs. Cincinnati or Week 6 at Buffalo due to a knee injury.
  • Third on team with 3.5 sacks.
  • Along with Chandler Jones he led team with 8 tackles and 2 sacks Week 2 at Minnesota. He also had 2 tackles for loss, 2 QB hits and 1 pass defensed.
  • Had his first career 2-sack game Week 2 at Minnesota.

Jamie Collins notes:

  • Led team in tackles Week 8 vs. Chicago with 11 (6 solo), Week 9 vs. Denver with 11 (10 solo) and Week 11 at Indianapolis with 8 (5 solo).
  • Had two tackles for loss and forced his second fumble of the year Week 11 at Indianapolis.
  • Had 13 tackles (7 solo) Week 7 vs. NY Jets.
  • Leads team with 67 tackles (46 solo).
  • Had 4 tackles (2 solo) and an INT Week 6 at Buffalo. It was his first NFL INT.
  • Has recovered a fumble and forced 2 fumbles in 2014.

General Team news:

Former Patriots CB Ty Law is a semi finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Roster moves this week:

  • Re-signed free agent RB LeGarrette Blount
  • Released DL Casey Walker

Patriots team captains for 2014:

Former Lions on the Patriots:

  • none

Players with New England roots:

  • none

Players with Michigan roots:

Players from New England based colleges and universities:

Players from Michigan based colleges and universities:

  • QB Tom Brady – Michigan
  • DT Alan Branch – Michigan
  • LB Cameron Gordon (IR) – Michigan

The Patriots have 6 retired numbers:

  • 20 – Gino Cappelletti
  • 40 – Mike Haynes
  • 73 – John Hannah
  • 78 – Bruce Armstrong
  • 79 – Jim Lee Hunt
  • 89 – Bob Dee

Lions Team Notes

Here is the Lions roster, depth chart and injury report for the game.

2014 Lions Schedule/Results

Franchise notes:

  • Detroit’s all-time record is 524-623-32 they are 7-11 in the post season with their last post season appearance coming in 2011 when they lost at New Orleans 45-28 in the NFC Wild Card game.
  • They have never played in a Super Bowl. They last played for a conference championship in 1991 when they lost at Washington in the NFC Championship Game, 41-10.
  • They have won four NFL Championships in 1935, 1952, 1953 and 1957.
  • They once lost a playoff game (1970) to Dallas, 5-0.
  • Started as the Portsmouth Spartans in 1929 and moved to Detroit and were re-named the Lions for the 1934 season.
  • From 2011-13 the Lions have recorded the three highest offensive yardage outputs in franchise history with all three seasons producing at least 6,200 yards of offense.
  • In past five seasons the Lions offense has been Top 5 in the league in offensive production.
  • Since 2010 the Lions defensive line has the 4th most sacks in the NFL (150.5) and tackles for loss (103).
  • Since 2010 the defensive line has the 3rd most total negative plays (253.5) in the NFL.
  • In 2008-09 team combined to go 2-30 and used those bad seasons to draft Matt Stafford and Ndamukong Suh. Since 2010 the Lions are a more respectable 34-40 with one playoff appearance.

Ford Family Ownership (1972-present):

  • The Ford Family is the 8th most senior team ownership group in the NFL.
  • William Clay Ford, who passed away in March at age 88, bought controlling interest in the Lions on November 22, 1963 from Edwin Anderson and Lyle Fife for $4.5 M. He was the last surviving grandchild of Henry Ford.
  • The Lions are now owned by his widow, Martha Firestone Ford who is the granddaughter of industrial icon Harvey Firestone.
  • Mrs. Ford is joined on the board by her four children: Martha Ford Morse, Sheila Ford Hamp, Elizabeth Ford Kontulis and William Clay Ford Jr.
  • Under ownership of the Ford Family the Lions are 307-446-14 in the regular season and 1-10 in the playoffs for an overall record of 308-456-14.
  • The lone playoff win of the Ford Era was over the Dallas Cowboys in the 1991 NFC Division Game in Detroit. They won 38-6.
  • Prior to the Ford Family ownership the Lions had a record of 216-167-18 and were 6-1 in playoff games.

Against the Patriots:

  • They are 2-3 vs. New England as the road team.
  • It’s been 21 years since Detroit beat New England on the road.
  • They last won in Foxboro in Week 2 1993 beating the Bill Parcells led Patriots, 19-16.
  • Their other Foxboro win came in 1971 when they whipped a John Mazur coached team 34-7 in Week 2. It was 22 years until they won again in Foxboro.

In 2014:

  • Have the leagues top rushing defense and total yardage defense as well as allowing the fewest points.
  • Had a 4 game snapped last week at Arizona and have won 6 of the last 8 games.
  • This is their second consecutive road game, then the finish with 3 at home, followed by 2 on the road.
  • Four of their last five games are division games.
  • The defense is second in total negative plays for the season (79).
  • Detroit has 73 penalties this season in 10 weeks and has been penalized 627 yards.
  • Detroit is PLUS 3 in turnover differential good for 9th in the NFL. They have 12 INT’s and have recovered 4 fumbles while they have thrown 9 INT’s and lost 4 fumbles.
  • The Lions are 26th in points scored averaging 18.8 points per game and are 1st in fewest points allowed with 15.6 points per game.

Lions Staff Notes

Read what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say to the New England media about the match up.

Jim Caldwell notes:

  • Jim Caldwell is in his 1st year as head coach of the Lions and he has a record of 7-3. He was previously the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts for 3 seasons and was 26-22 in the regular season and 2-2 in the playoffs. He has an overall combined record of 35-27 including the post season.
  • Caldwell is 1-2 vs. New England in his career.
  • He was the Colts head coach for the famous 4th and 2 game in 2009 that the Colts won 35-34 and improved to 9-0 at the time. It was the last time Indianapolis has beaten New England.
  • Before he became the Detroit head coach he was the Baltimore offensive coordinator (2012-13), head coach in Indianapolis (2009-11), assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach in Indianapolis (2002-08) and the quarterbacks coach in Tampa Bay in 2001. He was also the head coach at Wake Forest from 1993-2000.

Other Staff/Personnel notes:

  • Joe Lombardi is the first year offensive coordinator for the Lions. He was previously with the New Orleans as the quarterbacks coach (2009-13) and offensive assistant (2007-08) and a defensive assistant with Atlanta in 2006.
  • The defensive coordinator is Teryl Austin he is also in his first year with the Lions. He was previously the defensive coordinator for the University of Florida (2010), the secondary coach for Baltimore (2011-13), defensive backs coach for Arizona (2007-09) and Seattle (2003-06) and a defensive assistant at the University of Michigan (1999-2002) and Syracuse University (1996-98).
  • Linebackers coach Bill Sheridan was the linebackers coach at the University of Maine from 1987-88.
  • Special teams coordinator John Bonamego was an assistant at University of Maine from 1988-91.
  • Defensive backs coach Tony Oden was a graduate assistant at Boston College in 1997.
  • Director of physical development Jason Arapoff played his college ball at Springfield College (1983-86).

Lions Possible Starters

Offense:

  • LT: Reiff
  • LG: Sims
  • C: Raiola
  • RG: Swanson
  • RT: Waddle
  • TE: Pettigrew
  • WR: Johnson
  • WR: Tate
  • WR: Ross
  • QB: Stafford
  • RB: Bush

Defense:

  • DE: Ansah
  • NT: Mosely
  • DT: Suh
  • LB: Jones
  • LB: Palmer
  • LB: Whitehead
  • LB: Levy
  • LCB: Mathis
  • RCB: Slay
  • S: Ihedigbo
  • S: Quin

Lions Players Notes

Matthew Stafford notes:

  • Is 31-40 in his 6th NFL season he is 0-1 in the playoffs for an overall record of 31-41.
  • He was the first overall pick in the first round out of the University of Georgia in the 2009 NFL Draft.
  • He has never faced New England in his career.
  • Has 122 career TD passes most all-time in Lions history having surpassed Bobby Layne (118) Week 8 at Atlanta.
  • Week 11 at Arizona surpassed 20,000 passing yards in his 71st game the quickest to that mark in NFL history.
  • Has one 5,000 yard passing season (2011 – 5,038) and two seasons with at least 4,600 passing yards (2012 – 4967, 2013 – 4650).
  • Is one of five NFL quarterbacks with a 5,000 passing yard season joining Drew Brees (4 times), Peyton Manning, Dan Marino and Tom Brady.
  • One of 7 NFL QB’s to throw 4 game winning TD passes in the last 30 seconds of a game four times. The others are: Joe Ferguson, Steve Bartkowski, Tommy Kramer, Brett Favre, Drew Bledsoe and Tom Brady.
  • Has 15 career game winning drives.

Calvin Johnson notes:

  • 1st round pick (2nd overall) by Detroit in the 2007 NFL Draft out of Georgia Tech.
  • Four time Pro Bowl selection and 4 time All-Pro.
  • Has four 1,300 yard receiving seasons only Lion with more than two.
  • Has had 1,000 yards and 12 TD’s in four separate seasons.
  • Has a catch in five consecutive Thanksgiving Day games second only to Michael Irvin who had caught a pass in 7 games in a row.
  • Has 100 catches for five consecutive seasons tied with Wes Welker for most all-time.
  • First NFL receiver with two 200-yard games in different seasons.
  • Needs 152 yards for 10,000 in his career he’d be the first Lion to achieve that mark.
  • Has 37 career 100-yard games.
  • Has 5 career 200-yard games.
  • Second in franchise history with 606 receptions to Herman Moore (670).

Reggie Bush notes:

  • Was New Orleans first round pick (2nd overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft out of USC.
  • Second season with Lions after stops with Dolphins and Saints.
  • Named to 2008 All-Pro team.
  • In 2013 was first Detroit running back since Barry Sanders to have 1,500 yards from scrimmage (1,512).
  • Only Billy Sims, Sanders and Bush have had 1,500 yards from scrimmage in a season for the Lions.

Golden Tate notes:

  • Had 3 consecutive 100-yard games Week 7 vs. New Orleans (154), Week 8 at Atlanta (151) and Week 10 vs. Miami (109) for the first time in his career.
  • Currently 6th in receiving yards in the NFL (950).
  • Is third in the NFL in receptions (68), yards after the catch (478) and 3rd down receiving yards (447).
  • Leads NFL in 3rd down receptions (25).

Ndamukong Suh notes:

  • Has 32 career sacks in 72 career games most by a DT in Detroit history.
  • Has 4.5 sacks for second most on the team.
  • Twice this season has had games with 3 tackles for loss Week 6 at Minnesota and Week 10 vs. Miami.
  • Since 2010 has the most sacks (32)and tackles for loss (26.5) by a DT in the NFL.

Ezekiel Ansah notes:

  • Leads team with 5.5 sacks this season.
  • Has 2.5 sacks Week 11 at Arizona.
  • Had 8 sacks as a rookie in 2013 second most by a Lions rookie (Suh, 10 in 2010).

Nick Fairley notes:

  • On IR designated to return with sprained MCL since October 27.
  • First round pick (13th overall) by Detroit in 2011 NFL Draft out of Auburn.

General Team notes:

Lions team captains for 2014 are:

  • Selected by the coaching staff weekly

Players who attended New England based universities or colleges:

Players with New England roots:

  • S James Ihedigbo – Northampton MA
  • QB Dan Orlovsky – Shelton CT
  • LB Julian Stanford – Bloomfield CT

Former Patriots with the Lions:

The Lions have 6 retired numbers:

  • 7 – Dutch Clark
  • 20 – Barry Sanders
  • 22 – Bobby Layne
  • 37 – Doak Walker
  • 56 – Joe Schmidt
  • 85 – Chuck Hughes

Next Week

Up next: Green Bay Packers – NFC North

Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay WI

Date/Time: Sunday November 30 4:25 p.m.

TV Network: CBS

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