In The Red Zone

The team is preparing for its nationally televised game Saturday in Detroit against the Lions.  The Patriots played the Lions last year on Thanksgiving Day and after a close first half turned it into a huge blow out winning 45-24 at Ford Field.

Tom Brady was 21 of 27 for 349 yards and 4 TD passes.  BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 59 yards and 2 TD’s, Deion Branch had 113 yards receiving and 2 TD catches and Wes Welker had 90 yards receiving and 2 TD catches.  While rookie CB Devin McCourty had 2 interceptions in the win.

I hope we get to see Lions QB Matt Stafford during the game, he missed most of last season with a shoulder injury and didn’t play in the game against New England. Stafford was the #1 overall pick in the 2009 draft out of Georgia.  He became the first rookie QB to start the season for the Lions since Greg Landry in 1968.

The Lions after taking Ndamukong Suh out of Nebraska in the first round in 2010, took Nick Fairley out of Auburn in the first round in 2011.  They should team up for years to come to form the base of a very good defensive line in Detroit.

Suh had a great rookie year winning NFL AP Defensive Rookie of the Year as he registered 66 tackles, 10 sacks, forced 1 fumble and had 1 interception in his first season.  He also made the Pro Bowl and was selected as a first team All-Pro.

The Lions are hoping Fairley is nearly as productive in his first season as Suh was.

To continue reading, click on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

With the game nationally televised on CBS, Patriots fans within the broadcast domain of the Patriots Preseason Television will not be tortured this week by Don Criqui and Randy Cross.  Criqui, was once considered among the finest play by play men in the business, is not quite up to speed on things as they happen any longer.

I thought we would see the top CBS announcing team this week but we’re getting the 2nd team of Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf and Leslie Visser for the game.

On Sunday the Patriots signed TE Garrett Mills.  Mills was originally a 4th round pick by the club in 2006 out of Tulsa and he spent his rookie year mostly on IR.  In 2007 they tried to sneak him through waivers to put him on the practice squad but Minnesota claimed him.  In retaliation the Patriots claimed a Vikings player, LB David Herron off the waiver wire. Now he has returned to add more depth at tight end, a position that may only get three roster spots, now has five players but he is practice squad eligible.  He has also has spent time with Philadelphia and Cincinnati.

In return the team announced that OL Zach Roth and LB Bret Lockett were released.  It was reported just a few days ago that Lockett tore his groin and abdomen on Thursday. The Boston Herald’s Rap Sheet blog is reporting that he would have to clear waivers to be placed on IR but there’s no explanation as to why that is.

Roth had gotten hurt and was carted off in his first practice with the team but he returned a few days later. Roth was just unlikely to make the team.

New England head coach Bill Belichick was on WEEI’s Patriots Monday take a listen to the conversation with the Big Show.

Patriots quarterback and reigning NFL MVP Tom Brady also was on Patriots Monday with Dennis & Callahan on WEEI Monday morning.

If you don’t want to listen to the entire radio interview here’s some links to a few of the things Brady talked about.

Brady talks Belichick, Ochocinco and paparazzi.

Brady likes the look of the aggressive defense.

The Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin wrote a wonderful piece about Albert Haynesworth’s history and the people who support him.

Now that Haynesworth has pleaded no contest to a simple assault charge, it’s up to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to decide if there will be any type of further punishment by the league for Haynesworth’s actions.

The Globe’s Shalise Manza Young tell us that when Kyle Love was at Mississippi State they called him “Mini-V” as in Mini Vince Wilfork.

Jerod Mayo is going to be running wild, wreaking havoc on opponents.

The Herald’s Karen Guregian wonders if being named in the University of Miami scandal will affect Vince Wilfork.

Guregian noted on Sunday that she saw LB Dane Fletcher at Gillette Stadium and his right hand (thumb) that he injured Thursday night was in a cast.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald has video of newly signed S James Ihedigbo.

Rapoport gives us a look at the pager that NFL referees will use to confirm each and every touchdown this season.  It’s via a NBC screen shot.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss says when it comes to the defensive line, for the Pats, the richer the better.

Reiss tells us that NBC honored Myra Kraft, the late wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, during its Sunday Night Football telecast this weekend.

Yahoo’s Michael Silver writes about Robert Kraft having had an emotional summer.

Devin McCourty will line up once again against Lion’s WR Calvin Johnson.  The last time out McCourty had a pair of picks including one while covering the big Detroit receiver.

WR Taylor Price and rookie CB Ras-I Dowling were back at the full pads practice on Monday after some injuries.  Also back were WR Julian Edelman, WR Brandon Tate, DL Shaun Ellis and S James Sanders.

Vince Wilfork doesn’t want to be a distraction when it comes to the scandal at “The U”.

Follow Steve on Twitter @djstevem