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Game Preview: Patriots at Lions

The New England Patriots travel to Detroit to take on the Lions.


Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 at 8:20 p.m. ET. Ford Field (64,500)

The New England Patriots will play three of their next four games on national television starting this Sunday night when they travel to Detroit to face the Lions at Ford Field. Following the Lions game, the Patriots will return home to face Miami with a 1 p.m. start, followed by Indianapolis at home on a Thursday night and culminating with a Sunday Night Football game at home against Kansas City.

This week's game marks the second time in three weeks that Bill Belichick will face one of his former assistants. The Patriots defeated Bill O'Brien and the Houston Texans in Week 1 and now square off against former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who spent the last 14 seasons with the Patriots.


The New England Patriots will travel to Detroit to face the Lions for the first time since a 2010 Thanksgiving game, a game the Patriots won 45-24 on Nov. 25, 2010. This week's game will be the first time the Patriots and Lions square off since the Lions came to Gillette Stadium on Nov. 23, 2014 and lost 34-9.

The Patriots lead the all-time regular-season series by a 7-4 margin. New England's previous two road matchups against Detroit occurred on Thanksgiving in 2002 and 2010

This week's game marks the second time in three weeks that Bill Belichick will face one of his former assistants. The Patriots defeated Bill O'Brien and the Houston Texans in Week 1 and now square off against former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who spent the last 14 seasons with the Patriots.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his NFL debut against the Lions in the Pontiac Silverdome on Thanksgiving Day in 2000. Brady entered the game late in the fourth quarter and completed one-of-three passes for 6 yards.


2018 Regular Season New England Detroit
Record 1-1 0-2
Divisional Standings 2ndT 4th
Total Yards Gained 691 766
Total Offense (Rank) 345.5 (20) 383.0 (11)
Rush Offense 102.0 (18T) 68.5 (29)
Pass Offense 243.5 (18) 314.5 (6)
Points Per Game 23.5 (13T) 22.0 (18T)
Total Yards Allowed 806 695
Total Defense (Rank) 403.0 (28) 347.5 (16)
Rush Defense 135.5 (27) 179.5 (32)
Pass Defense 267.5 (23) 168.0 (4)
Points Allowed/Game 25.5 (20T) 39.0 (31T)
Possession Avg. 30:12 28:40
Sacks Allowed/Yards Lost 4/24 2/18
Sacks Made/Yards 3/18 8/68
Total Touchdowns Scored 5 9
Penalties Against/Yards 8/61 13/120
Punts/Avg. 10/50.3 8/45.4
Turnover Diferential 0 *(13T) -4 (31T)


Overall Record, 7-4

Overall at Home, 3-2

  • Schaefer/Sullivan/Foxboro Stadium, 2-2
  • Gillette Stadium, 1-0

Overall on Road, 3-2

  • Pontiac Silverdome, 1-2
  • Ford Field, 2-0


The Patriots own a 28-18 record overall on Sunday Night Football. The Patriots were 2-0 on Sunday night in 2017 with wins vs. Atlanta and at Denver.


QB Tom Brady owns a 19-10 record in 29 games playing on Sunday Night Football.

His best statistical performance on Sunday Night Football came in Week 10 of the 2007 season when he completed 31-of-39 pass attempts for 373 yards and five touchdowns, including four to WR Randy Moss, in a 56-10 rout of the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium (11/18).

Brady has thrown for over 300 yards 13 times in Sunday Night Football games.



  • The Patriots will improve to 8-4 against the Detroit Lions and 3-0 at Ford Field.
  • They will improve to 46-6 (.884) in the regular season in games following a loss (since 2003). The Patriots have dropped back-to-back regular season games in 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015 (twice).
  • The team will own a 52-13 (.800) record vs. NFC teams since realignment in 2002, which is the best inter-conference record in the NFL during that time.
  • The Patriots will hold a 29-18 record on Sunday Night Football, including a 17-9 mark on NBC, and a 73-49 record in prime-time games.
  • Bill Belichick will earn his 15th win against a former assistant coach in his frst head-to-head meeting with Matt Patricia. His current record against former assistants turned head coaches is 13-8 in the regular season (14-8 all-time).
  • Tom Brady will remain undefeated against the Lions and improve his mark to 5-0 in the regular season as a starter. Brady currently holds a perfect record against six teams, including Atlanta (5-0), Chicago (4-0), Dallas (4-0), Detroit (4-0), Minnesota (4-0) and Tampa Bay (4-0).
  • Tom Brady can extend his own NFL record to 225 career wins by a quarterback. Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri currently is frst among all players in NFL history with 226 career wins.
  • Tom Brady will earn his 90th road victory in the regular season, extending his own NFL record. Peyton Manning is second with 85 road wins.


Robert Kraft won his 299th game overall as owner of the New England Patriots in the 2018 season opener vs. Houston and will look to win his 300th game this Sunday against Detroit. Kraft has a chance to reach the milestone in his 25th NFL season and 431st game, the fastest an owner will have reached the milestone. Pat Bowlen of Denver reached 300 career wins in 30 seasons and 501 games, while Al Davis of Oakland accomplished the feat in 31 seasons over 495 games.


TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast by NBC and can be seen locally on NBC 10 Boston. Al Michaels will handle play-by-play duties with Cris Collinsworth as the color analyst. Michele Tafoya will work from the sidelines. The game will be produced by Fred Gaudelli and directed by Drew Esocof.

NATIONAL RADIO: Sunday night's game will be broadcast to a national audience on Westwood One. Kevin Kugler will call the with game with Mike Mayock providing analysis. Larry Costigan will be the on-site producer.

LOCAL RADIO: 98.5 The Sports Hub is the fagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 41 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis. The games are produced by Marc Cappello.

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