The Detroit Lions, whose run defense ranks 26th in the NFL, may have their work cut out for them against the Patriots on tomorrow's Thanksgiving Day matchup, according to the Boston Globe. Pats running backs BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who has 33 more carries this season than his previous two combined, and Danny Woodhead are giving the Patriots more balance in their offense, allowing quarterback Tom Brady to average almost an equal number of running and passing plays.
"I think that's the toughest thing for the defense to defend is when you've got to defend everything," said coach Bill Belichick in his press conference yesterday. "You have to defend inside runs, outside runs, short passes, intermediate passes, deep passes, screens, reverses. If you can make a lot of things work than it's hard for the defense to say, 'Well, we're going to take this away,' because there's so many other things that are a problem.
"On the other hand, if you can do something real well and you can just keep doing it, or do a couple things real well... and they complement each other, then that's hard for a defense to stop, too. It isn't all about how many things you can do; it's basically about how many things you can do well.
"I think, in this league, if you can only do one thing well, it's going to be hard against NFL defenses to make that go very far. It might get you a little ways, but sooner or later, somebody's going to be able to handle it and then you have to have something else."
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who was placed on the Injured Reserve (IR) list after the Pats' 34-14 loss in Cleveland, spoke with the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald during the annual Thanksgiving event at Goodwill headquarters in Boston last night. The fifth-year kicker underwent surgery on Nov. 16 and said he had no idea the prognosis would be as bad. Doctors could not conclude whether the tear to his right quadriceps happened over time or in one moment when he had to leave the Browns game, the Globe and Herald write.
Also at the Goodwill event last night was cornerback Leigh Bodden, who suffered a preseason shoulder injury and subseqently seen no regular season snaps. Like Gostkowski, who's offered tips to replacement kicker Shayne Graham, Bodden has been advising the Pats' secondary. He's been a "cheerleader" for rookie cornerback Devin McCourty, the Herald writes.