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Lions' offense silent again as Patriots win, 34-9

By Rod Beard, The Detroit News
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 23:  Julian Edelman #11 of the New as Rashean Mathis #31 of the Detroit Lions defends during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium on November 23, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
  • Lions %287-3%29 vs. Patriots %288-2%29
  • Kickoff%3A Today at 1%2C Gillette Stadium%2C Foxborough%2C Mass.
  • TV/radio%3A Fox/97.1
  • Line%3A Patriots by 7

The Lions face the Patriots in another big road game for Detroit on Sunday at 1 p.m. (Fox, 97.1-AM). Follow all of the action here with regular updates throughout the game by Rod Beard of The Detroit News.

Patriots win, 34-9

On the road again, the Lions continued their slide.

For the second straight week, the Lions' offense sputtered, managing only three field goals in a 34-9 loss to the Patriots on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.

Matthew Stafford was 15-of-42 for 236 yards and an interception. The Lions haven't scored a touchdown in the last two games, including a 14-6 loss last week to the cardinals.

The Lions (7-4), on a two-game losing streak, prepare for Thursday's Thanksgiving Day game against the Bears and look to catch the Packers, who beat the Vikings and took a one-game lead in the North division.

Stafford slides short, turnover

After the Lions put together their best drive of the second half, they couldn't convert on fourth down, as Matthew Stafford ran and looked to slide and make the first down. But he slid too early and didn't get a favorable mark ahead of the first-down marker, at the Patriots' 16-yard line.

As a result, the Patriots take over and look to add to their 18-point lead. Stafford is 14-of-40 and hasn't been accurate today, but has had a couple of drops today, including Jeremy Ross in the end zone on that drive on what should have been a touchdown. The Lions offense has been inept today and they're showing why they've been dubbed "Same Old Lions" even after a 7-2 start this year.

Granted, the last two games have been against the two best teams in their respective conferences, but the offense has been horrific.

FG frenzy continues, 27-9

The Lions haven't scored a touchdown in 19 straight possessions but added a field goal to cut the Patriots lead to 27-9 early in the fourth quarter.

Going for a FG there on 4th-and-14 is the safe move, but it doesn't really change the game, as the Lions will still need three possessions to try to chip away at the lead. Coach Jim Caldwell took a timeout to figure out that he wanted the field goal, but it's just another conservative call in a game that needs risks to try to win -- they're not going to beat the Patriots with field goals, as they're showing.

Another Patriots FG makes it 27-6

Following another impressive drive by the Patriots, Stephen Gostkowski added to the lead with a 43-yard field goal, pushing the lead to 27-6.

The Lions defense got a stop there, but the offense hasn't done anything to answer any of their drives. It's another lackluster performance by Matthew Stafford and the offense, after scoring only six last week against the Cardinals. It's still a three-touchdown game, but having not scored one, it's hard to imagine that the Lions can put up much of a fight here int eh second half.

Ihedigbo gets an INT off Brady

Starting the third quarter, the Patriots picked up where they left off before halftime, driving the ball down the field and looking to add more points to the scoreboard.

But Tom Brady was intercepted by James Ihedigbo, ending the threat inside the Lions' 5-yard line and giving the Lions some life. The offense, though, couldn't get a first down and they were forced to punt again. Nothing seems to be going right for the Lions, who have no flow to their offense, partly from being so predictable on first down and not mounting a consistent drive since early in the game.

Late field goal makes it 24-6 at halftime

Coming off Matt Prater's miss the Patriots struck quickly and added a field goal before halftime to make it 24-6. The 24 points match the most the Lions have allowed in a game this season and Brady and the New England offense look to be hitting a groove, as they have in their six-game win streak. The Lions have been playing some zone defense and losing Patriots receivers, including Rob Gronkowski, inexplicably.

The Patriots gets the ball to open the third quarter as well, so it'll be more pressure on the Lions defense.

Prater misses FG before halftime

The Lions were putting together another good drive just before halftime and looked to threaten the Patriots defense again, but had to settle for a 53-yard field goal try by Matt Prater, who already had made two today.

But Prater missed wide left and the score remains 21-6 just before halftime. The Lions missed another chance after stalling at the Patriots' 35. The offense has been a major disappointment this season, as exemplified today by its inability to generate points against the Patriots.

Brady finds Wright for 21-6 lead

The Patriots are starting to click on offense now, with Tom Brady finding Tim Wright for his second touchdown of the day, extending the lead to 21-6 with about three minutes left before halftime.

The Lions defense didn't have an answer in their zone coverage -- and without very much pressure on Brady, he was able to pick it apart. It's just not going to be enough to kick field goals against the Patriots, especially with the Patriots now scoring touchdowns.

It's going to be a long second half if the Lions aren't able to generate more offense.

Amendola return sparks TD drive

After the Lions cut the Patriots' lead to 7-6, Danny Amendola returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards to put Tom Brady and the offense in striking position for another score. LeGarrette Blount, picked up this week after being released by the Steelers for leaving the field before the end of the game, plunged into the end zone for a 14-6 lead.

It's a bad turn for the Lions, who had to settle for the field goal and then gave up a big play on special teams. The special teas haven't been great for the Lions this year but that was poor timing to have bad coverage.

Fauria drops TD, but FG helps

A 42-yard pass play to Golden Tate helped set the Lions up inside the Patriots' 5-yards line and in position for a needed tournament, but Joseph Fauria dropped what looked to be a touchdown. The Lions settled for a 20-yard field goal by Matt Prater to cut the lead to 7-6 but they needed a touchdown there, to try to get a lead and let the Patriots know they would be in the game.

Brady drives for TD, lead

Tom Brady went 6-for-8 for 60 yards on the Patriots' third drive, which had their first first down of the game. Brady was able to spread the ball around to a number of different receivers and capped the drive with a 4-yard touchdown to Tim Wright for a 7-3 lead.

Julian Edelman had a questionable juggling catch and didn't look to have both feet inbounds but the Lions didn't review the play to check. It led to a first down and continued the drive for Brady, who had outstanding protection from his offensive line and he was able to pick apart the Lions defense.

The Lions didn't have any sacks last week against the Cardinals but will need to get more pressure on Brady to try to disrupt his timing.

Defense shows up with stops

The Lions defense has been stellar so far, with a pair of three-and-outs on the Patriots first two drives. They've managed to pressure Tom Brady and with a drop by Rob Gronkowski, haven't been able to get anything going on their first couple of possessions.

They don't have a run game early and Brady hasn't been able to connect either. Good showing so far, but they'll have to keep it up until the offense gets going.

Prater hits FG for early lead

After a good opening drive, the Lions took an early lead after a 48-yard field goal by Matt Prater. The drive featured a couple of passes to Golden Tate (24 and 17 yards) and Matthew Stafford looked for Tate again on third down but the pass was defended by Darelle Revis.

It was a good opening drive, but the offense will need to produce more touchdowns than field goals, especially against this Patriots offense. The run game didn't get going, with three runs by Joique Bell for nine yards. But hte pacing was good and Stafford averted being sacked for a big loss.

Lions rue role as underdogs

All week, the Lions tried to dismiss their loss last week and look ahead to the possibilities this week at New England. Although the Patriots have dominated in their last six games -- all wins, averaging 40.5 points -- and are looking to beat their third straight division leader, following the Broncos and Colts.

The Lions defense should provide a bigger test for the Patriots offense and Tom Brady this week. The Lions, including safeties James Ihedigbo and Glover Quin, were quick to point out that facing the No. 1 defense will be a test for Brady as well. New England's running game got a boost last week with the breakout game of 201 yards and four touchdowns from Jonas Gray (Detroit Country Day) and added LeGarrette Blount this week for depth.

If the Lions are to have a chance to win, the offense will need to have its best performance f the season. They haven't allowed more than 24 points in any game this season but with the way the Patriots are playing, this will be the best offense they've faced this year.

A key for the Lions will be stopping the running game first and trying to make Brady one-dimensional. The Lions haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher -- and only have given up 100 yards to one team (Jets) -- so it's possible.