NFL Game Summary - New England at Detroit
(Thursday, November 25th)
Final Score: New England 45, Detroit 24
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Deion Branch and Wes Welker each caught a pair
of touchdown passes from Tom Brady, who recorded a perfect quarterback rating,
as the New England Patriots used a huge second half to take down the Detroit
Lions, 45-24, on Thanksgiving at Ford Field.
Brady completed 21-of-27 passes for 341 yards and four touchdowns for the
Patriots (9-2), who handed the Lions their seventh straight loss on
BenJarvus Green-Ellis carried the ball 12 times for 59 yards and two scores
for New England, which has won three in a row since a loss to the Browns on
Branch caught three passes for 113 yards, while Welker hauled in eight passes
for 90 yards for the victors.
"As far as today goes, it was a real good effort in the second half," Patriots
head coach Bill Belichick said. "In the end it was a lot of guys stepping up
and making plays."
Shaun Hill connected on 27-of-46 passes for 285 yards, one touchdown, and two
interceptions for Detroit (2-9), which hasn't won on Turkey Day since a 22-14
victory over the Packers in 2003. The Lions have been outscored by a whopping
258-98 margin during their Thanksgiving losing streak.
Maurice Morris rushed for 55 yards and two scores on nine carries, while
Calvin Johnson caught four passes for 81 yards and a touchdown in defeat.
"We played poor on defense to give up all those long plays," Lions head coach
Jim Schwartz said. "Dropping coverage and man-to-man is not the way to play
against a team that has a lot of firepower."
Trailing by seven, 24-17, late in the third quarter, New England ripped off 28
unanswered points. Brady got things going with a 79-yard bomb to Branch down
the left sideline with 5:12 left.
Dave Rayner then missed a 46-yard field goal for the Lions. The Patriots
needed five plays this time around to find the end zone. Rob Gronkowski hauled
in a 26-yard pass to set up the visitors at the 30-yard line. Welker caught an
11-yard pass before Branch hauled in a 22-yard TD pass for a 31-24 lead with
13:45 remaining in the fourth.
A costly penalty on the ensuing Detroit possession proved to be the death of
the Lions. Faced with a 3rd-and-5, Hill threw a 21-yard pass to Brandon
Pettigrew for a fresh set of downs. The play was called back due to pass
interference on Pettigrew. The home team was forced to punt the ball back to a
hot New England offense.
Brady orchestrated a seven-play, 84-yard drive this time. Welker ended the
march with a 16-yard touchdown catch to make it a 38-24 contest with 6:42
Devin McCourty then intercepted Hill for the second time in the contest. His
50-yard return put the ball at the 12-yard line. Green-Ellis rumbled into the
end zone from one yard out just four plays later to account for the final
Shayne Graham capped an eight-play, 41-yard drive with a 19-yard field goal to
give New England a 3-0 lead with five minutes to play in the first quarter.
Detroit responded with a touchdown on the final play of the first stanza to
take the lead. Hill carried the ball twice for 21 yards to get the Lions to
the 19-yard line. From there, Hill connected with Johnson near the right pylon
to finish off an 11-play, 71-yard drive.
The Lions' next possession also resulted in a touchdown. Faced with a 3rd-
and-8 from the New England nine, Hill threw a pass to Derrick Williams along
the left sideline. The ball was inches short of a first down. The offense
stayed on the field for fourth down and Hill gained a fresh set of downs with
a quarterback sneak. Morris then plunged into the end zone from one yard out
to make it 14-3 with 5:58 left until half.
Brady and the Patriots fought right back with a touchdown of their own. Aaron
Hernandez made an 18-yard catch to highlight a 10-play, 83-yard march, which
Green-Ellis capped with a 15-yard score to cut the gap to 14-10 with 45
Nate Burleson's 20-yard catch led to Rayner's 44-yard field goal for a 17-10
Lions' lead at the break.
On Detroit's first possession of the second half, Hill was picked off by
McCourty, who returned the football 23 yards to the 26-yard line of the Lions.
Brady and Welker hooked up for a five-yard score just four plays later to
make it 17-17.
Stefan Logan returned the ensuing kickoff 41 yards to give the Lions great
field position. Pettigrew caught a 24-yard pass on third down to give Detroit
a fresh set of downs. Later in the drive, Johnson caught a 21-yard pass along
the left sideline. Morris capped the nine-play drive with a one-yard TD run
for a 24-17 edge with 6:50 to go.
Detroit hosted New England for the third time on Thanksgiving. The Patriots
lead the all-time series with the Lions, 6-4...The Lions were without starting
quarterback Matt Stafford for a third straight week as the 2009 No. 1 overall
draft choice continues to recover from a serious shoulder injury...Pettigrew
caught five passes for 67 yards...Brady, who was listed on the injury report
as questionable, played through foot and shoulder injuries...Gronkowski caught
five passes for 65 yards for the Patriots, who had 447 yards of total offense.
11/25 17:52:09 ET
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