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National Football League
Preview
Detroit at New England
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, November 23, 2014
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

The New England Patriots are ripping through the heart of their schedule, but things aren’t getting any easier. The Patriots will try to extend their winning streak to seven straight when they host the Detroit Lions on Sunday. The Lions, who are tied with Green Bay atop the NFC North and boast the league’s best total and scoring defense, are trying to avoid a second consecutive loss as they battle through their own rough stretch.

New England added a new wrinkle to its offense last week when Jonas Gray broke out with 201 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-20 road win over the Indianapolis Colts. Gray will be taking on a Detroit defensive front that leads the league in rushing against, holding foes to an average of 68.8 yards. “(Gray) runs very hard and (is a) pretty big, good-sized back,” Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh told reporters. “It'll be a good test for our defense to rally to him and make plays and gang-tackle him and make sure we get him down.”

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Patriots -7. O/U: 48

ABOUT THE LIONS (7-3): The defense is keeping team in games and the offense had been providing just enough to get by during a four-game winning streak but finally fell off last week, reaching the red zone only once in a 14-6 loss at Arizona. All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson was bottled up by Patrick Peterson in the loss and will face another strong cornerback in Darrelle Revis against the Patriots. Johnson has battled through injury all season and has been limited to 520 yards and three touchdowns. “Of course we want to be more explosive, make more big plays,” Johnson told reporters. “It’s coming, it just takes some time.”

ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (8-2):
New England is having no problems with explosiveness on offense and is averaging 40.5 points during the six-game winning streak. The surge can be in part attributed to the return to health of tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was a big part of the blocking front for Gray’s big game last week in addition to hauling in another TD catch. “He has phenomenal catching ability,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady told reporters of Gronkowski. “I don’t think Gronk has ever done a catching drill in his life. He doesn’t even have to think about it.” Gronkowski has five TD receptions over the last three games.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Patriots signed free-agent RB LaGarrette Blount, who was released by the Steelers on Tuesday.

2. Detroit RB Joique Bell (ankle) sat out practice on Wednesday and is listed as questionable.

3. Brady threw for 341 yards and four TDs the last time the teams met – a 45-24 New England win on Nov. 25, 2010.

PREDICTION: Patriots 24, Lions 17
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Detroit 7-3 L1 18.8 15.6 4-1 2-2 1-2 6-1 0-0 2-0 5-2
New England 8-2 W6 32.3 21.8 5-0 3-2 0-2 8-0 0-0 2-1 6-2
Last Meeting
Detroit New England
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
8/22/13 NE 9 DET 40 455 124 331 330 68 262
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Detroit D. Akers 0.0 0 0 0
New England D. Aiken 0.0 0 0 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Detroit D. Akers 0 0 0.0 0
New England D. Aiken 0 0 0.0 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Detroit D. Akers 0 0 0.0 0
New England D. Aiken 0 0 0.0 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Detroit D. Akers 0
New England D. Aiken 0
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Detroit M. Stafford 61.2 2679 13 9
New England T. Brady 64.0 2649 24 5
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Detroit J. Bell 122 442 3.6 3
New England S. Ridley 94 340 3.6 2
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Detroit G. Tate 68 950 14.0 3
New England R. Gronkowski 53 734 13.8 9
Touchdowns Player TD
Detroit J. Bell 3
New England R. Gronkowski 9