NFL Week Twelve Predictions: Patriots vs. Lions

Looking for a reason to watch the early game on CBS this Thanksgiving? The New England Patriots (8-2) versus the Detroit Lions (2-8) seems like a colossal mismatch during week 12 of the NFL season. In fact, Vegas has installed the Patriots as -7 point favorites on the road.

Detroit, though, has lost only two of their games by more than 10 points, with four of their losses coming by three points or less. The Lions were even leading 10-7 at halftime before the wheels came off in their 35-19 loss to the Cowboys last week so there is reason to be optimistic for a reasonably competitive game against the Patriots. Shaun Hill continues to have a strong season at quarterback with 289 yards passing and 2 TDs against Dallas but the Lions couldn’t run at all. Detroit could take advantage of the Pats secondary with Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson, but they’ll need to find some type of ground game. Defensively, their prime concern is defending the pass with Tom Brady running the show in the opposite huddle, and they’ve done a decent job this season. The Lions have sacked the quarterback 27 times, led by rookie Ndamukong Suh, and Alphonso Smith has five interceptions, but Detroit also has surrendered 16 TD passes.

Brady has 19 TD passes against just 4 INTs and no quarterback in the league is on a better role right now. In their 31-28 victory over the Colts, Brady spread the ball around to 7 different receivers, with Deion Branch and Wes Welker leading the way. New England has even found a running game, and undrafted running back Danny Woodhead has been outstanding. New England is vulnerable on defense and the Lions could find some big plays in the secondary.

The Patriots to have too much talent to lose this football game, but the Lions have shown to be a game bunch and will make this game close, giving you a reason to watch after half-time. Look for the Lions to cover the spread but the Pats to take home the turkey.

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