The quarterback situation may still be unsettled for the New England Patriots heading into Sunday’s game against the visiting Detroit Lions, but the running game is in top form. The duo of Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson churned out 152 yards in last week’s loss to the Green Bay Packers and now get a date with the NFL’s worst defense. Bailey Zappe, a fourth-round pick out of Western Kentucky, could be in line for his first career start if Mac Jones (high ankle sprain) and Brian Hoyer (concussion) are unable to go. Hoyer was non-participant in Wednesday’s indoor walk-through practice, while Jones, who is pushing to play, was present and moved pretty well. Definitive answers will not likely come until game time, but Jones has a good chance to be active.
The Lions, who have dropped back-to-back games, are a struggling offense’s dream as they rank last in the NFL in total defense with 444.8 yards allowed per game and points allowed per game (35.3). Dan Campbell’s team has surrendered 6.5 more points per game than any other team in the league. The Lions aren’t generating much pass rush despite drafting Aidan Hutchinson second overall in the NFL Draft. Hutchinson has three of the team’s seven sacks, while safety Will Harris has the lone interception.
New England Patriots
Having Jones under center would allow the Patriots to run their full offense, something Zappe couldn’t do against Green Bay. The rookie, who set the NCAA single-season passing yards record with 5,967 yards last season, didn’t disgrace himself, going 10 of 15 for 99 yards and a touchdown, but there were some plays left out on the field. “I’m going with the mindset of taking every rep like a game rep and getting better every day,” Zappe told the media. “There’s some things I need to work on fundamentals-wise. That’s why we have practice.” Getting receiver Jakobi Meyers, who was listed as limited on Wednesday’s practice report, back would be a big boost to the offense. Rookie receiver Tyquan Thornton returned to practice Wednesday, meaning the Patriots have 21 days to move him to the active roster or lose him for the season.
It’s not often you see an NFL team leading the league in points scored and points allowed, but that is the Lions this season. The 281 points scored in Detroit’s first four games is an NFL record. The Lions were without top running back D’Andre Swift and top receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown last week and still put up 520 yards and 45 points. Swift could be in line for a huge game if he returns to face the Patriots, who have allowed 135.8 rushing yards per game, including 199 yards against Green Bay and 188 against the Baltimore Ravens. Quarterback Jared Goff is tied for the league lead with 11 touchdown passes, including three each to St. Brown and tight end T.J. Hockenson. Goff will be facing Bill Belichick and the Patriots for the first time since leading the Los Angeles Rams to just three points in Super Bowl LIII in February 2019.
Lions vs Patriots Game Injuries
Lions vs Patriots Head-to-Head
The Patriots have won five straight against the Lions to take a 7-5 lead in the series. New England earned a 26-10 victory in the most recent meeting in Week 3 of 2018.
The Patriots have averaged 30.6 points over the last five games against the Lions, who have averaged 15.2 points. Belichick, who is two wins shy of tying George Halas (324) for the second most wins in NFL history, is 5-1 vs. the Lions with the Patriots. New England is 30-11 against NFC opponents at Gillette Stadium.
Lions vs Patriots Game Information
- Game: Detroit Lions vs. New England Patriots
- Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
- Day/Time: Sunday, Oct. 9th, 1:00 p.m. ET
- How to watch Steelers vs Bills? ESPN
Lions vs Patriots Live Stream: NFL Game Pass
Lions vs Patriots Betting Lines
Lions vs Patriots Prediction
The Patriots are in the bottom half of the league in points allowed, although a good portion of those has come in the last two games. With a rookie QB likely to start, New England can’t be trusted to win the game, much less cover the spread of three points.
The over/under line is rather low at 46 points. The over is 7-0 in the Patriots’ last seven home games and 6-0 in the Lions’ last six games. So take over before it goes up.
“The odds and predictions in the article are based on time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.”