Patriots Vs. Lions: Tom Brady Enjoys Perfect Passer Rating on Thanksgiving

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer INovember 25, 2010

Patriots Vs. Lions: Tom Brady Enjoys Perfect Passer Rating on Thanksgiving

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    DETROIT - NOVEMBER 25:  BenJarvus Green-Ellis #42 of the New England Patriots celebrates a second quarter touchdown with Deion Branch #84 and Wes Walker #83 while playing the Detroit Lions on November 25, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. New Engla
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Many thought an upset could be cooking between the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving day. In the end, the Detroit Lions ended up cooked like a turkey as they were lambasted by the Patriots' offense in a 45-24 rout.

    The pregame talk centered around Detroit's inability to piece together a full 60 minute game, and the Patriots' propensity to play all 60 minutes on their way to a victory. That's exactly the dish we were served on Thanksgiving.

    Here, I'll break down my pregame analysis and compare it with the actual results.

    Let the analysis begin...

Patriots' Passing Game Vs. Lions' Pass Defense

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    DETROIT - NOVEMBER 25:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a second quarter pass while playing the Detroit Lions on November 25, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Pregame advantage: Patriots

    Tom Brady gave the New England Patriots 158.3 reasons to be thankful on Thanksgiving as he enjoyed a perfect passer rating for the first time this season, and the first time since 2007.

    He started off slowly, as the offensive line was having a hard time in protection, but when the Patriots began to quicken their game with short passes and slowed down the pass rush with runs up the middle, it all came together.

    Postgame advantage: Patriots

Patriots' Running Game Vs. Lions' Run Defense

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    DETROIT - NOVEMBER 25: BenJarvus Green-Ellis #42 of the New England Patriots runs for a second quarter touchdown while playing the Detroit Lions on November 25, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Pregame advantage: Patriots

    New England didn't start out with a balanced attack, but quickly switched to that when they realized that the Lions were pinning their ears back in the pass rush. This helped them slow down the vicious front line, and gave Brady more time in the pocket.

    BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for two touchdowns and a 4.9 yard per carry average to bolster the Patriots' effective offense. He blew over defenders all day, taking four-yard carries for seven, and getting yards even when he was stopped at the line of scrimmage.

    Postgame advantage: Patriots

Lions' Passing Game Vs. Patriots' Pass Defense

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    DETROIT - NOVEMBER 25:  Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots celebrates a fourth quarter interception while playing the Detroit Lions on November 25, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. New England won the game 45-24.  (Photo by Gregory Sha
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Pregame advantage: Patriots

    Many criticized my pregame advantage because of the massive amounts of yards that the Lions have been putting up. It didn't look so good at the start, as Shaun Hill led the Lions down the field and threw an easy touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson. 

    My basis for New England's advantage was the interceptions: Shaun Hill's propensity to throw them, and New England's ability to create them.

    Devin McCourty picked off Shaun Hill twice on Sunday, even though the Patriots were burned for 285 yards. That's a stat line that favors the Patriots' opportunistic ways every time.

    Postgame advantage: Patriots

Lions' Running Game Vs. Patriots' Run Defense

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    DETROIT - NOVEMBER 25:  Maurice Morris #28 of the Detroit Lions tries to get around the tackle of Patrick Chung #25 the New England Patriots on November 25, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Pregame advantage: Patriots

    The Lions did an excellent job of keeping the Patriots off balance with the run, even if their attack wasn't balanced. 91 yards and two touchdowns seemed like it should have been enough, especially with Maurice Morris averaging over six yards per carry.

    Maybe if the Lions had stuck with the run more and drained New England's defense in the second half, they could have kept things going in their favor. Unfortunately for them, that wasn't to be, as they ran a total of 22 times against passing 46 times.

    Postgame advantage: Lions

Special Teams

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    DETROIT - NOVEMBER 25:  Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots returns a punt while playing the Detroit Lions on November 25, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Pregame advantage: Draw

    The Lions had the Patriots' number on kickoffs, constantly pinning Brandon Tate in the left corner near the end zone and holding them inside the 20 to start their drives.

    Zoltan Mesko had a couple of key punts, including one that landed the Lions at their own 11-yard line. Replacement kicker Dave Rayner also missed a field goal that could have given the Lions a 10-point lead in the third quarter, and the momentum swung completely in New England's favor from there.

    Postgame advantage: Patriots

Coaching

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    DETROIT - NOVEMBER 25: New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick looks on during the first quarter of the game at Ford Field on November 25, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Pregame advantage: Patriots

    Jim Schwartz looked to have a great gameplan cooked up for his team to stuff the Patriots' offense, and had his team fired up to full temperature. Unfortunately for him, they came up cold in the second half and were sliced up from limb to limb.

    I don't know what Belichick said to rally his troops at halftime, but whatever it was, it lit a fire under them and got them moving at full speed and playing a sound game. Nothing like a halftime pep talk from a future Hall of Fame coach to get a team riled up.

    Postgame advantage: Patriots

Conclusion

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    DETROIT - NOVEMBER 25: Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots celebrates a fourth quarter interception with James Sanders #36 and Darius Butler #28 while playing the Detroit Lions on November 25, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. New Englan
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Prediction: Patriots 26, Lions 21

    The Lions looked to be on their way to their first Thanksgiving win in six years, taking a 17-10 lead into halftime. They proved to be exactly what we all thought they were, which was a team that just can't seem to put a full game together.

    From there, the Patriots laid it on thick in the second half with a 35-7 rally to close out the game. While the loss says something about the Lions, it says just as much about the Patriots, who continue to play a full 60 minutes of football every time they take the field.

    Final score: Patriots 45, Lions 24