The Lions (7-3) have said all week today’s game is important because it’s the next game. That’s fine, but this is a huge game against the New England Patriots (8-2) who are nearly unbeatable at home.
First, the Lions haven’t lost back-to-back games so far this season. Two, it will give a better indication of just where this Detroit team really stands with the elite teams in the NFL.
Here are three Lions to watch:
1. Matthew Stafford needs a better game if the Lions are going to pull off the upset (the Patriots are favored by 7). To be successful he needs every player on the field to be in the right spot at the right time. Golden Tate said this week he’s working on running routes better. He is probably not alone. Stafford gets the blame, but he needs blocking and receivers to run the right routes and to get open.
2. Ndamukong Suh seemed fired up this week and that was before Patriots coach Bill Belichick told the Boston media this week that he won’t always double-team Suh. Belichick respects Suh, but still thinks he has a good strategy. That could be interesting and Suh could make the most of it.
3. Joique Bell had his best game of the season last week. We’ll see if he can continue that today against the Patriots’ defense. It’s possible that Reggie Bush (ankle) will sit out so Bell and Riddick could get most of the work. Still waiting for George Wynn to get a chance to carry the ball. He’s been playing mostly special teams.
Kickoff is at 1 p.m. on FOX with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman calling the game and Erin Andrews on the sideline.