This 2014 Patriots season is starting to eerily resemble New England’s 2003 season. In 2003, the Pats lost to the Bills on the road in Week 1 and lost to the Redskins on the road in Week 4. After the loss to Washington, the Pats went on a tear – winning 12 straight regular season games and three straight playoff games before hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
This season, the Pats (9-2) lost to the Dolphins on the road in Week 1 and lost to the Chiefs on the road in Week 4. Since that time, the Pats have become the odds on favorite to become 2014 Super Bowl champs. The Pats crunched yet another division leader Sunday, blasting the Lions 34-9 at Gillette Stadium in a game that was never in doubt after the Pats scored 17 points in the second quarter.
Six of the Patriots’ wins during this seven-game win streak could be classified as a “blowouts” as they’ve beat the Bengals, Bills, Bears, Broncos, Colts and now Lions by at least 15 points.
The Pats will now turn their attention to another division leader in the Packers (8-3), who took over first place in the NFC North Sunday thanks to the Pats’ win over the Lions and their own 24-21win over Minnesota.
As is becoming a weekly theme, the Patriots got big performances out of players who were quiet in the game prior. In this particular week, tight end Tim Wright and newly-signed running back LeGarrette Blount stepped up. Wright caught five balls and had two touchdown receptions while Blount rumbled to 78 yards on 12 carries and also found the end zone twice.
Blount effectively served as the Pats’ closer Sunday, as his 33-yard run with 6:23 left in the fourth quarter closely resembled one of his huge gains in last season’s divisional playoff win over Indianapolis. Blount was released by Pittsburgh early last week but turned around and signed a two-year deal with the Pats on Thursday.
Jonas Gray, who last week carried the ball 37 times for 201 yards, did not carry the ball once against Detroit. Gray missed practice Friday because he overslept.
The Patriots defense again came up huge, particularly in the red zone, as it did not allow Detroit to reach the end zone. Calvin Johnson was held to just 58 yards receiving on four catches. Detroit’s running game wasn’t much better as Joique Bell was limited to 48 yards on 19 carries.