FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots and Tom Brady picked apart the NFL’s top-ranked defense Sunday afternoon to win their seventh consecutive game.

Brady completed 38-of-53 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns as the Patriots defeated the Detroit Lions 34-9 at Gillette Stadium to improve to 9-2 atop the AFC East. Detroit lost for the second consecutive week on the road to drop to 7-4.

LeGarrette Blount, signed just last Thursday after being released by Pittsburgh on Tuesday, led the Patriots with 78 rushing yards, while scoring on two short touchdown runs. Detroit had given up only 68.8 yards rushing per game this season.

The Patriots defense, led by cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, forced quarterback Matthew Stafford into a miserable day as he completed just 18-of-46 passes for 264 yards.

The Patriots took control for good in the second quarter when they scored 17 points to take a 24-6 halftime lead.

After Detroit had cut the lead to 7-6 on a 20-yard field goal by Matt Prater – which was immediately preceded by two great defensive plays by Revis and Patrick Chung to break up passes in the end zone – Danny Amendola broke out for an 81-yard kick-off return to the Lions’ 22. Three plays later, Blount turned his first carry in his return to New England into a 3-yard touchdown and New England led 14-6.

The Lions again drove to the Patriots 39, but stalled. A punt put the Patriots back to their 7. So Brady surgically picked the Lions apart, ending the 13-play drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Tim Wright – their second scoring hook-up of the game – and it was 21-6.

When Prater missed a 53-yard field goal attempt wide left, the Patriots moved in again. This time, back-to-back completions of 24 and 23 yards to Rob Gronkowski set up a 35-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski to end the half and give the Patriots a 24-6 lead.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH


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