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Week 12 Game Thread: Patriots (8-2) at Lions (2-8)

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Week 12: New England Patriots (8-2) at Detroit Lions (2-8)

12:30 PM ET | TV: CBS | Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Lions SB Nation Coverage: Pride of Detroit

Happy Turkey Day, Pulpiteers! Today, we've got a special Thanksgiving Day game against the Detroit Lions that may or may not be interfering with your turkey dinner. Luckily, the Patriots play the early game, with a 12:30 PM kickoff.

A lot of people have been pointing to this game as a possible trap game, as with the Browns a couple of weeks ago. I don't buy it for a second. I think that the Patriots learned a lot from the Browns game two weeks ago. Most importantly, the young guys learned to never take, even a seemingly inferior opponent, any lighter. Not to mention that the Lions aren't nearly as potent of an offense with Matthew Stafford missing from the lineup. If the Patriots can come out and dominate for a full 60 minutes, I believe that it will tell us a lot about this game.

A couple of keys to today's game? First and foremost, the Patriots will need to stop Calvin Johnson, aka Megatron. Johnson is one of those receivers (much like Randy Moss earlier in his career), that will thrive no matter who is throwing him the ball. You put him on an island, and he will go up and get the ball. This means that the Patriots will need to give him the attention they've given many other top receivers this season. One player in man (preferably Devin McCourty), and a safety over the top at all times

Another key: get the ground game going. While Tom Brady is active and will start today, that doesn't mean he won't be hurting. Getting the running attack going early will certainly benefit the Patriots. Luckily, the Patriots will be boosted by the return of running back Fred Taylor, who will likely split some carries with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead. If the Patriots get the ground attack going, it will allow Tom Brady to work out of the play-action (which he has done well in recent weeks), giving him more time to make his throws.

For now, begin getting your stomachs ready for dinner tonight and lets watch some football!

Greg's Prediction: Patriots 31 Lions 20