Final

Patriots 45

(9-2, 4-2 away)

Lions 24

(2-9, 2-3 home)

Coverage: CBS

12:30 PM ET, November 25, 2010

Ford Field, Detroit, MI 

1 2 3 4 T
NE 3 7 14 2145
DET 7 10 7 024

Top Performers

Passing: T. Brady (NE) - 341 YDS, 4 TD

Rushing: B. Green-Ellis (NE) - 12 CAR, 59 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: D. Branch (NE) - 3 REC, 113 YDS, 2 TD

Tom Brady's perfect QB rating drives Patriots past Lions

Associated Press

DETROIT -- Tom Brady was perfect on the field and his exit was first-class.

Brady threw a season-high four touchdown passes, all in the second half, and the New England Patriots routed the Detroit Lions 45-24 on Thursday after trailing by 11 late in the second quarter.

"We showed some resiliency, coming out in the second half and playing the way we did when the crowd was into it," Brady said.

Following Brady's brief news conference, the former Michigan star jogged out of Ford Field -- limping slightly up a steep ramp -- hugged Robert Kraft and got into an idling limo with the team owner behind a police escort.

New England (9-2) remained tied with the the AFC East rival New York Jets -- who beat Cincinnati 26-10 on Thursday night -- for the NFL's best record, setting up a showdown at home Dec. 6.

"I don't think we're at where we need to be at," Brady said. "But this is a tough group."

No one in the red, white and blue is tougher than Brady.

After taking a ton of shots early in the game, the three-time Super Bowl winner and two-time MVP bounced back to complete 21 of 27 passes for 341 yards with no interceptions, giving him a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3 for the second time in his career.

"He's like a surgeon," Detroit center Dominic Raiola said.

Brady threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to Deion Branch early in the fourth quarter after connecting with him on a 79-yarder to tie it at 24. Wes Welker's second TD reception sealed the victory with 6:42 left, putting the Patriots ahead by two TDs and making their double-digit deficit a distant memory.

"When you outscore a team 35-7 in the second half, a lot of things have to go right," New England coach Bill Belichick said.

The Lions (2-9) are used to things going wrong, especially on Thanksgiving.

Detroit has lost a franchise-record seven straight games -- by an average of nearly 23 points -- in its annual showcase.

"This one is really tough because we gave everybody so much hope," Raiola said. "We were up 14-3, Ford Field was going crazy and then boom, boom, boom."

Brady became the first to have a perfect passer rating this season with a minimum of five attempts, according to STATS LLC. His first perfect game was Oct. 21, 2007, when he threw a career-high six TD passes in a victory over Miami.

"If we give him time, there's nothing he can't do," guard Logan Mankins said. "He's going to find the guy that's open, and he's going to get them the ball. The rest is up to us."

Brady had plenty of help with Welker and Branch through the air and BenJarvus Green-Ellis on the ground.

Green-Ellis ran for two TDs, matching a career high. His second one capped the scoring with 3:14 left and led to several pushing and shoving matches with the frustrated Lions.

Shaun Hill was 27-of-46 for 285 yards with one TD -- to Calvin Johnson at the end of the first quarter that put the Lions up 7-3 -- and two interceptions to rookie cornerback Devin McCourty.

Maurice Morris ran for two TDs, matching his total in two seasons in Detroit. Morris' first score put Detroit ahead 14-3 with 5:58 left in the first half.

Green-Ellis' 15-yard TD pulled the Patriots within four with 45 seconds left in the second quarter, then they allowed Detroit to drive for a lead-padding field goal to end the first half.

The Lions looked as if they finally might put together a good showing on Thanksgiving, forcing New England to punt on its first drive of the second half.

But Detroit began to fall apart when Hill underthrew Johnson on the ensuing possession and McCourty picked off the pass and returned it 23 yards to set up Brady's tying pass to Welker.

"That was a big play by Devin that really swung the game," Belichick said.

Detroit recovered, going ahead midway through the third quarter, but the lead didn't last long.

Brady found Branch, who was wide open, and he ran circles around Alphonso Smith on the 79-yard scoring play 22 seconds later.

Branch beat Smith on his next TD with 13:45 left in the game, sending the cornerback to the bench in a move that was made much too late to help the Lions.

"I just want to apologize to my teammates because they played so hard," Smith said. "I feel as if I was the catalyst for this loss. I also want to apologize to this organization and the fans."

Game notes


Patriots RB Danny Woodhead has reportedly signed a contract extension, but he refused to confirm it. "I'm very happy to be here," Woodhead said three times when asked about the deal. ... Lions DT Ndamukong Suh had a sack, giving him eight to break the team rookie record set by Tracy Scroggins in 1992. ... Belichick has 172 victories, moving past Joe Gibbs for 11th place on the NFL list. Belichick also joined Tom Landry as the only ones with at least 10 straight winning seasons with the same team since the 1970 merger. ... The Lions were the last team in the league to give up a TD pass to Brady, who made his NFL debut against them in 2000 and won a start against them in 2006. ... Brady has a career record of 120-36, including the playoffs, as a starter since 2001. The Lions are 35-120 since that season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NE
DET
1st Downs2025
Passing 1st downs
1313
Rushing 1st downs
611
1st downs from penalties
11
3rd down efficiency
4-87-14
4th down efficiency
0-02-3
Total Plays5375
Total Yards447406
Yards per play8.45.4
Total Drives1112
Passing338277
Comp-Att
21-2727-46
Yards per pass
12.15.8
Interceptions thrown
02
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-32-8
Rushing109129
Rushing Attempts
2527
Yards per rush
4.44.8
Red Zone (Made-Att)4-53-4
Penalties5-508-66
Turnovers02
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
02
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession28:5531:05

Passing Leaders

NEC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brady21/2734112.6401-3
DETC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Hill27/462856.2122-8

Rushing Leaders

NECARYDSAVGTDLG
Green-Ellis12594.9215
Woodhead8324.009
DETCARYDSAVGTDLG
Morris9556.1217
Brown13362.807

Receiving Leaders

NERECYDSAVGTDLG
Branch311337.7279
Welker89011.3219
DETRECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson48120.3134
Pettigrew56713.4024

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNEDET
neFG5:04Shayne Graham 19 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 41 yds, 3:59
30
detTD0:03Calvin Johnson 19 Yard Pass From Shaun Hill (Dave Rayner Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 71 yds, 5:00
37
SECOND QUARTERNEDET
detTD6:02Maurice Morris 1 Yard Run (Dave Rayner Kick is Good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 63 yds, 6:24
314
neTD0:53Benjarvus Green-Ellis 15 Yard Run (Shayne Graham Kick is Good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 83 yds, 5:13
1014
detFG0:02Dave Rayner 44 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 41 yds, 0:45
1017
THIRD QUARTERNEDET
neTD11:06Wes Welker 5 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Shayne Graham Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 26 yds, 2:08
1717
detTD6:55Maurice Morris 1 Yard Run (Dave Rayner Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 58 yds, 4:08
1724
neTD5:27Deion Branch 79 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Shayne Graham Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 87 yds, 1:38
2424
FOURTH QUARTERNEDET
neTD13:51Deion Branch 22 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Shayne Graham Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 64 yds, 2:15
3124
neTD6:47Wes Welker 16 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Shayne Graham Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 84 yds, 4:25
3824
neTD3:16Benjarvus Green-Ellis 1 Yard Run (Shayne Graham Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 12 yds, 2:29
4524

Research Notes

Tom Brady now has 2 career games with a perfect passer rating (158.3). He is the 5th player since the merger with multiple games with a perfect passer rating.
  [+]
The Lions enjoyed success throughout the 1990s on Thanksgiving, compiling a 7-3 record while averaging more than 7 points per game than their opponents. Since 2000 its been a different story. After losing by 21 points on Thursday, the Lions are now 2-9 on Turkey Day while getting outscored by an average of more than 10 points.
  [+]
Dave Rayner, Detroit's replacement kicker, has missed one field goal thus far today. So it's worth pointing out that the Lions regular kicker, Jason Hanson, did not play today due to a knee injury. That ends his record run of 18 consecutive Thanksgiving Day games. He has played in more Thanksgiving games than anyone else in NFL history...
  [+]

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