“They’ve got a lot of weapons offensively,” Light said. “They’ve got a lot of guys defensively, especially up front, that play really well. It’s going to be a tough game.”
The Patriots‘ defense may be suspect, especially against the pass, but their offense has developed into a balanced attack with the emergence of a solid running game. Against the Colts, they rushed for 168 yards and passed for 178.
Since BenJarvus Green-Ellis took over as starting running back after Laurence Maroney was traded and Fred Taylor was hurt, he’s rushed for six touchdowns and run for 76 yards or more four times in seven games.
Danny Woodhead, picked up after the opening game when he was cut by the New York Jets, ran for a career-high 69 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown on Sunday.
Neither was thrown for a loss in a combined 50 carries over the past two games.
“You never want to lose yards in a game, especially in the NFL. Yards are so precious,” Woodhead said. “We just go with what we see as running backs and the (offensive) line usually gives us something great to see and where to run, so we just play off of them.”
A strong running game gives Brady more options. Defenses become more susceptible to the play-action when they might commit to the run while Brady drops back to pass. That makes things even easier for one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks.
“Anyone who has ever played this game knows that you run it until they can stop it,” Brady said. “You can control the tempo of the game running the ball and I think that’s what we’ve done a good job of the last couple of weeks.”
And Detroit has allowed the seventh-most yards rushing this season, another encouraging sign for New England.
But even if they had a normal week to prepare, the Patriots wouldn’t waste time thinking about that. They take the Lions very seriously as another team trying to beat them.
“Everything that we do is so methodical,” Light said. “The focus really just comes from each guy understanding that you’ve got a job to do. You’ve got to get in (and) focus on it. You’ve got to work hard, so there’s no real rocket science to it.”
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