During his weekly interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI this morning, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talked about the challenges of the team’s compressed week of preparation for the Lions. New England hits the road on Thursday to face the 2-8 Lions in Detroit’s annual Thanksgiving tilt.
“For example, last night I got home and I got to work on the Lions. Last night was like a Wednesday night of a normal week for us,” Brady explained. “The first time I’m looking at film typically is Sunday night after a game ... by Monday night I’ve watched all the game. Tuesday, we’ll talk to offensive coaches about the game plan and so forth. Well, today is Thursday morning of a normal game week and we haven’t even put in the game plan.
“Today we’ll go over all the first, second, third down stuff we’re doing. We’re going to go in this afternoon and get together as a team and talk about all the guys we’re facing and the schemes they run.
“It’s definitely compressed. Physically we’ll adjust. By the time the game kicks off we’ll be doing all the things that we want to do. We just won’t have as much time to practice it. We’ve been playing football now since late July. If we miss one or two days of practice it’s not going to kill us.
“We’re going to have to really be sharp on Thursday and play with a lot of awareness against a team that plays well at home and has a damn good defense, that’s been in a lot of close games this season. They had a couple good teams beat and just let them get away at the end. It’s going to be a fun game playing on Thanksgiving.”
Despite the 2-8 record, the Lions could present a challenge for the Patriots. Consider the following:
* Five of the Lions’ eight losses have been by five points or fewer. They lost at Green Bay by two points early in the season and took the Jets to overtime before eventually falling.
* Yes, the Lions will be without starting quarterback Matthew Stafford (separated shoulder), but backup Shaun Hill has thrown for 12 touchdowns in eight games and averaged more than 300 yards passing in Detroit’s last two games. The Lions also have the sixth-most passing yards in the NFL this season.
* The Patriots’ defense, meanwhile, has given up an average of nearly 290 passing yards per game. That’s second-worst in the NFL behind only the porous Houston Texans.