Standard rush, different results
The Patriots and the Lions were conservative with their pass rush on Thanksgiving, sending four or fewer pass rushers on all but 11 of the game’s 76 dropbacks. In the end, Tom Brady showed why the Patriots are thankful he’s their quarterback, going 10-for-11 with three touchdowns in the second half against Detroit’s standard rush.
Entering Thursday’s game, Tom Brady had the second-highest passer rating in the NFL throwing outside the numbers (minimum 150 attempts). On Thursday, Brady excelled targeting receivers down the sidelines, throwing all four of his touchdowns and posting a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
Brady continues play-action success
Tom Brady continued his dominance with the play-action pass on Thanksgiving, going 8-for-8 for 181 yards, two touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 passer rating. Entering Week 12, Brady had completed 71 percent of his play-action passes with seven touchdowns, no picks and a 133.5 passer rating.
Patriots’ secondary clamps down in second half
The Lions used three wide receiver sets on 76 percent of their offensive plays on Thanksgiving, putting Patriot defensive backs to the test. Shaun Hill was able to navigate his way around the extra defensive backs in the first half before the Patriots shut down the Lions’ passing game.
Compiled by John Parolin and John McTigue