There’s a serious sense of urgency for both the Lions and the Patriots in Week 5. One of these teams will fall to 1-4 and face an extremely difficult path to playoff contention. With the Patriots facing quarterback uncertainty and the Lions battling severe defensive issues, something has to give.
Let’s make predictions, dive into the depth charts, and examine the odds ahead of Sunday’s matchup in Foxborough.
Detroit Lions vs. New England Patriots Betting Odds
The Patriots enter as 2.5-point home favorites and sit at -140 on the moneyline. The over/under is set at 46.5 points.
While we don’t know if Mac Jones will play, the Patriots earned their status as the favorite after somehow pushing the Packers to overtime with third-string QB Bailey Zappe. The over/under is on the low end relative to just about every Lions game this season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that figure move, especially if we get positive reports on the health of some of the Lions’ key weapons.
Detroit Lions vs. New England Patriots Prediction
I continue to believe the Lions will put it together one of these weeks. The defense hasn’t played well all season, but the 48-point implosion against Seattle should be a wakeup call for the unit. I expect the defense to play better against the Patriots and their shaky passing game regardless of who the quarterback is.
On the other hand, New England nearly won because of its defensive prowess in Week 4. I’m not sure the defense has enough high-end talent to handle what the Lions are drawing up, but if it can limit Aaron Rodgers, it has a chance to limit Jared Goff. Detroit’s offense is firing on all cylinders right now, and absences of Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift, and D.J. Chark didn’t slow the unit at all this past Sunday. If St. Brown can get healthy in time for this game, it might be tough for the Patriots to keep track of all of the weapons Goff has used so well.
I’m not sure I trust Mac Jones – or Brian Hoyer, or Bailey Zappe – to take advantage of a porous Lions secondary like other quarterbacks have. The running game might have more success, especially after a strong game in Green Bay. Will that be enough to keep pace with the Lions? Probably not, unless Goff becomes turnover-happy.
Even with the Patriots’ offensive struggles this season, 46.5 points is just too low for the over/under. After the Lions allowed 48 points themselves on Sunday, I’d be surprised if the over doesn’t hit again.
- The Lions are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games after an ATS loss
- The Patriots are 17-5 ATS in their last 22 home games against a sub-.500 team. Even in the post-Brady era, New England is still a very tough environment for opposing teams
- The over is 6-0 in the Lions’ last 6 games. The trend of the Lions’ season has been offense, offense, and more offense
Detroit Lions Injuries: Wide receivers Amon-Ra St. Brown and D.J. Chark are questionable with ankle injuries after both missed Week 4. Running back D’Andre Swift hasn’t been ruled out, but Dan Campbell suggested he could be held out through the Lions’ bye with a shoulder injury. Safety Tracy Walker is out for the season with a torn Achilles. The Lions are “hopeful” to have kicker Austin Seibert back after he missed Week 4 with a groin injury. Guard Jonah Jackson is questionable with a finger injury.
New England Patriots Injuries: The statuses of QBs Mac Jones (ankle) and Brian Hoyer (concussion) are uncertain. Tight end Jonnu Smith exited Sunday’s loss with an ankle injury. Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (knee), defensive end Lawrence Guy (shoulder), and cornerback Jalen Mills (hamstring) are questionable after missing Week 4.
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Lions vs. Patriots below.
T.J. Hockenson vs. Patriots Defense
T.J. Hockenson is coming off arguably the best game of his career, with 179 yards and 2 touchdowns against a leaky Seahawks defense. The Patriots have allowed four touchdowns by tight ends in their last three games.
With or without St. Brown in the mix, Goff will go to Hockenson often, and New England might be a great opportunity for him to keep this momentum alive.
Patriots Rushing Attack vs. Lions Run Defense
With the quarterback position a mystery, the Patriots’ running game should carry the offense this weekend. The Lions just let up 151 yards and 2 touchdowns to Rashaad Penny and surrendered 96 yards to Dalvin Cook the previous week.
Detroit’s run defense can only hang its hat on its performance against the Commanders so far, and it has to perform more like that in New England. Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson combined for 152 rushing yards against the Packers on Sunday. If the Lions let them do more of that, it could be another long day for the defense.