James Sanders and the New England Patriots staved off a Peyton Manning comeback, on Sunday, in order to preserve a 31-28 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium.
Although the victory over the Colts provided the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick with a little spring in their step (as apparent in his press conference after the game), the Pats will have to have a short memory and quick turnaround as they prepare for the Detroit Lions.
The two teams meet on Thursday in Detroits annual Thanksgiving day football game.
The Lions will be without starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has a seperated shoulder, but backup Shaun Hill has thrown 12 touchdowns in eight games while averaging over 300 yards in his past two games. Detroit (2-8) has the reverse record of the Patriots but don’t let that fool you as five of their eight losses have been by five points or fewer, including an overtime loss to the New York Jets (deja vu for any Patriots fan).
With one day of practice and one day of travel for New England, it will be extra important for Belichick’s squad to hone in on a game-plan and study film in their limited time for preparation.
If not, New England could be looking back against games with the Browns and Lions at the end of the season, wondering what could’ve been.