FOXBOROUGH ó The Detroit Lions were supposed to be one of the New England Patriots' toughest challenges of the season. They ended up being just another victim in what is now a seven-game winning streak.
The Patriots took the Lions to school in a 34-9 win, with a stifling defense which kept the Lions out of the end zone for the entire game. The offense stayed efficient, converting third downs and spreading out the Lions defense to neutralize their defensive line.
The Patriots got off to a rough start, with their first drive going 3-and-out while the Lions scored a field goal on their first drive. From there, it was almost all Patriots, as the home team scored a touchdown on the next drive to take a lead they would never give up.
This was an impressive win for a team that continues to make its case as the best in the AFC, or possibly even the NFL.
Here's a look at some players who performed well and some others who need to step their game up following Sunday's win.
Darrelle Revis: Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had virtually no success when targeting the Patriots' top two cornerbacks, but Darrelle Revis had a shutdown performance the likes of which we've come to expect from him throughout his career. Stafford went 1-for-9 when targeting Revis, and Revis notched three pass-defenses in the process.
Brandon Browner: The Patriots are undefeated since Brandon Browner rejoined the team following his suspension, but he may have had his best game of the season on Sunday. Stafford went 3-for-9 when targeting Browner, with Browner notching two pass-defenses. Browner's penchant for penalties has been a storyline this season, but he committed only one penalty in the game.
Tim Wright: The Lions did not appear to have any intention of covering Tim Wright in the end zone, as the Patriots' tight end caught two touchdown passes with no one anywhere near him. Wright has caught 23 passes on 26 targets this season, and six of those catches have gone for touchdowns.
Akeem Ayers: The Patriots traded for Akeem Ayers to help fill the void left by injured defensive end Chandler Jones. It looks like Ayers will be contributing even after Jones returns to the field. Ayers logged three quarterback hurries, a sack, and a tackle for loss against the Lions. He now has three sacks in the past four games.
LeGarrette Blount: It did not take long for LeGarrette Blount to begin making a positive impact for the Patriots. Blount picked up 78 yards on 12 carries, with 6.5 yards per carry on average and two touchdowns. He also had two runs of longer than 20 yards.
Discipline: Referee Tony Corrente and his crew are known as a flag-happy bunch, and Sunday was no different. The Patriots were penalized seven times in the first half alone, and 12 times overall. The Patriots remain the league's most penalized team.
Jonas Gray: Jonas Gray had a breakout performance against the Indianapolis Colts, but not only was Gray left out of the starting lineup, he did not even get a single carry against the Lions. Blount had a monster game, and so it appears Gray may not be a fantasy stud after all.