Final

Lions 21

(2-10, 0-6 away)

Patriots 28

(9-3, 4-3 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, December 3, 2006

Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA 

1 2 3 4 T
DET 0 10 8 321
NE 3 10 0 1528

Top Performers

Passing: J. Kitna (DET) - 314 YDS, 1 TD, 3 INT

Rushing: K. Jones (DET) - 19 CAR, 56 YDS

Receiving: M. Furrey (DET) - 9 REC, 123 YDS, 1 TD

Dillion's 3 TDs save sloppy Patriots from upset

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- The Patriots know how to finish games. The Lions just finish themselves off.

Corey Dillon scored two of his three touchdowns in the last 8:35, Detroit turned the ball over on its last three possessions and New England avoided a stunning upset with a 28-21 victory Sunday.

Scouts Inc.'s take ...
The Detroit Lions moved the ball well versus a highly-ranked Patriots defense but turned the ball over too often. Lions quarterback Jon Kitna (right) threw for 314 yards but was also picked off three times. Detroit pressured Patriots quarterback Tom Brady into a subpar effort. The New England defense did not tackle well and needed five Detroit turnovers to give their offense a chance in the fourth quarter. The Lions put themselves in a position for the unlikely upset, but self-inflicted miscues gave Brady and company enough room to escape with a win.

Dillon gave the Patriots their first lead of the second half with his 4-yard scoring run with 2:33 left, backing up Tom Brady's belief that the Patriots nearly always have a chance to win.

"Any time there's time left on the clock, we think we can," he said. "For so much of that game we didn't play with much energy or enthusiasm."

That's not shocking, considering Detroit has the NFL's worst record over the last six years (23-69) and is 2-10 this season. It's a surprise, though, considering the Patriots (9-3) talked all week about not taking any opponent for granted.

"Embarrassing, frustrating, but a win is a win," fullback Heath Evans said.

The Lions took an 18-13 lead after Evans was tackled in the end zone for a safety when he fell on Brady's fumble. Jason Hanson's 26-yard field goal, his fourth of the game, made it 21-13 less than 2 minutes into the fourth quarter.

The Patriots needed a touchdown and a 2-point conversion just to tie. Could they actually lose to a team that started the day with nine losses one week after the Patriots beat a team with nine wins in a 17-13 victory over Chicago on the same field?

Well, Detroit did squander a 10-0 lead in a 27-10 loss to Miami in its previous game.

"We had our chance to win," Lions running back Kevin Jones said, "but at the end of the game, we gave it away."

New England was giving it away for most of the day. With 10 penalties and four turnovers, it was sloppy and undisciplined.

"We didn't set the tone, the tempo, like we usually set it and it showed," Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour said. "It's obvious we have a lot of work to do."

They also have a cool Brady and a hard-hitting Dillon, who led a mediocre running attack when rookie Laurence Maroney was sidelined for the game after having the wind knocked out of him in the first quarter. Coach Bill Belichick said "he's doing all right."

Dillon, who finished with 25 yards on nine carries, scored on a 2-yard run with 8:35 left. Brady's 2-point conversion pass to Troy Brown tied it. Dillon also tied the game at 10 late in the first half with a 6-yard run. Stephen Gostkowski's second field goal as time ran out put the Patriots ahead 13-10 at intermission

"He's just got a nose for" the end zone, Evans said of Dillon. "He's not denied too often."

Then the Lions began playing like they have been all season. On their second play after the touchdown, Kitna's pass was intercepted by Vrabel.

"I though we did an excellent job of overcoming adversity, but I let them down," Kitna said. "I can't feel any worse."

But the Patriots continued playing like they did a week earlier when they committed five turnovers. On their third play, Brady completed a 9-yard pass to Benjamin Watson but he fumbled and Terrence Holt recovered.

Next it was the Lions turn to give the ball -- and, this time, the game -- away. On their second play, Mike Wright recovered Kitna's fumble after the quarterback was sacked by Rosevelt Colvin with 5:57 to go.

The Patriots didn't mess up the ensuing series. After an incompletion, Brady ran for 5 yards then completed four straight passes, the last a 5-yarder to Brown to the 4 that set up the winning touchdown.

"This was a typical game for them," Detroit wide receiver Roy Williams said. "Their defense creates turnovers and then (Brady) works his magic."

Mike Furrey had nine catches for a career-high 123 yards and a touchdown for Detroit, which also tried quarterback Josh McCown at wide receiver. He had two catches but was called for offensive pass interference deep in New England territory late in the third quarter.

Williams, doubled-teamed much of the game, had three catches for 50 yards and has 1,043 total yards receiving. The last Lion with more than 1,000 yards receiving in a season was Johnnie Morton with 1,154 in 2001.

"Look, we're 2-10. It's a good 2-10," Williams said, "but we always figure out a way to lose."

Game notes


Kitna completed 22 of 38 passes for 314 yards. Brady was 27-for-38 for 305 yards. ... The Patriots completed a sweep of the four NFC North teams, three of them in their current three-game winning streak. ... New England's Asante Samuel had another interception, his seventh of the year, after getting three against Chicago. ... Dre' Bly recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass for Detroit. ... Reche Caldwell and Kevin Faulk had eight catches for the Patriots.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
DET
NE
1st Downs2223
Passing 1st downs
1315
Rushing 1st downs
57
1st downs from penalties
41
3rd down efficiency
5-124-9
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Plays6564
Total Yards361363
Yards per play5.65.7
Total Drives1212
Passing284284
Comp-Att
22-3827-38
Yards per pass
6.67.1
Interceptions thrown
31
Sacks-Yards Lost
5-302-21
Rushing7779
Rushing Attempts
2224
Yards per rush
3.53.3
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-43-5
Penalties7-7010-72
Turnovers53
Fumbles lost
22
Interceptions thrown
31
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession30:4329:17

Passing Leaders

DETC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Kitna22/383148.3135-30
NEC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brady27/383058.0012-21

Rushing Leaders

DETCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones19562.9011
Harris11212.0012
NECARYDSAVGTDLG
Dillon9252.836
Brown11616.0016

Receiving Leaders

DETRECYDSAVGTDLG
Furrey912313.7131
Jones58617.2025
NERECYDSAVGTDLG
Caldwell811214.0028
Faulk8597.4020

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERDETNE
neFG2:51Stephen Gostkowski 25 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 17 plays, 81 yds, 8:13
03
SECOND QUARTERDETNE
detTD13:48Mike Furrey, 5 yd pass from Jon Kitna (Jason Hanson kick is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 85 yds, 4:03
73
detFG3:23Jason Hanson 29 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 3 yds, 0:58
103
neTD1:19Corey Dillon, 6 yd run (Stephen Gostkowski kick is good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 73 yds, 2:04
1010
neFG0:03Stephen Gostkowski 27 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 61 yds, 0:47
1013
THIRD QUARTERDETNE
detFG9:13Jason Hanson 38 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 58 yds, 5:51
1313
detFG5:13Jason Hanson 49 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 22 yds, 2:47
1613
detSF4:30Sack
Drive info: 2 plays, -10 yds, 0:45
1813
FOURTH QUARTERDETNE
detFG13:11Jason Hanson 26 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 49 yds, 6:15
2113
neTD8:39Corey Dillon, 2 yd run
Drive info: 9 plays, 58 yds, 4:32
2119
neTD2:38Corey Dillon, 4 yd run (Stephen Gostkowski kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 32 yds, 3:24
2128