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Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Running back Sony Michel ready to make his name at Pats

Lions struggled with the Jets' Isaiah Crowell and 49ers' Matt Breida

Sony Michel on the move for New England against Jacksonville
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Sky Sports Action, 1.20am Sunday night

It has not been a great start to life in Detroit for new head coach Matt Patricia and the last thing he will want to see is his former team New England heading to Ford Field following a defeat.

Patricia was the defensive co-ordinator at the Patriots but could not have got his tenure at the Lions off to a worse start as they were humbled 48-17 by a New York Jets team led by a 21-year-old rookie quarterback in his first game.

They also didn't look competitive until the final quarter of last week's trip to San Francisco and they face a team baying for blood after their own reverse at Jacksonville last week.

The Patriots' performance at the Jaguars will not be considered a disaster - they were beaten by a better team - but it will still smart and will remind everyone at Foxborough that there will be no room for complacency.

The addition of former Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon - a talented player who has had a host of off-the-field issues - is an interesting one and fills a hole following the departures of Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola.

He has been troubled by a hamstring issue but could definitely be a threat against a team who conceded the joint-most number of points in the first two weeks of the season, particularly as the Lions are without their injured best pass rusher Ezekiel Ansah.

However, their rush defence has been poor too and this could be an opportunity for the Pats' first-round pick Sony Michel to make an impression.

The running back starred for Georgia in college football last year and his opportunities have been restricted so far, but he should be ready to go after a knee injury.

The Lions had problems against the Jets' Isaiah Crowell and the Niners' Matt Breida, so Michel could announce himself with his first NFL touchdown.

Recommendation
S Michel to score a touchdown
1pt 21-10 Coral, Ladbrokes

The lowdown

Venue Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Surface Artificial
Weather Indoors
Vegas handicap New England -6.5
Vegas points line 53.5

Team news
New England
Receiver Josh Gordon is rated questionable while safety Patrick Chung and defensive end Trey Flowers are doubtful.

Detroit
Receiver Marvin Jones, defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, guard TJ Lang, cornerback Darius Slay and tight end Michael Roberts are all rated questionable.

Key stat
New England have won 16 of their last 18 away games.


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New England have won 16 of their last 18 away games
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