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- 3 scores on 4 chances (3 touchdowns, 1 turnover on downs)
The Lions continued their success in the red zone on Thanksgiving against the Patriots. Detroit's first three red zone opportunities were all touchdowns, and the only reason their fourth appearance didn't produce points is because they were just trying to add a garbage touchdown at the end of the game to make the score look better than it actually was.
Detroit's three red zone touchdowns were as follows: 19-yard pass from Shaun Hill to Calvin Johnson, one-yard run by Maurice Morris and another one-yard run by Morris. The fourth red zone appearance saw the Lions moving down the field rather quickly, but things stalled once Detroit got inside the 20. They did have a shot at scoring a touchdown, but Bryant Johnson dropped yet another pass. This drop came on fourth down in the end zone and gave the ball back to the Patriots, which were able to just take a knee to end the game.
Patriots - 5 scores on 5 chances (4 touchdowns, 1 field goal)
The first red zone appearance for New England was very positive for the Lions. The Pats got all the way down to the two-yard line but were stuffed and held to fourth and one. It looked like New England gave some thought to just going for it since it only needed one yard, but the Pats opted for a field goal instead.
The next four red zone appearances were all bad for the Lions. They resulted in the following four touchdowns: 15-yard run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, five-yard pass from Tom Brady to Wes Welker, 16-yard pass from Brady to Welker and a one-yard run by Ellis.
Offensively, the Lions did what they have done all season long: play well inside the red zone. Despite not having Matthew Stafford for most of the season, the Lions have had a lot of red zone success, which allowed them to build an early lead in this game. On defense, the first red zone appearance went well, but it was all downhill from there. New England scored through the air and on the ground and the Lions' defense had no answers in the red zone on the Pats' final four trips inside the 20.