The Detroit Lions will be back in Ford Field this week as the New England Patriots come to town for a Sunday night contest. While every game is important in the grand scheme of the NFL season, this week’s matchup may have another layer. Detroit is filled with ex-Patriots from the front office to the playing field. One of the ex-Patriots now residing in Detroit is running back LeGarrette Blount.
Blount has had two separate stints in New England. He was on the 2013 team that won the Super Bowl, then left to join the Pittsburgh Steelers. He waived by the Steelers after an incident where he apparently walked out of a game early. New England snatched him back off of waivers in 2014 and he eventually won another Super Bowl with the team in 2016 when he ran for 1161 yards and 18 touchdowns—both career highs.
Now two seasons removed from his time in New England he gets his second shot at his former team—the other being in Super Bowl LII where he acquired his third ring as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
When asked if he’s ready for the upcoming game, Blount made it clear that he was.
“Oh yeah. 100 percent,” Blount told reporters when asked, adding “I’ve played there for a few years. I know a lot of those guys there so it’s always fun playing against them.”
This is clearly not a “grudge match” for Blount, though.
“We prepare every week to try to win every game so we’re gonna prepare the same way for this one,” Blount said.
The Lions have gotten off to a bad start in 2018. They are 0-2, and while Blount was one of the players tasked with fixing their long time woes in the run game, the results haven’t really shown yet. The running back is only averaging 2.9 yards per carry through two games this season. While he was the listed starter in both of the team’s opening games, he was forced to leave both early—one due to injury and the other due to ejection—and yielded many carries to rookie Kerryon Johnson.
“We just gotta eliminate the mistakes.” Blount said when asked about the team’s struggles so far. “Do a lot of things better than we have.”
“Obviously we’re behind right now with a 0-2 start so we want to continue to progress up.”
At 0-2, this game feels like a must-win for the Lions. An 0-3 start is a near insurmountable hole for a team that told fans that 9-7 wasn’t enough. This will be the hardest challenge the Lions have yet faced as they have to take on one the smartest football minds around in Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
Blount was coached by Belichick during his time in New England and still has high praise for him.
“Bill knows his football. He knows what he’s talking about. He’s a really, really, really smart guy,” Blount said. “Obviously one of the best coaches that’s ever coached this game.”
To get their season back on track, the Lions must pull off a huge upset against one of the best. It’s a steep task but with proper preparation and a removal of the mistakes that have haunted Detroit so far this season Blount, and the rest of the Lions, believe that it is a challenge that they can overcome.