WR Michael Jenkins - New England Patriots
|6-4, 217||Born: 6-18-1982||College: Ohio State||Drafted: Round 1, pick 29|
Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn, US Presswire
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Week 12: vs Detroit Lions
Mark and Joe say: Tough matchup. Tom Brady has been leading an explosive offense over the month of November. New England has crushed high-octane Denver and Indianapolis by 22 points in each contest. Brady threw 19/30 for 257 yards passing, two TDs and two interceptions at Indianapolis last week, after roasting the Broncos for 33/53 for 332 yards passing, four TDs and one interception (with one sack taken for -1 yard) two games ago against Denver. Predictably, Rob Gronkowski has led the charge as a receiver with 15 targets for 13/176/2 over the last two games, while Julian Edelman (18 for 14/139/1), Shane Vereen (14 for 9/97/1) and Brandon LaFell (17 for 9/115/1) have all gotten a share of the action. The Patriots' offense is red hot entering Week 12.
The Lions' rush D shuts down opposing backs, so they tend to get attacked through the air - last week, Drew Stanton wasn't sacked at all on the way to 21/32 for 306 yards passing, two TDs and two interceptions thrown. Ryan Tannehill managed 27/38 for 178 net yards, one TD and one interception at Detroit two weeks ago, while taking three sacks for -29 yards. The Patriots' line has surrendered 16 sacks this year (tied for ninth in the NFL), so Brady isn't particularly vulnerable to pass pressure this season. To date, the Lions' secondary has held up well with 221.5 net passing yards allowed per game on average (fifth in the NFL), with 12 passing scores given out balanced by 12 interceptions (tied for sixth in the NFL) and 26 sacks (10th) generated so far.
At home against the Lions' stout D, we think that Brady and company have a tougher-than-usual matchup this week. However, he is so hot right now that benching him is only a move if you are stacked at quarterback with the likes of Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck behind Brady.
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