Can Ryan Fitz­patrick’s magic con­tinue?

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - INSIDE -

The 2-0 Buc­ca­neers and their soar­ing quar­ter­back face the reel­ing Steel­ers. Who wins?

Pass­ing

Pa­tri­ots Opp. Rush­ing Pa­tri­ots Opp. Scor­ing Pa­tri­ots Opp. Att

74 79 Att. 55 58 TD Cmp

50 487 67.6 46 535 58.2 Yds Avg Lng TD 204 3.7 15 271 4.7 31 Rsh Rec Ret 5 050 6 150 Pos­ses­sion Avg. To­tal Net Yards Net Yards Rush­ing Avg. Per Game Net Yards Pass­ing Avg. Per Game Yds Pa­tri­ots Cmp% 0 1 Pts 47 51 Opp. Yds/ Att TD

6.6 5 6.8 5 Re­ceiv­ing Pa­tri­ots Opp. Int.

Pa­tri­ots Opp.

Kick­ing

Pa­tri­ots Opp. Int

1 2 Rec. Lng

30 61 Yds

4/24 104.1 3/18 90.3 Avg Lng TD 50 511 10.2 30 46 553 12.0 61

No. Yds Avg

2 1

PAT

5/5 4/5 6/6 3/3

Pa­tri­ots

To­tal First Downs Rush­ing

3rd Down Pct. 4th Down/Att. 4th Down Pct. Penal­ties/Yards Sack/ Lost

0 1

0.0 1.0

FG Rtg 5 5 TD

0 0

Pts

17 15 Opp. L ......... N.Y. Jets ......... 48-17 L ...... at San Fran . ...... 30-27 Sept. 23 New Eng­land 8:20 Sept. 30 ....... at Dal­las ....... 1 Oct. 7 ........ Green Bay ........ 1 Oct. 14 .............. Bye .............. Oct. 21 ........ at Miami ........ 1 Oct. 28 ......... Seat­tle ......... 1 Nov. 4 ..... at Min­nesota ..... 1 Nov. 11 ...... at Chicago ...... 1 Nov. 18 ........ Carolina ........ 1 Nov. 22 .... Chicago .... 12:30 Dec. 2 ........ L.A. Rams ........ 1 Dec. 9 ..... at Ari­zona ..... 4:25 Dec. 16 ....... at Buf­falo ....... 1 Dec. 23 ...... Min­nesota ...... 1 Dec. 30 ...at Green Bay .... 1

Sun­day, 8:20

Field, Detroit

TV: NBC

Danny Sheri­dan’s line: by 61⁄2

Pa­tri­ots’ keys to vic­tory: QB Tom Brady needs to find some­one other than TE Rob Gronkowski to step up and make plays for the of­fense. Li­ons coach Matt Pa­tri­cia co­or­di­nated New Eng­land’s de­fense for years and knows the ten­den­cies, so Brady and the of­fense must not be pre­dictable. The trade for for­mer Pro Bowl WR Josh Gor­don should help. Gor­don, 27, led the NFL with 1,646 re­ceiv­ing yards in 2013. But he played just 10 games from 2013 to 2017, miss­ing two full sea­sons while serv­ing sus­pen­sions for mul­ti­ple vi­o­la­tions of the NFL’s sub­stance abuse pol­icy.

Li­ons’ keys to vic­tory: The Detroit run de­fense has looked un­co­or­di­nated and chaotic in both the pre­sea­son and through the first two weeks. The front seven must fig­ure out who has what gap as­sign­ments and ex­e­cute bet­ter. LB Devon Ken­nard has im­pressed as a pass rusher, and he’s get­ting help from rookie DE Da’Shawn Hand. They must be able to make an im­pact against the run as well. QB Matthew Stafford has missed too many down­field throws, no­tably to WR Marvin Jones, on plays he rou­tinely hit in prior sea­sons.

Matchup to watch: Pa­tri­ots RB James White vs. Li­ons LB Jar­rad Davis. White is a ca­pa­ble dual-threat back who can win as a run­ner or re­ceiver. Davis has strug­gled in space and must di­ag­nose more quickly, but he has play­mak­ing abil­ity, too.

Who wins? Detroit hasn’t found con­sis­tent suc­cess on ei­ther side of the ball against two teams not as good as the Pa­tri­ots. Even at home, it’s a leap of faith to think the Li­ons can pull off the up­set.

Pa­tri­ots, 36-28

Jeff Ris­don p.m. ET, Ford Pa­tri­ots

KIM KLEMENT/USA TO­DAY SPORTS

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