DETROIT – Matt Patricia weaved his way through a crowd to hug the man who helped him live a dream.
Patricia beat mentor Bill Belichick, seemingly making all the right moves to help the Detroit Lions defeat the New England Patriots 26-10 Sunday night.
“I’m sure it meant a lot, his first win as a head coach,” Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “Probably no sweeter than to do it against your old team.
“We needed this one.”
The Lions (1-2) suddenly looked like a team with a plan on offense and defense under their first-year coach and former New England assistant. They opened the season with a 31-point loss to the New York Jets at home and fell short in a comeback at San Francisco.
Patricia was given a game ball by his players, but refused to relish in the moment.
“I’m just happy for the guys,” he said. “They’re the ones who deserve it.”
The Patriots (1-2) have had weaknesses exposed on both sides of the ball, losing two of their first three games for the first time since 2012.
And, Belichick was in no mood to reflect on his former defensive coordinator earning his first win.
“My job is my football team,” said Belichick, who is 14-9 against former assistants. “That’s what I’m worried about. That’s what I’m concerned about.”
Detroit was in control from the start, creating holes for rookie running back Kerryon Johnson and giving Stafford time to pass.
Johnson had 101 yards rushing on 16 carries, becoming the first player to reach the mark for the Lions since Reggie Bush ran for 117 yards against Green Bay on Nov. 28, 2013. Detroit’s 70-game stretch without a 100-yard rusher was the longest since the NFL-AFL merger.
“We knew we needed to run the ball and take some of the pressure off Stafford and the receivers if we wanted to win this game,” Johnson said. “The offensive line was hitting holes and we were attacking. That’s the most physical game they’ve played all year, and we were able to take advantage of it.”
In Other Games
Bills 27, Vikings 6
Saints 43, Falcons 37, (OT)
Eagles 20, Colts 16
Rams 35, Chargers 23
Seahawks 24, Cowboys 13
Chiefs 38, 49ers 27
Dolphins 28, Raiders 20
Panthers 31, Bengals 21
Ravens 27, Broncos 14
Titans 9, Jaguars 6
Redskins 31, Packers 17
Giants 27, Texans 22
Bears 16, Cardinals 14