Dan Campbell and the Lions’ coaching staff made a highly questionable decision in the first half of Sunday’s game at Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots made the visitors pay in a big way.
Detroit elected to keep its offense on the field as Jared Goff and company faced a fourth-and-9 situation from New England’s 31-yard-line. The Lions quarterback faced immediate pressure and ultimately was brought down by Matthew Judon, who stripped the football out of Goff’s hands in the process. Kyle Dugger put an exclamation point on the sequence for New England, racing it 59 yards to paydirt to give his team a two-touchdown lead.
The score marked the first career NFL touchdown for Dugger, the Patriots’ second-round pick in the 2020 draft. It was the sixth sack of the season for Judon, who made New England franchise history with his first quarterback takedown in Week 5.
The highlight-reel play also signaled the Patriots’ second defensive touchdown in as many games. The Week 4 score was provided by rookie cornerback Jack Jones, who rode the momentum of his big play on Aaron Rodgers and tacked on another interception early in Sunday’s game.
The Patriots and the Lions both entered the matchup with a 1-3 record on the season.