Lions want wins, not reunions as Patriots visit

Matt Patricia has more to worry about than matching wits with his former boss.The Detroit Lions must defeat perennial powerhouse New England to avoid falling into an 0-3 hole and spending the rest of the season trying to climb into the playoff race. That’s more important to Patricia, the team’s first-year coach and former Patriots defensive coordinator, than scoring a personal victory over Bill Belichick on Sunday night.”Look, it’s a game. This game is going to be about the players,” Patricia said. “It’s not about me, it’s not about (Pats offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels), it’s not about Coach Belichick and I, it’s about us doing a good job of coaching our team.”So far, that hasn’t been the case. The Lions were embarrassed at home by the New York Jets in their season opener, then lost 30-27 to San Francisco after trailing by 17 points in the fourth quarter.Quarterback Matthew Stafford passed for 347 yards and three touchdowns against the 49ers but also overthrew his receivers on several plays that could have gone for long touchdowns. Detroit’s pass rush was surprisingly efficient with six sacks but the 49ers racked up 190 rushing yards.Patricia’s knowledge of the inner workings of New England’s system should be a bonus this week but he doesn’t want to overemphasize it.”With New England, the thing they do so well is they change week in and week out, year in and year out,” he said. “They’re always going to play to their strengths. The biggest thing for me is not to give too much information to our players where I kind of overdo it and almost paralyze them in effect.”The Patriots (1-1) are coming off a 31-20 loss to Jacksonville in a rematch of the AFC championship game. Blake Bortles diced up their secondary for four touchdown passes.Stafford is even more dangerous when he’s on. Last season he was second in the NFL in deep passing, per Pro Football Focus, but he’s 32nd through two games.”As good as there is in football,” Belichick said of Stafford’s ability to throw the deep ball. “He’s got great weapons. He does an excellent job of seeing down the field in all situations. No matter how much pressure he’s under, he seems to find guys down there.”