New England Patriots vs. Detroit Lions: Four Matchups To Watch

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Aug 22, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush (21) is tackled by a New England Patriots defender in the second quarter of a preseason game at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

As we prepare for the 8-2 New England Patriots to take on the 7-3 Detroit Lions, there are a few key matchups that we will have to keep an eye on, as they will go a long way towards deciding the victor in this one. Both of these teams have had excellent 2014 campaigns to this point, albeit doing it in very different ways.

On one side, you have the best defense in the NFL, led by a front seven that simply wants to knock you out. However on the other side, you have a Patriots team that is rolling on offense, and now own the best secondary in the entire league.

What a game.

As we kickoff our in-depth coverage of this contest, I want to say right off the bat that this game could arguably be the biggest test for the Patriots in terms of preparing for the playoffs. January football always involves physicality, and the Lions will bring a stern test in that department.