PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) -- Charlie Batch appears to be stepping things up for the Detroit Lions -- even when he's being knocked down and bruised.
Batch, who threw for 194 yards and a touchdown and ran for another, took a battering all game long and finally left with a bruised rib in Detroit's 34-9 victory over the New England Patriots on Thursday.
"Have you ever seen 'Gladiator?"' Lions cornerback Marquis Walker asked. "Charlie took some shots like Maximus. He showed me he was Maximus today."
Added Lions safety Ron Rice: "It was like a boxing match. He was down and got a couple of standing eight counts, but he still got up and fought."
Metaphors aside, an aching Batch helped Detroit (8-4) roll up 28 second-half points and improve to 3-0 under Gary Moeller, who took over as coach when Bobby Ross resigned.
Upbeat about their latest win, many Lions players credit Moeller with freeing up the offense, relaxing his troops and instilling confidence in time for three straight road tests looming -- against Minnesota, Green Bay and the New York Jets.
"He's really got us believing in ourselves," Detroit wide receiver Johnnie Morton said.
The Lions have potential playoff tiebreaker wins over New Orleans, Washington and the New York Giants, all of whom also have four losses. But Detroit has momentum, having beaten the struggling Patriots (3-9) in the second of three games the Lions play in 12 days.
"I think we're on a roll," Moeller declared after the Lions held the Patriots to three field goals by Adam Vinatieri. Two of them came in a first half that ended just 6-6.
"We gave the game away in the second half," New England coach Bill Belichick said flatly.
Patriots free safety Larry Whigham said Detroit simply "opened up and whipped us."
"We stunk up the joint," he said.
Enter Batch, who picked up where he left off on Sunday, when he tied his career best with three TD passes, threw for 225 yards and had a meaningless interception late in beating the New York Giants 31-21.
With the Patriots leading 9-6 on Thursday, Batch put the Lions ahead to stay with a 1-yard TD pass to tight end David Sloan on a fourth-and-goal with 3:45 left in the third.
On Detroit's next possession, Batch took a crushing shot to the chest from Patriots strong safety Lawyer Milloy, who was penalized 15 yards for roughing.
Batch was helped off the field, sat out two plays and returned to throw 18 yards to Sedrick Irvin to the 1. After Batch failed to sneak it in, James Stewart dove in for a TD and a 20-9 Detroit lead with 11:18 left.
Walker then intercepted a pass by Drew Bledsoe and returned it 12 yards to the New England 15. Batch later scored on a 10-yard scramble, pushing the margin to 27-9 and finishing 16-of-24 for 194 yards before he was replaced by Stoney Case.
"Charlie showed good toughness out there," Moeller said. "He could at least smile through the pain, and he wanted to be out there. That's what you want to see in a leader. He really got punched, and he kept going back in the game."
Bryant Westbrook later picked off another pass by Bledsoe and ran it back 101 yards for the final margin, closing out a strong showing by a Lions secondary playing without league interception leader Kurt Schulz, who sat out with a sprained ankle.
"You play to win, and when you lose the game and throw two interceptions it just cuts through the heart," said Bledsoe, who had 148 yards on 17-of-32 passing before being replaced by Tom Brady after Westbrook's interception.
Detroit's scoring barrage left Patriots defender Willie McGinest disgusted enough to hold a players-only meeting afterward.
"I told them that I take these games personally," he said. "Our team has to be accountable for our mistakes. As a team, this can't go on."
New England 6-0-3-9_9
Det--FG Hanson 31, 13:17.
NE--FG Vinatieri 24, 5:41.
NE--FG Vinatieri 47, 1:23.
Det--FG Hanson 36, 12:48.
NE--FG Vinatieri 43, 8:51.
Det--Sloan 1 pass from Batch (Hanson kick), 3:45.
Det--Stewart 1 run (Hanson kick), 11:18.
Det--Batch 10 run (Hanson kick), 8:55.
Det--Westbrook 101 interception return (Hanson kick), 4:13.
First downs 15 17
Rushes-yards 20-66 28-110
Passing 149 189
Punt Returns 1-2 2-22
Kickoff Returns 6-111 4-136
Interceptions Ret. 0-0 2-113
Comp-Att-Int 18-35-2 17-25-0
Sacked-Yards Lost 2-5 2-15
Punts 5-50.4 2-48.0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 4-1
Penalties-Yards 9-81 10-99
Time of Possession 30:27 29:33
RUSHING--New England, Redmond 11-30, Bledsoe 4-27, Pass 3-9, Carter 2-0. Detroit, Stewart 18-51, Irvin 4-45, Batch 4-17, Case 2-(minus 3).
PASSING--New England, Bledsoe 17-32-2-148, Brady 1-3-0-6. Detroit, Batch 16-24-0-194, Case 1-1-0-10.
RECEIVING--New England, Glenn 5-76, Brown 4-27, Rutledge 4-25, Davis 2-12, Carter 1-15, Redmond 1-5, Pass 1-(minus 6), Detroit, Morton 4-46, Moore 4-42, Sloan 3-66, Rasby 2-14, Stablein 2-14, Irvin 1-18, Schlesinger 1-4.
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