Pats Get Fed To The Lions
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Would you like the good news or the bad news first?
Okay, we'll start with the bad news. The Pats got hammered in Detroit Thursday night 40-9 by the Lions.
The good news is, it was only a preseason game.
Back to the bad news, if the third preseason game is the one that supposedly matters, then the Patriots have many issues that need to be cleaned up before their season opener in Buffalo September 8th.
New England turned the ball over a whopping 4 times including 3 fumbles en route to the embarrassing loss.
Ironically, the Pats moved the ball well on the opening drive of the game as Tom Brady marched the team from their own 20 down to the Lions 32-yard line. But, on 2nd and 12 from the Detroit 32, Brady connected with rookie TE Zach Sudfeld who took the ball down to the 10 before coughing it up. Detroit recovered thwarting a possible scoring drive.
Taking over at their own 5 after a penalty, Detroit mounted an impressive 10-play, 90-yard drive which stalled at the Patriot 5. The Lions settled for a David Akers field goal and a 3-0 first qurter lead.
Both teams went 3-and-out on their next drives when the Pats got the ball back deep in their own territory. But, after Brady completed a pass to RB Brandon Bolden at the line of scrimmage, Bolden fumbled the ball. Detroit recovered at the New England 4 but a penalty puched them back to the 19.
Fortunately, the Pats defense stood tall thanks to a sack by Rob Ninkovich and Tommy Kelly. Akers missed his field goal attempt wide right and the score remained 3-0.
On the Pats next possession, Brady was intercepted by Chris Houston on a pass intended for Aaron Dobson.
This time the Lions took advantage of the short field going 37 yards for a score. Matt Stafford his TE Tony Scheffler for a 10-0 Detroit lead.
On New England's next possession, Brady was sacked on second down before Shane Vereen fumbled the ball on third down. That made it 4 turnovers in their first 5 possessions of the game. Ouch!
Again, being put in a difficult position (Detroit took over at NE 7), the Pats defense held Detroit to only a field goal and a 13-0 lead.
Brady then marched the team down the field for a drive that resulted in the team's only score of the night - a Stephen Gostkowki 31-yard field goal making the score 13-3.
The Lions added another field goal just before halftime for a 16-6 lead.
The second half was a disaster on both sides of the ball for New England. Detroit's second and third stringers hammered the Patriots back-ups 24-6 in the game's final 30 minutes for the 40-9 final.
-On a night where the Patriots offensive line didn't show up, the Pats first string defense actually played well. Were it not for their solid play in the first half, a 16-3 Detroit halftime lead could have been 28-3. Ninkovich led the way with a team-best 6 total tackles, 1 for a loss, a quarterback hit and a half a sack.
-The Patriot offense certainly wasn't helped by all of the turnovers they committed. Nor were they helped by the absence of WR Danny Amendola who did not play in the game after missing practice all week. With no Welker, Hernandez, Gronkowski and Lloyd, Amendola appeared to Brady's favorite target for most of the preseason.
-One guy that did play well offensively was rookie WR Kenbrell Thomkins out of Cincinnatti. Thompkins led all receivers in the game with 8 catches for 116 yards and has clearly earned a spot on the team's 53-man roster.
-New England's lone touchdown was scored with just :32 seconds left in the game when Ryan Mallett his former Brown Bear Jimmy Devlin on a 9-yard strike. Devlin is battling for a spot on the 53-man roster and played well last week against Tampa Bay after he missed the preseason opener in Philadelphia with a minor injury.
-It was interesting to see that Tim Tebow did not see the field at all Thursday night. Some might read into that by saying that he will likely be cut by the Patriots. Time will tell.