Saturday, August 27, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Lions 34, Patriots 10
By Mike Reiss
DETROIT -- Rapid reaction from the New England Patriots' 34-10 preseason loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field:
Thorough beating. After two preseason games in which the Patriots looked like an elite team, they crashed back to earth in this one. The Lions took it to them in almost every facet of the game. Players can expect some hard coaching from Bill Belichick, who looked disgusted on the sidelines. Meanwhile, the Lions looked at this game as a gauge to see how they measured up with the NFL's elite. They were excellent.
Lions' pressure gets to Brady. Quarterback Tom Brady didn't look like the 2010 Most Valuable Player. His night ended after one three-and-out series in the third quarter. The Lions hit him early and Brady never got into a rhythm, missing some throws he usually makes easily. One of the few highlights was a 44-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker in the second quarter. Overall, the Lions' powerful defensive line -- without end Kyle Vanden Bosch -- dictated the way the game was played. The Patriots' protection was spotty as Brady finished 12-of-22 for 145 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
Welker, Connolly, Wilhite & Edelman leave with injuries. On the injury front, receiver Welker (neck), starting right guard Dan Connolly (right ankle), cornerback Jonathan Wilhite (undisclosed but walked off under own power) and receiver Julian Edelman (hand) all left the game and didn't return. Welker's last play came at the end of the second quarter when he made a hard tackle on a Brady interception.
Quiet night for Ochocinco. The chemistry with wide receiver Chad Ochocinco and Brady is not where it needs to be. In-game statistician charts Ochocinco as being targeted four times, but he finishes without a catch.
Matthew Stafford the player of the game. Credit to Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was the star of the game in finishing 12-of-14 for 200 yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots couldn't generate the same type of pressure they did in the first two games. The entire defense was disjointed, with communication between the back end and front seven all over the map. Players were visibly frustrated as they talked to each other on the field after successful Lions plays. Overall, the Patriots lost a lot of one-on-one battles, particularly in the secondary. A night to forget on that side of the ball after two preseason games in which they dominated.