Quick-hit thoughts after 2nd quarter

August, 27, 2011
8/27/11
9:38
PM ET
DETROIT -- Quick-hit thoughts after the second quarter:

1. This is the Lions' night. The Patriots aren't playing at the level they've shown to this point and Bill Belichick let players have it on the sideline during the second quarter. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (12 for 14, 200 yards, 2 TDs) has been the player of the game, as he exited with four minutes to play in the second quarter.

2. Cornerback Devin McCourty is having a tough night. The 30-yard high-arcing pass from Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson -- which came with Stafford tossing the ball high up in the air on a blitz -- was a case of failing to locate the ball as it hung in the air for a long time. It was reflective of most of the first half for the Patriots; they didn't win enough one-on-one battles. McCourty did have two pass breakups later in the quarter.

3. Cornerback Kyle Arrington also is having a tough time. He was in coverage on tight end Tony Scheffler's touchdown -- it was unclear if he should have had help -- which came after he drew a pass interference penalty on the previous drive.

4. Julian Edelman had a little more room to operate as a kickoff returner, a result of the Lions' post-touchdown penalty, and he capitalized with a 32-yard return, looking more explosive than Brandon Tate. Edelman also looked explosive as a punt returner. He's been one of the team's better players tonight.

5. Tom Brady is off his game tonight. He's missing throws he'd normally make with ease, and part of that credit goes to the Lions for making him uncomfortable early. Brady is taking some hits.

6. Second straight week the Patriots had a chance to run the two-minute offense at the end of the first half. Second straight week it didn't go as planned. This time, Brady was intercepted.

7. With the Lions dictating with their pressure, the Patriots have stayed mostly in the three-receiver package instead of trying to dictate with the running game and more tight end usage.

8. Tight end Aaron Hernandez is spending some time lining up in the offensive backfield as part of a two-back set.

9. Quiet night for receiver Chad Ochocinco. Outside of his offensive pass interference penalty in the first quarter, his name hasn't been called.

10. A lot of chippy play on the field, with Logan Mankins picking up a facemask penalty. He had a 15-yard penalty here last year while playing on the field-goal unit. He's the Patriots' enforcer.

11. The Patriots have used an interesting rotation at safety. Brandon Meriweather and James Sanders started and played the first three series. On the fourth and fifth series, it was a combination of Patrick Chung and Sergio Brown. On the sixth and seventh drive, it was Chung and James Ihedigbo.

12. Starting right guard Dan Connolly, who left in the first quarter with an ankle injury, has not returned.

13. Veteran Matt Light started and played the first two series. With the long second drive, that was enough work him in his preseason debut, as rookie Nate Solder took over.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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