Pats fall back to earth with a thud

After two preseason routs, N.E. is smacked with a dose of stinging reality

Updated: August 28, 2011, 11:25 AM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

DETROIT -- As good as the New England Patriots looked in their first two preseason games, they looked equally as bad Saturday night in their third preseason contest, a 34-10 loss to the Detroit Lions. The question is what to make of it.

There will be days like this in football. In fact, this was quite similar to the Patriots' third preseason game last year against the St. Louis Rams, which had some similarly troubling signs. We know how that turned out; The Patriots went on to post a 14-2 ...

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