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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Preseason Game 3 Lions vs New England Patriots at Home

Dominated.

Once again the Detroit Lions and the New England Patriots meet. Once again one team dominates the other. This time in preseason. Except this time, it's the Lions doing the dominating. But it's not just any preseason game, it's the 3rd preseason game, when teams typically give it a trial run for the regular season. Having said that, it is still a preseason game.

The Lions get the ball first. They are playing on offense without Jahvid Best, Maurice Morris, and Mike Bell all at running back… just Aaron Brown, Jerome Harrison and Ian Johnson are suited up to play (need to include Stefan Logan now as well, since he's no longer being considered at wide receiver but rather at running back, which is where I put him 2 weeks ago when I worked up my estimated depth chart).

Now for some notes on the game itself:

The Lions run the No Huddle, drive down the field, with Aaron Brown utilized the most the same as they did Jahvid Best in game 2. Burleson taps his toes in-bounds on terrific catches, same as he did in game 2, but misses the TD catch and the Lions settle for a field goal. It should be noted that the Patriots were missing nearly half their defensive starters though.

The Lions defense makes short work of the Pats O… impressive. (It should be noted the Patriots were playing with most if not all their starting offense).

The Lions get the ball back and that was perhaps the best screen pass (with a fake reverse) that I have ever saw. Several plays later it's TD Burleson, on a rope from Stafford.

Next, the Pats constantly having to do miracle plays on 3rd down this drive to move at all, most teams couldn’t do what they are doing, needing to do, to get first downs, still ends in only a field goal. Lions are up 10-3.

Pats next series ends when Brady has to throw super fast for an incomplete short inaccurate pass… the Lions D is really forcing this team into errors. Again, impressive.

Except for Scheflers horrid EndZone dance, the next Lions drive was a thing of beauty. The team is really coming together and Brady of the Patriots looks HOT! I mean ticked off... real ticked off.

Tom Brady fails to convert on 3rd and 31… me thinks the Lions D is starting to get after Brady a wee bit more then what he’s used to.

Lions starters win 17-3, but as soon as Lions switch to 2nd string D, Brady gets a 44 yard TD making it 17-10. The Lions saw enough about 10 minutes into the second quarter to start sitting their starters (most teams take the starters into the 3rd quarter in this 3rd preseason game). The Patriots are still playing their starters.

Now for a couple of tweets I read...
Al Beaton
And that's it for Stafford. 12-14-200-2 TD-158.3 QB rating. And he very easily could have been 14-14.

@tomecurran: Patriots have no completions to outside receivers, Price, Ocho or Branch so far.

Back to the game notes....
Tom Brady is still in, 1 minute to go in 1st half, Lions have been playing 2nd string on both O and D for almost 4 minutes know… so Silva Intercepts Brady to end their 2 minute drill (full disclosure: I erased the LOL I had typed here in my notes).

Maurice Stovall will most certainly make the team.. great special teams and doing well in the Lions O. (Fairly sure I said it before, but I locked in my estimated Lions Depth Chart on August 15th, it's online, go to http://www.theNetRat.com/depthchart.html for the link to the spreadsheet, info on this is a few blog posts down).

The announcers are now trying to explain away the game, saying Pats D is missing half the starters… (but as I noted, their O is playing more or less intact and they scored 3 points against the Lions 1's).

Shaun Hill to Aaron Brown for a TD… in the Lions 2 minute offense. Great drive, nothing like Brady’s failed attempt.

Brady comes out first series 2nd half, fails to make a 1st down. Wow.

6 minutes into the 3rd quarter and Pats finally put in 2nd string QB. Lions still leading 31-10.

Another tweet...

Greg A. Bedard
The silver lining for Patriots fans is that they obviously didn't game plan for this one. Last week was their dry run.

It's amazing how many are trying to explain away the Patriots failure to look ready to play, but so be it. I stopped taking notes at this point (but have the game Tivo'd just in case for later). The Lions eventually win the game 34-10.

So what do we learn from this game?

First, that the players for the Patriots are going to be severely challenged by their coaching staff in the coming weeks. I wouldn't want to be them.

Second, the Lions are going to be playing with a lot of confidence, I hope they don't start to relax and coast. The Lions coaches have the bigger challenge of keeping the players focused, the Patriots will be very focused for the next couple weeks.

Third, unlike the week before, the Lions starters are looking pretty good... assuming they were indeed doing at least some game planning (and assuming the Patriots actually were as well)... the Lions will be very competitive this year, very very competitive.

Fourth, that 0-16 season (2008), where the Lions won all 4 preseason games still haunts me (and probably you).

If anything dominates my thoughts, it would be that. More so then the Lions dominating the Patriots in preseason.

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