ust a friendly public service reminder before we get to observations from the first half of Friday’s Lions-Patriots game: It’s just the preseason.
Ok. Now that that’s out of the way … wow, that was ugly.
The Lions looked like a JV team playing against the defending Super Bowl champions in Game 3 of the preseason Friday.
They committed seven penalties in the first quarter,<strong>Womens Hroniss Grasu Jersey</strong>, lost two turnovers in the first half and at one point had allowed 196 net yards of offense while amassing just 12 yards of their own.
The Patriots led 24-7 at halftime after scoring the game’s first 24 points,<strong>Womens Mitchell Trubiskyn Jersey</strong>, and Tom Brady looked as G.O.A.T.-ly as ever while completing 11 of his first 12 passes (with the lone incompletion a drop). He threw two first-quarter touchdown passes to Chris Hogan,<strong>Womens Adam Shaheen Jersey</strong>, including a dime of a deep ball over Nevin Lawson (who was called for illegal contact on the play).
The Lions allowed just 16 points in their first two preseason games and they spoke this week about the strides they made on defense. Their sacks were up. They created a few turnovers. Mostly they did what was expected and it carried over.
Maybe they did what was expected Friday,<strong>Womens Tarik Cohen Jersey</strong>, too. After all,<strong>Womens Eddie Jackson Jersey</strong>, they did set a modern NFL record for highest completion percentage allowed last year.
The defense settled down some in the second quarter. Anthony Zettel had a couple nice rushes, Jalen Reeves-Maybin made a play in the run game, and Glover Quin even intercepted a heave of a pass in the end zone on Brady’s final play of the game.
Still, the overwhelming feeling after watching the Lions and Patriots play was that the Lions defense won’t be appreciably better than last year, and if Ziggy Ansah doesn’t come back healthy they might be worse.
The Patriots, even though they lost top receiver Julian Edelman to a knee injury, are legit Super Bowl favorites. The Lions aren’t close to being in their class.
More observations from Friday’s first half:
Rookie linebacker Jarrad Davis got a welcome-to-the-NFL of sorts Friday as Brady took advantage of his inexperience early. Davis was mismatched on Edelman a few plays into the opening drive, and Brady went to his No. 1 receiver for a 23-yard gain. Hogan also beat Davis for his first touchdown, when he cut short his route on a pick play and left Davis covering no one in the middle of the field.
Tahir Whitehead missed a tackle on the second play of the game and left at halftime with a knee injury, with Paul Worrilow starting at strongside linebacker and Reeves-Maybin and Antwione Williams taking some first-team reps alongside Davis later in the quarter. Clearly, not a great sign considering how bad the Lions were at linebacker last year. The Lions rotated personnel at the position early,<strong>Authentic Hroniss Grasu Jersey</strong>, one or more starting spots at linebacker are up for grabs.
Linebacker wasn’t the only spot the Lions rotated personnel on Friday. Both Quandre Diggs and D.J. Hayden took first-team reps at the nickel cornerback position. Diggs has worked first in that rotation all summer,<strong>Authentic Mitchell Trubiskyn Jersey</strong>, but the Lions have a glut of defensive backs and might be trying to sort out (or showcase for a trade) players at that spot.
The Lions’ early sloppiness was disappointing to see. They had three penalties in the kicking game in the first half,<strong>Authentic Adam Shaheen Jersey</strong>, and three in the secondary. That’s giving away free yardage,<strong>Authentic Tarik Cohen Jersey</strong>, and that won’t fly come the regular season.
As expected,<strong>Authentic Eddie Jackson Jersey</strong>, he ran a drag short of the first-down marker on third-and-4. There were linebackers in his way, rookie Kenny Golladay worked as the No. 3 receiver with the first-team offense in the first half. Gollady had one catch for 2 yards and was targeted three times. On his only catch, but the rookie has to find his way to the sticks on that play.
Running back Theo Riddick made a brief cameo Friday, his first action of the preseason. Riddick, played one series in the first half, who's been in a red no-contact jersey all summer as he recovers from double-wrist surgery, had one carry for no gain and one pass thrown his way.
the Lions suffered another potentially serious injury in the first half as Cole Wick left with a chest injury after getting drilled on a scramble play across the middle. Wick had a good chance to make the team as the No. 4 tight end,Lastly, who came out to start the third quarter, but his health is now in question. Matthew Stafford, didn’t do Wick any favors with his throw, and Stafford also tried to whip a ball into too-tight coverage on his first-half interception.
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