New England Patriots 45, Detroit Lions 24 (box score)
First half optimism gave way to second half realism as the Detroit Lions proved the naysayers right by reverting to the form that has come to define Detroit Lions football.
The Lions were able to play with the Patriots for three quarters but frustrated their fans in front of a national television audience. It is hard to make the case that this team is different with Shaun Hill doing his best Jon Kitna impression (the Detroit Kitna, not necessarily the Dallas Kitna) and another eight penalties.
Alphonso Smith was anything but a bright spot, even when the Lions were in control of the game. Smith was run over or beat on four Patriots touchdowns and was benched later in the game. Alphonso has had some nice games this year but you can be sure he won’t receive a SideLion Report gameball for today’s effort. He was definitely a “turkey” today and I don’t mean that as a compliment.
Morris Maurice and Aaron Brown did a nice job to help give the Lions running game some life and Shaun Hill was able to scramble for yards on a couple of occasions. The offense just couldn’t make enough plays and the defense couldn’t come up with enough stops. Tom Brady has certainly abused his fair share of opposing defenses in his career but it was particularly disappointing to see him pick the Lions apart after looking so good through three quarters.
The only difference between this game and many others we have seen this year is that the Lions didn’t score any points late to make the final score look more respectable and millions more people were tuned in to see it. The Lions had a chance to gain some respect today and they didn’t deliver. The solid first half is now meaningless.