Detroit Lions get a reality check; Two lessons learned
The Detroit Lions received a serious reality check on both sides of the ball Friday night from Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
The early talk surrounding the Detroit Lions has been the play of the defense. In two preseason games, the Lions have only allowed 16 points. The early play of rookie linebacker Jarrad Davis has been particularly impressive. The defensive line play has been a strength as well, in spite of injuries to ends Kerry Hyder and Ezekiel Ansah, the pass-rushing anchors of the line.
After watching the New England Patriots shred the Lions in Friday’s third preseason game, though, two things became abundantly clear.
The first is that the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets, the Lions’ first two opponents this preseason, are just plain bad.
The Indianapolis Colts played behind their shaky offensive line without their star quarterback Andrew Luck. His backups were not particular sound, and could only muster ten points. The Jets were even worse. Their quarterback, Bryce Petty, played only slightly below average, but was hamstrung by a lack of weapons. His backup, Christian Hackenberg, was brutal.
Heading into the Patriots’ game, some in Lions-land were starting to see stars in their eyes. Visions of a dominant defense were dancing through the minds of some fans.
The second thing we learned? The Lions aren’t ready for the big time. Tom Brady delivered a big dose of reality for a fan base thinking that our boys from Detroit were legitimate contenders.
The Lions gave up 24 points in the first quarter alone. They looked over-matched at every position. Cornerback Darius Slay, arguably the Lions most respected player, even got torched for a huge gain in the first. The Lions couldn’t run with receivers, and didn’t do a great job up front, either. Jarrad Davis, with 18 minutes of game experience, got undressed numerous times by Brady and his 18 years of experience.
Let’s not make this only about the defense, though. The Lions didn’t earn their first first down until there were 40 seconds left in the first quarter. Even that drive ended with a punt.
Next: Five Detroit Lions that roared against the Patriots
Ignore the 30-28 final score from Friday night, because the players that mattered got destroyed. You can thank the Patriots for reducing expectations. Hopefully it prevents heartbreak for you later this year.