New England Patriots At Detroit Lions: An In Depth Game Review

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The Lions Lost To The Patriots 30-28 Last Friday. Here’s How It Happened.

1st Quarter

The Patriots started at firmly in control of this game as the took possession of the ball first and went on a seven play, 75 yard touchdown drive. Brady hit Julian Edelman for gains of 11, 23, and 18 yards before finding Chris Hogan in the endzone for a seven yard touchdown.

On the ensuing Lions possession, Matthew Stafford found Golden Tate for a short gain. However, Malcolm Butler forced a fumble on the tackle, giving the ball right back to the Patriots. On the very next play, Tom Brady would find Chris Hogan again in the endzone, this time for a 32 yard touchdown, giving the Patriots a 13-0 lead after a missed extra point.

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The Lions went three and out on the next drive, again giving the ball to New England. The Patriots would again score a touchdown here, this time with Mike Gillislee from the one yard line to cap off a seven play, 74 yard drive. The Pats went for two, and scored it with a Mike Gillislee run, making the score 21-0.

The Lions again failed to get a first down on the next drive and put the ball back in Tom Brady’s hands almost immediately. The Patriots would go on a seven play, 39 yard drive that ended with a 46 yard field goal to make the game 24-0.

The Lions picked up their first first down of the game with a 14 yard pass to Ameer Abdullah before the quarter ended.

Patriots lead 24-0

2nd Quarter

The Lions first drive of the second quarter stalled after that, and they had to punt to the Patriots. They actually stopped New England on the ensuing possession, forcing the first Patriots punt of the game.

The Lions proceeded to go on a nice, methodical, 11 play, 42 yard drive before Matthew Stafford would have a pass tipped and intercepted by Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe.

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The Patriots picked up one first down on the next possession before Tom Brady fired a pass deep into the end zone that was intercepted by Lions safety Glover Quin.

This interception set up the Lions first points of the game, as Stafford led the Lions on a six play, 80 yard drive ending with a 23 yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones, making the score 24-7.

The Patriots got the ball back, but chose to run the clock out in the first half.

Patriots lead 24-7

3rd Quarter

Matthew Stafford came out for the first possession of the first half, and again led the Lions on a touchdown drive. He hit Golden Tate for 17 yards and Marvin Jones for 23 yards before hitting Dwayne Washington on a swing pass that went for an 18 yard touchdown. This made the score 24-14.

The Patriots, now led by Jimmy Garoppolo, went three and out on their first possession of the second half.

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Jake Rudock was now in at quarterback for the Lions, and he led them a great 11 play, 62 yard touchdown drive that included two third down conversions and an 11 yard touchdown pass to Jared Abbrederis, cutting the Patriots lead to just three points.

Each team had possession of the ball one more time in the third quarter, but both drives ended in punts.

Patriots lead 24-21

4th Quarter

On the first Patriots drive of the fourth quarter, they went three and out and punted to the Lions. Jake Rudock and Tim Wright led the Lions on a touchdown drive, combing for three completions for 34 yards. Rudock then found Jace Billingsley for a 29 yard gain that set up a Dwayne Washington touchdown run, giving the Lions their first lead of the game at 28-24.

New England put together their first scoring drive of the second half on the next possession, as Garoppolo led them on a 13 play, 68 yard drive. The possession included a fourth down conversion, but the Patriots ultimately decided to settle for a short field goal, making the score 28-27, Lions.

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Brad Kaaya was the Lions quarterback on the next possession, and led the Lions to a three and out, handing the ball right back to New England.

On the first play of the next possession, Garoppolo completed a 31 yard pass, putting the Patriots in field goal range. From there, they slowly advanced the ball until they kicked a field goal with just two seconds remaining, giving New England a 30-28 lead.

The Lions had two seconds to try to win the game, but Brad Kaaya threw an incomplete pass, sealing the game for the Patriots.

Patriots win 30-28

Key Stats

Tom Brady completed 12 of 15 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns

Tom Brady looked unstoppable, as he led the Patriots on four scoring drives in just the first quarter. Although he is one of the best quarterbacks of all time, this was still a disappointing showing from the Lions defense. Brady carved up the Lions, he could do anything he wanted last Friday.

The Patriots ran for 136 yards

The Patriots had a relatively easy time running the ball against the Lions, particularly later in the game with draw plays. The Lions defensive line and linebackers need to do a better job against the run.

The Lions only allowed one sack

The Lions offensive line again looked fine in pass protection, as they only allowed one sack through the entire game.

The Lions defense made zero sacks

The Lions defensive line was unable to get any pressure throughout the entire game. Brady and Garoppolo both had lots of time to throw throughout this one, and they were able to pick apart the secondary as a result.

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Detroit turned the ball over twice

Detroit had two turnovers, both coming in the first half from the first team offense. You can’t expect to win when two of your best players (Matthew Stafford and Golden Tate) give up the ball.

The Lions committed nine penalties 

Penalties were an issue for the Lions last week, and they were again this week. Detroit needs to play more disciplined or else this could carry over to the regular season.

Ameer Abdullah had 16 touches for 99 yards

Ameer Abdullah looked ready to be the workhorse of the Lions offense as he touched the ball a combined 16 times on offense for 99 yards (6.2 yards per touch).

The Lions quarterbacks combined to go 25/37 for 299 yards, three touchdowns and one interception 

Although Stafford started out slow, this ended up being a positive game overall for the Lions quarterbacks. Jake Rudock especially shined, going 10/13 for 113 yards and a touchdown.

Plays That Made The Game

Tom Brady’s seven yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan was perfectly executed. Hogan ran a hook route against rookie Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis, and Davis struggled heavily to cover it. Hogan caught the pass and ran into the endzone before Davis was able to stop him. Hopefully this will be a good learning moment for the Jarrad Davis.

Golden Tate’s fumble on the first offensive play of the game for the Lions was a good defensive play by New England. Malcolm Butler did a great job of punching the ball free from Tate’s hands, and a fellow New England corner was able to fall on it.

Tom Brady’s 32 yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan came on the very next play after the Tate fumble. Lions corner Nevin Lawson had good coverage on Hogan, but Brady perfectly delivered the deep pass to Hogan, who held on and made a difficult catch.

Mike Gillislee’s one yard touchdown run and ensuing two point conversion showed just how weak Detroit is on the defensive line of scrimmage. Detroit’s defensive front is pushed around on both plays here, resulting in two easy scoring plays for the Patriots. This could become an ongoing issue all season for the Lions.

Matthew Stafford’s interception was a throw across his body into traffic. Defensive back Jordan Richards tipped the pass into the air, and then Eric Rowe intercepted it and returned it for a nice gain. Stafford has tremendous arm strength, but forcing the ball across your body into traffic is typically never a good idea.

Tom Brady’s interception was a very easy play for the Lions defense. Brady lobbed the pass up to Chris Hogan in double coverage, and Glover Quin came down with the easy pick. This play may have been a miscommunication as Hogan seemed like he thought the pass was going to be to the inside, but instead Brady threw it to the outside.

Matthew Stafford’s 23 yard touchdown to Marvin Jones was the first sign of life for the Lions offense all night. Jones did a good job of beating the cornerback on the go route, and Stafford perfectly placed the ball over the top of the defender. This was an easy touchdown for the Lions.

Dwayne Washington’s 18 yard touchdown reception was the end of the night for the Lions first team offense. Stafford found Washington on a swing pass, and the Washington made three Patriots miss on his way up the field and into the end zone. This was a great play by Washington and could potentially earn him a spot on the final roster.

Jared Abbrederis’ 11 yard touchdown from Jake Rudock was a great pass by the first year quarterback. Abbrederis did a good job of finding the soft spot in the zone coverage, and Rudock but the perfect amount of touch on the pass to find him in the end zone. Abbrederis came down with the leaping reception and suddenly this was a close game.

Dwayne Washington’s one yard touchdown run gave the Lions their first and only lead of the night. Washington got his a couple yards shy of the end zone on this play, but did a good job of fighting forward and getting across the goal line. Washington is trying to earn the power back role for the Lions, and this play could certainly help his case.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s 31 yard pass to Cody Hollister put the Patriots in range to kick a game winning field goal. Rookie cornerback Jamal Agnew got beaten really badly on this route, and Garoppolo was able to complete an easy deep pass to move the Patriots down the field.

Player Of The Game

Tom Brady is the player of the game from this matchup. He completed a staggering 80% of his passes and averaged 11.6 yards per attempt. He threw two touchdowns, and for the most part looked unstoppable. He threw a bad interception, but other than that he was perfect on the night, leading four scoring drives in just the first quarter.

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It is no surprise at all to see that Tom Brady was the best player last Friday night. He is the greatest quarterback of all time, and he presented a very good test for the young Lions defense. Unfortunately, the Lions defense failed that test miserably.

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