Patriots vs Lions: The Aftermath

NEPD Staff Writer: Doug Kyed

Thankfully it’s just preseason. As I said in my halftime update, there’s no reason to get seriously worried here, but we have seen a couple holes poked into the 2011 Patriots.

-The biggest problem we’ve seen so far, and it’s spanned across all three games so far, is our 3rd and 4th CBs. To be frank, Arrington and Butler have been bad. They get beat in coverage, they commit dumb penalties, Arrington can’t tackle, Butler can, blah blah blah. Ras-I Dowling isn’t helping the situation by being out most of training camp, but he was finally back in practice before this game. If he can come back, our biggest hope as Patriots fans is that he can make an immediate impact. The Patriots desperately need that depth.

-The Patriots really missed Brandon Spikes and Rob Ninkovich. The defense really struggled without an impact player up the middle and played most of the game in 5 DB sets.

-Greg Bedard from the Globe mentioned the idea of Light playing guard on Twitter. I like the premise of the idea, but Solder needs to show us more to be relied upon as Brady’s blindside protector. A lot of people have mentioned Solder playing guard to have our best five linemen on the field. Once again the premise is great, but I’m honestly just not sure how a 6’8” guard would work.

-I’d really like to see Edelman play more on offense. He came out today with some kind of hand issue, but he really is incredible in the open field. He could be very dangerous in screen, end arounds, etc.

-Darius Butler returning kicks is more bad news for Brandon Tate, who looked a little lost filling in for Edelman on a punt return.

-The Arrington interception is a classic “looks great on paper” play for Arrington, “looks bad on paper” for Stanton and “barely shows up on paper” for McCourty. It was a perfect pass by Stanton, an ever better pass defense by McCourty and a lucky grab by Arrington.

-After how bad the Patriots first team looked tonight, I really wonder what we’ll see against the Giants on the first. Typically you wouldn’t expect Tom Brady to take the field.

-Not a Patriots note, but Drew Stanton needs to be traded to the Seahawks or Dolphins. It’s really too bad he’s a third string Quarterback behind Stafford and Hill (one of the best backups in the league). Remember Stanton was a 2nd round pick in 2007 and he’s only 27. His career started rough missing his entire rookie season, but he’s played well as a backup in 2008 and 2010 and he’s always had strong preseason games. He got messed up when the Lions were bad enough to take Stafford no. 1. but watching Stanton tonight and watching him last season, is he really worse than Tjax, Charlie Whitehurst, Chad Henne and Matt Moore? I’d write more about this if I were a Lions, Seahawks, Dolphins or Redskins fan, but it drove me nuts when he signed a one year deal to stay with Detroit this year. I honestly don’t see a giant difference between Stanton and Kevin Kolb outside of a very poor 2009 campaign (on a very poor Lions team) especially when you take Stanton’s mobility into account.

Overall? Offensive line struggled without Light and Connolly, pass rush was almost nonexistent, QBs had a very tough time finding outside targets, reserve defensive backs really struggled. You might see one regular season game like this (Cleveland last year) but don’t expect much of this in 2011.

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30 Responses to “Patriots vs Lions: The Aftermath”

  1. Joey says:

    I only take a little stock in the preseason games. I’m not saying that they players are not competitive, but I feel like the Vets who know they are going to make the roster are not giving it 100% and saving it for the regular season. It’s the rookies who are giving it 110% and busting their ass to make the 53 man squad.

    Remember that the Lions went 4-0 in the preseason in 2008 and lost every regular season game and then went 3-1 in 2009 and 2010 preseason while going 2-14 and and was 6-10 respectively. Not to mention got blown-out 45-24 against the Patriots on Thanksgiving day last year.

    • Lundahl says:

      For sure. I think the real matter is that no one wants to get hurt in pre-season. So, obviously, you don’t give it in at even 50%.

  2. JPaulsman says:

    Silly performance? What were the Lions supposed to do??? Roll over like they did last Thanksgiving??? Like it or not the Lions did to the Patriots what the Patriots did to the Jaguars two weeks ago. The fact is, the Patriots didn’t respect the Lions, the same way they didn’t respect the Jets going into last January’s playoff game. Dude, i know it hurts saying it, but the Lions have gotten better.

    • Lundahl says:

      Patriots weren’t “sensational” versus the Bucs and Jaguars. They played simple-basic football. That’s why they’re so good, ’cause they know how to be efficient on basic plays. Lions did pretty good until the end of third quarter at last year’s meeting. So yeah, it was a silly performance. Lions went out there not to test their playbook, but to sell it out to the medias and their hype propaganda. Seriously, how do you explain that a team with the worst offensive line in the league picks up a DL instead of an OL ?

      “Respect” ? What does “respect” have to do in a pre-season game ? This is a matter of displaying what you’ve worked during all training camp. This isn’t about respect, it’s just a pre-season game. You have to test your playbook.
      They took that game real “personal”, and played like crazy. All they did was screens and six men rush. I would agree it’d be very efficient for a regular season game, but not for a pre-season game.

      And btw: Jets started the so-called “don’t respect us” rivalry. Patriots’ only rival are the colts, vice versa. Same for the fans. The Jets ? Nobody cares about the Jets. They only got on top of the NYC media monsters’ food chain.

  3. John M says:

    Did someone tell the Lions that this game was only an exhibition game? Congratulations Detriot, you get absolutely nothing for your great effort! As far as I’m concerned, if you go 0-4 in preseason and win your first regular season game, you’re undefeated. The Lions are a pretty good team but this game doesn’t count. Sorry.

    • Lundahl says:

      Another attempt to captivate the medias attention, in order to sell themselves and create the hype sensationalism propaganda machine. Six men rush and pass screens, that was it. Normally you display the more situational plays, more tougher plays, in order to get operational.

      But this was very silly peformance by the Lions.

  4. Lundahl says:

    Malcolm Williams: any information on this guy ? I saw him on some clips, but really didn’t snag any news on his camp work.

    Not to get the big head, but I knew Detroit would play that exact sam way. They wanna let the media know they can play football, and rush the passer for instance. That’s why they drafted Fairley when they actually needed a center. But again, pleasing the medias is more important than adding the right assets to your team.

    Anyway, I was expecting more Tate, more Edelman and Price.

    BB didn’t look happy.

    • qwerty says:

      there will be no room for malcolm williams on roster so he will likely go to practice squad. end of story. i doubt he makes roster next year either. of this was 2009, he would draw more interest.

      • Lundahl says:

        What about Marcus Cannon ? I didn’t hear any background on this road blocking beast.

        • qwerty says:

          they are keeping him out. last statements he said was that he felt fine and didn’t lose any weight. i think one of two things will happen.

          a) they keep him out till week 6 or until someone on OL gets injured

          OR

          b) they keep him on IR for whole year since they don’t really feel he’s really needed yet.

    • TD says:

      BB never looks happy. Edelman on KO returns does not bode well for Tate. Out of all the sloppy DB play, Butler looked to be in on plays. McCourty had his issues.

      The OG after Mankins & Connolly does not look so great. Ornberger barely slowed Suh down.

      • Lundahl says:

        None of the guys were motivated as Detroit was. In fact, in all the pre-season games the last couple of years, I haven’t seen a team so damn pumped up for war.

        Mc picked off two ints last year at the Thxgiving game. He’s a hell of a player, you think the receiver beat him but then he delivers a hand on the ball. He wasn’t motivated. Butler was obviously, but he doesn’t have the choice. Last year, he lost his spot to an undrafted free agent. No offense to Butler, but again, he was drafted in the second round. So he’s really on the end of the rope. He’s saving his place.

      • Billy C. says:

        Butler was definitely in on plays and should be able to keep a roster spot. On the other hand, did anyone notice how “god awful” Gary Guyton was?

        • Lundahl says:

          I think he’s playing the wrong position. I’d put him on the outside, and make him pressure the QB. He recorded an impressive 40-yard dash.

  5. TD says:

    Looked like Det. was fighting for playoff spot while Pat’s were on a bye.

    I’m concerned the Ocho experiment is not progressing. He has made little to no impact and plays this preseason.

    Saw Ornberger whiff on a block of Suh and he came crashing into Hoyer. The OG backups look very thin to me.

    • Lundahl says:

      Remember the issues we had with Moss during that 2007 pre-season. He had way more time to visualize the gameplans, yet, he wasn’t terrific on those pre-seasons. Do take into consideration that Cinci’s playbook isn’t as sophisticated as BB’s. Chad made Carson look good, and no the way around. He kept us interested in a fifth tier team. He’s so damn gifted, very flexible, runs those routes like he’s on a bike. A tremendous player on an awful team. He didn’t score loads of TDs last year, but the ones he scored were “fresh”. On the Bucs game, he dropped easy passes, but will obviously catch them in regular season. He’s more into the complex mode, and less basic mode.

      Chad can run the short out route all day long.

  6. Jon L. says:

    not very impressed by the showing last night, but the Lions have been a tough matchup for the Pats the last couple of years.

  7. Dan says:

    I agree it was just a pre-season game, and they played a very tough team…a bad match up for us, and maybe the entire league, but I’m simply saying that we lack talent at wide out (knowing Welker & Edelman are not traditional wide outs). I don’t think that is over-reacting at all.
    If Bodden is healthy and Dowling can play we should be ok.

    There’s a big part of me that is happy they took such a beating…better now than during the season…a nice wake up call etc…

    • qwerty says:

      before game, very few mentioned detroit in running for superbowl playoff. it was my view before game that detroit was going to be easily a playoff contender just with their defense. the only thing kind of new was stafford was healthy and shows he can be top 5 qb. their receivers are good also.

    • Lundahl says:

      Price was drafted in the third not to fill in the depth but because he is a clutch receiver aslike Givens. I’ve always pointed out Butler’s wishy washy play style, but he’s efficient enough for a 4th string corner. But Arrington has done some very good job for us last year, when we were even more fragile ! To say the least. He is a serious contribution to our team. I’d like them to cut Wilhite, he’s always injured, you never know what he’s up to. Butler… well… lets just say he’s good for this year.

      Receiving depth is fine, just got to give those guys plays the right plays and more playing time.

  8. Dan says:

    On a positive note, having stated that our defensive backfield looks to be a huge weakness, and our receivers aren’t much better, I think this beating wil possibly force some moves…HOPEFULLY. I know it will be motivating and humbling…good things this time of year…but, I think they need to bring in some talent, somehow.
    These are massive holes on this team right now, and it’s a continuation from last season.
    I feel that both lines will improve with the additions of the better players into the line up, and a few linebackers are out, but I just don’t see the talent at receiver or CB.
    I’m putting receiver at the top of my list right now as the biggest hole on this team.
    Get ready for the Moss talk…

  9. qwerty says:

    I judge Arrington and Butler on their play last year. The preseason we see if anything changed. What can I conclude

    Butler excels as slot CB. He doesn’t have skills to handle deep receivers.

    Arrington has the strength and speed to play near scrimmage but still looks lost covering his man.

    A

    • Dan says:

      Are you kidding, I’m not sure Butler has defended one pass play directed his way in the last year plus. We need another corner badly and I’m at the point of shock that they haven’t made some kind of move to bring in more talent.
      Arrington, Butler & Wilhite all can’t play…the other teams know this and attack all game long.
      The safeties didn’t play much better either.

      • qwerty says:

        You probably did not see last half of last season. The key with butler is using him in slot. If you were expecting him to play better on outside you were expecting too much.

  10. ryan says:

    Edelman and Hernandez once again impressed me. I was hoping to see Price connect on a few plays (I’d like him to stick). OL looked soft to me, but DL of Lions nothing to shrug about. Tough playing with out a MLB. But the coverage tonight was not that impressive. I hope all the injured players are OK.

  11. Daniel B. says:

    Should we be concerned about the lack of impact Deion Branch has made so far this pre season, or is it a non issue?

    • Doug Kyed says:

      It’s not much of a concern. Brady knows Branch and Branch knows Brady, so it’s not necessary for that connection to be made in preseason as long as it’s being made during practice. I’d also say that the Patriots have enough weapons on offense that even if Branch doesn’t make as much of an impact as he had last year, it won’t be catastrophic by any means. Price, Hernandez or possibly even Edelman could step up their offensive production.

    • Dan says:

      Yes, that’s what I was wondering…where is Branch, because if he isn’t a threat they have virtually nothing at receiver. Welker’s role is huge with the dinks and dumps, tonight he hit a seam. I would like to see more of Edelman for the same reasons, he’s dangerous, but their problem is on the outside. I don’t see anything from Tate, not even as a returner, and that is over-rated now. Price needs to be the guy, because I’m not sure Ocho will do anything, if he even makes the team.
      But, back to this great point: where is Branch in all of this?

    • TD says:

      Knowing BB, he is holding Branch back because of his knee(s) and knows he can count on him w/out preseason play.

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