Best and Worst: From very first drive, Patriots had no answers for Lions
A look at the best and worst of the Patriots' game against the Lions tonight.
Cordarelle Patterson ripped off a 45-yard kickoff return to open the game. It was a return without a lot of nuance – just run like hell until you get tackled.
WORST DOUSING OF SPARK
After a 6-yard run by Sony Michel on his first carry of the night, the Patriots got stuffed and Tom Brady threw incomplete and the Patterson return was wasted.
With the Lions facing fourth-and-a paramecium in the first quarter from the Patriots 22, rookie coach Matt Patricia opted to kick a 39-yard field goal even though his Lions were tearing off yardage.
On Detroit’s first two drives, Matt Stafford was 10 for 11 for 88 yards passing while Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount ran nine times for 47 yards.
The Lions were rolling along and feeling good about themselves with first-and-10 at their own 41 when they ran a flea flicker. The Patriots had it well covered. But they got called for a cheapie defensive holding penalty.
AND THEN THIS . . .
After the flea flicker penalty, the Patriots got whistled for too many men on the field.
PLEADING THE 12th
Tom Brady was shown on the sidelines after the Patriots went three-and-out on their first three drives pleading with his offense to just put together one drive. One. Drive.
On a third-and-1 in the second quarter, the Patriots tried to run James White wide to continue their drive into the red zone. White got swarmed under by the fast Lions linebackers.
A simple little throw over the middle to Golden Tate that should have gone for 4 yards instead went for 10 when Golden Tate spun away from Kyle Van Noy and stepped out of a Ja’Whaun Bentley tackle.
Deatrich Wise went cuckoo after being part of a swarm of defenders that stopped LeGarrette Blount for no gain. On the next snap, Matt Stafford threw a pick.
Brady got the Patriots on the board with a third-and-8 dart to James White over the shoulder of a pursuing safety to make it 13-10 early in the third. Well-thrown ball coming off the Ja’Whaun Bentley interception.
WHO'S GOT MARVIN?
A miscommunication (apparently) in the secondary on the Lions second drive of the half resulted in Stephon Gilmore being behind the play on a deep touchdown throw to Marvin Jones.
Brady got called for an intentional grounding penalty early in the fourth quarter when he heaved a pass to nobody in particular from the pocket with little pressure being applied.