Through the first two weeks of the preseason, the Patriots’ offense looked virtually flawless. In the third week? Not so much.
The Lions’ starters on defense gave the Patriots’ starters on offense a rude awakening in the first half at Ford Field, as the Detroit front four dominated the New England offensive line and the Patriots turned the ball over four times.
When he had time, Tom Brady threw the ball well, completing 16 of 24 passes for 185 yards. But the Lions were in Brady’s face for most of the first half, and he threw his first interception of the preseason while failing to get New England to the end zone. The Patriots’ starting running back, Stevan Ridley, had eight carries for eight yards.
In nine possessions, the Patriots’ first-string offense had one field goal, an interception, three lost fumbles, three punts and a turnover on downs. By the time backup Ryan Mallett came on for Brady, the Lions had a 23-3 lead. This was not the offensive performance the Patriots wanted.