Lions coach Jim Schwartz has been saying for years that he needs his team to cut out the dumb penalties. The message still hasn’t gotten through.
In last week’s preseason game against the Browns, the Lions were flagged for three personal fouls. In the first quarter on Thursday night against the Patriots, the Lions picked up two more personal fouls.
Both of those personal foul penalties came against defensive tackles, but in something of an upset, Ndamukong Suh didn’t draw either flag. The first came against Nick Fairley for a late hit, and the second was called on C.J. Mosley, also for a late hit.
Despite those penalties, the Lions’ starters played well against the Patriots’ starters, jumping out to an early 10-0 lead. Reggie Bush had a couple of big plays for the Lions’ offense, and the Lions’ defense forced three turnovers and one punt on the Patriots’ first four offensive series. The Lions look like they have the talent to be a good team. Now the question is whether they have the mental makeup to be a good team.