The New England Patriots came into Week 3 of the preseason knowing full well that the game was a dress rehearsal for the regular season. It was important for the team to get off to a good start and fully evaluate their players with roster cuts coming down soon.
The team was able to evaluate many of their players tonight, but not in the way they expected going in, turning the ball over four times offensively in the first half.
Now, many Pats’ fans may be worried after losing to the Lions by a score of 40-9 and turning the ball over so many times. However, the score is not nearly as worrisome as you might think.
The reason being that after the first half with the starters playing the whole time, the Patriots only gave up 16 points. This may not sound very good on paper, but if you notice that the Lions started most of their first half drives in New England territory, the starting defense held up surprisingly well. In particular, DE’s Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich had Lions’ QB Matthew Stafford running for his life the entire first half of the game.
The game did not start getting out of hand until late in the second half, when the Patriots had mostly defensive backups on the field.
As far as the offense was concerned, you can just chalk it up to a bad night. The offense will play much better than that going forward. With that being said, even though Tom Brady is the quarterback, the offense will have its growing pains throughout the season as the rookies learn the NFL game.
Although Thursday night was exceptionally bad, facing elite defenses, this team may struggle scoring points at times during the regular season. At the very least, it will be a process until Brady acclimates to a group of young, inexperienced receivers.
Given that the Detroit Lions‘ defense is very good and can stop both the run and passing games, there is no shame in scoring nine points against them, especially when you make the amount of offensive mistakes the team did Thursday night.
Overall, the Patriots should feel good about their defensive effort in this game by their starters, finding solace in knowing that the offense will see better days ahead. If the Patriots can build on what we saw in the first half defensively, they could be a very dangerous team in 2013.
How do you feel about the team’s performance in the preseason loss tonight? Will they be fine going forward? Are you concerned? Feel free to comment on the subject in the “comments” section below.