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Lions vs. Patriots: What Just Happened?

A collection of thoughts on the Lions’ third preseason game.

NFL: New England Patriots at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s nights like this that make me consider changing the name of this series to “What the hell just happened?” The Lions looked really bad on Friday night in their “dress rehearsal” game against the Patriots. They went on to lose 30-28.

As always, I have thoughts on the game. These are those thoughts.

The Golden Monkey goes to New England

Earlier in the night I said the Lions vs. Patriots game was for the Preseason Championship. I even created the Golden Monkey trophy. Hours later, I still don’t care if anyone thinks it’s funny or not. I love it. And I will continue to act like it’s a real thing for the rest of my life.

Congratulations to the 2017 Golden Monkey Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

Bad from the jump

Ok maybe not bad from the jump. The Lions did get a stop on the Patriots’ first play. It was the second jump where things went wrong. Tom Brady showed the Lions why he’s the “GOAT” when he and the Patriots rattled off 24 unanswered points in the first quarter alone.

Defense is bad. Yeah, I know guys, I wrote that one thing.

Let’s just get this out of the way. I wrote an article earlier in the week about how the Lions defense looked to be a surprise strength. I’ve caught a lot of flak for this when it came out, and especially again on Friday night.

I’ll say this, it was an article that was premature. I really jumped the gun on this piece, I will also share this one quote from the piece.

“For the millionth time this week, it’s just preseason. You can’t fully gauge how a team will perform during the regular season just based off of what they’ve done in these two meaningless games.”

I went on to reiterate that two more times and mention that they’ve played two really bad teams with two really bad quarterbacks and that their game against the Patriots would be their real test. In the end, this is a case of people not reading the article and making snap judgments based off the title. And that’s all I have to say about that.

But how bad was the defense?

Okay, I’ll talk about it some more. I went in the kitchen to refill my water bottle real quick, when I came back the Lions were down 13-0. It was 0-0 when I went to the kitchen.

The Patriots cut through the Lions defense like Scorpion’s finisher on Mortal Kombat X.

To put it differently, the Lions defense got straight whopped by an offense that is going to cause many teams a lot of problems in 2017.

What’s more is that the Patriots showed the world every weak point in this Lions defense. Tom Brady picked on rookie Jarrad Davis early on, then he went off on Quandre Diggs. The Lions really have to fix these issues.

Somebody’s gonna lose their job

It’s sad to say this, but these are the games where guys that are on the bubble get exposed. In this game it may have been Quandre Diggs. When a quarterback knows he can throw the ball in your direction and be successful, that’s a problem. That’s the stuff that makes you a liability, and that’s the kind of thing that gets you cut.

Lions offense is like a 1972 El Dorado.

By this I mean you have to let it warm up before you start it. Then you have to let it warm up before you put it in drive.

The Lions offense started out wonderfully with a fumble on their first play. They then went three and out several times and turned the ball over on a patented Matthew Stafford pinball off 13 players and into the hands of a defender.

Then they started going off in the second quarter. Sadly, it was against the Patriots second-team defense. But still, they looked good.

Marvin Jones Jr.

Thanks for the video, NFL France. Vous êtes bien d'accord. Voulez-vous un Mountain Dew.

Marvin Jones has looked quite good in the preseason so far. Out of every player on the field, Marvin seems to be the only guy that doesn't realize that it’s preseason and you don’t have to kill yourself for these games. He’s diving and jumping all over the place.

Lions fans should forgive him for that interception against the Jets in Week 1.

Ameer Abdullah

Alright, let’s hop on the hype train again. Ameer Abdullah looked pretty good as well. And another thing, he looked like a starting running back against the Super Bowl Champs. Yeah, I said it.

Abdullah ran for 60 yards on 13 carries. That’s 4.6 yards per carry. That’s a step up from Kevin fill-in-the-last-name and all the other running backs that have come to town since Barry left. Here’s hoping Ameer brings this into the regular season.

Jarad Davis

That’s saying something. The Lions first-round pick did have some trouble playing against the greatest quarterback of all time in the early going, but he recovered well and got after it otherwise. That doesn’t mean he’s winning rookie of the year, but it does mean he’s got the right attitude like so many continue to say does.

Okay, Jake, I see you out there.

Alright I’ll say it: Jake Rudock is balling out right now.

But let me be clear of four things.

  1. No, the Lions shouldn’t sit Stafford
  2. No, the Lions shouldn’t let Stafford walk
  3. No, Rudock is not better than Stafford
  4. Seriously guys, you gotta stop this stuff

Chris Speilman goes off

Forgive me, I did not get a full transcript of everything that Spielman said, but he sounded like a head coach going off on his team during halftime. He absolutely unloaded and on one hand, it was a bit much. On the other, it really represented the way Lions fans generally felt.

The Lions looked a lot like their usual selves on Friday night. I won’t say “Same Old Lions,” but I will say same old tendencies. Continuous mental mistakes, penalties and this odd thing that the Lions do when things are going well and they feel like they had better mess this up.

It’s the type of thing you hope the players hear. Because, quite frankly, Lions fans are just tired of not knowing what it’s like to have a consistent winning team. And I don’t think there’s a fan in Detroit that wants another heart attack season like 2016. Get rolling, Lions.

PS. It’s only preseason, but The Lions still went through a lot of Joy and Pain on Friday night.