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Notes: Hang in there, it’s just preseason

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New England Patriots v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

A day after the Lions played their first preseason game of the 2019 season, it is time to assess how the new information modified perceptions about this team. Our own fearless leader Jeremy Reisman summarized his thoughts in an article identifying 3 winners and 5 losers in last night’s loss to the Patriots. Mansur Shaheen added 5 takeaways to ponder. And Mike Payton is still wondering what just happened.

Mike Rothstein from ESPN thought the performance “raised serious concerns about the depth of the roster,” pointing out that the backup tackles allowed more sacks than passes completed by the backup quarterbacks. The Athletic’s Chris Burke agreed, saying Detroit’s depth was overmatched by New England’s depth (subscription required), and Lions Lowdown’s Paula Pasche concurred.

In spite of the terrible outcome both on the scoreboard and in the trainer’s room, several writers managed to find some bright spots. Like Jeremy, Dave Birkett at the Detroit Free Press also praised running back Ty Johnson as a winner from Thursday night. The Lions Wire’s Max Gerber liked Johnson and three rookies on defense: Tre Lamar, Anthony Pittman, and Kevin Strong.

Possibly the most important take on the game came from MLive’s Kyle Meinke, who reminds everyone that preseason games “don’t mean a damn thing.” Nobody is running their actual schematic plays, and most of the players we are going to see on the field in Week 1 did not play very much. Dave Birkett also cautioned against overreaction, saying “there’s not really much to discern from preseason play.”

And now, on to the rest of today’s Notes.

  • The change for 2019 regarding challenges and pass interference took effect for the first time in these early preseason games:

Detroit head coach Matt Patricia threw down a challenge on Thursday to get a better feel for the rule: “I think right now with the preseason, I think a lot of us, coaching wise, we’re just trying to figure out how this is all going to be officiated. Any opportunity I thought that may come up in the game where I thought that maybe would be an opportunity we can see how they officiate it and we want to take that situation. It doesn’t really matter what we think of it either way, it’s just I want to know what they’re going to look at and how they’re going to evaluate it.”

  • Former Detroit Lions running back Theo Riddick has officially signed with the Denver Broncos. Congratulations and best wishes to Riddick on his new opportunity:

  • The Athletic’s Bill Shea and Detroit News’ Justin Rogers both confirmed first-hand that the new turf at Ford Field is quite nice for the players who have to run and tackle on it even if fans may not notice much visually:

  • Dime? DIME!