Lions vs Patriots Preseason Week 3 7

2:55 PM 17 Aug 2013

You know I’m a dreamer, But my hearts of gold, I had to run away high, So I wouldn’t come home low…

Oh, sorry. After the beat down the Detroit Lions took on the road against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium in preseason week 2, the 1985 power ballad by Motley Crue came to mind — Home Sweet Home.

Ford Field

Home Sweet Home

The Lions will be hosting QB Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for a preseason week 3 regular season primer at 7:30pm EDT on Thursday, August 22, 2013 at Ford Field in Detroit.

The third preseason game in the NFL is usually the only preseason game coaching staffs game-plan for and the game that the starters see the most action in during the preseason. After they play the third game, coaching staffs begin game-planning for the regular season and week 1.

There are a few reasons teams don’t normally use the starters in the final preseason game. The coaches need to finalize the roster and want last looks at the backups in game action to help decide who to release and who to keep on the final 53 man roster. Another reason is to give the starters as much rest as possible so they go into week 1 fresh. If the starters played the majority of the final preseason game they would risk missing the first real game with minor injuries, but if they get injured in the third preseason game they will have more time to get healthy.

Brady bruised his knee in practice

Tom Brady’s knee injury — the knee injury heard around the world — didn’t keep him sidelined for long. He returned to practice the next day and two days after the injury he completed 11 of 12 passes for 107 yards and a TD in two series of action during New England’s last preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Lions might be home sweet home, but they will be tested in every phase of the game against the Patriots and need to have a strong showing to build confidence after their embarrassing loss to the Browns. Players need to show they can be coached and learn from their mistakes. Coaches need to show they can respond to the previous rather ugly defeat and actually field a team ready to play.

It seems Detroit QB Matthew Stafford, WR Calvin Johnson, and RB Reggie Bush are pretty much the Lions version of  Obi Wan Kenobi on offense — You know, our only hope — but most particularly Calvin Johnson. It is apparent from the Browns game that if Johnson isn’t playing there are no real offensive threats and the Lions are easily shut down. Vanilla offense is one thing, but poor execution, dropped passes, and mental mistakes are completely different. It is time for the offense to respond with solid contributions from starters as well as role players. Time to prove they want to continue to live their dreams of playing in the NFL.

SS Glover Quin

Defensively the Lions will be facing arguably one of the best QBs to ever play the game and the back seven will need to bring their A games or this will be another embarrassing route. Newly acquired SS Glover Quin has looked like an absolute upgrade and LBs Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy have been solid, but S Chris Hope, S Don Carey, CB Bill Bentley and CB Ron Bartell have all struggled and looked basically pedestrian to horrible in coverage. Missed tackles and mental mistakes are plaguing the entire defense and neither LB Ashlee Palmer nor LB Tahir Whitehead are making a clear case why they should be awarded the final starting LB spot. This will be a chance for these players to step up and match their skills against a top flight QB and a high powered offense.

A win and confidence will be soaring. A loss and the starters on both sides of the ball might need to play the final preseason game after all in an attempt to plug the holes on a sinking ship.

Other Interesting Facts

The last time the Lions met the Patriots in the preseason (2011) Detroit won handily 34-10 at Ford Field

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick  joined the Lions in 1976 as their assistant special teams coach before adding TEs and WRs to his coaching duties in 1977

Patriots QB Tom Brady and P Zoltan Mesko both went to the University of Michigan

Patriots rookies OL Chris McDonald and DT Anthony Rashad White both went to Michigan State

Patriots rookie LS Mike Zupancic went to Eastern Michigan

 

7 thoughts on “Lions vs Patriots Preseason Week 3

  1. Reply louis Aug 17, 2013 3:27 PM

    Good article. Love the Star Wars reference too.

  2. Reply dmac93065 Aug 17, 2013 5:05 PM

    Great read. I’m a Stafford fan because as a Lions fan I ‘have to be.’ That said, he’s 50% of the problem on offense. He is inaccurate, ineffective on timing routes and struggles to make the right reads more often than he should at this stage in his career. The other 50% of the offensive woes are coaching. Although the playbook was vanilla for both teams, the personnel could have been better. Burleson should never see the field again except as a waterboy. Willis should have started in his place. Edwards should have been cut after the Jets game. He’s an ineffective route runner who can only excel in space. Shilens/Durham/Austin should take the spot the coaches are trying to give to Edwards.

    • Jeffrey A. Moore, TSB Lead Writer Reply Jeffrey A. Moore Aug 17, 2013 5:18 PM

      Your analysis of Stafford is pretty accurate from my perspective as well. I have my share of complaints against the coaching staff but the biggest complaint is how they use their personnel and their apparent inability to develop young players. I like Nate still and his leadership and work ethic are something the younger players need. He is at the end of his career, though, and I would like to see Willis get an opportunity there. I am not a fan of Edwards from what I have seen in the games, but that could be a product of the QB play and Linehan’s play calling.

  3. Reply mark cooper Aug 18, 2013 12:03 AM

    We need to run block and a lot of the worries would go away, but, then again, we have Dom as the line leader.

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