Game in Review: A look back at Thursday's 40-9 preseason win over the Patriots

Posted Aug 23, 2013

From four first-half turnovers to first-team offensive production, make sure you missed nothing from the Lions' win over New England

Detroit's 40-9 preseason win over the New England Patriots provided a lot of what Lions' fans were hoping for: big plays.

Heading into the game, Tim Twentyman cited elevated play and getting the offense as two of the keys for the Lions in this "regular season trial run".

With four turnovers and four touchdowns, Detroit delivered in both categories.

"Last week we didn’t get any," said head coach Jim Schwartz of the turnovers. "We were opportunistic, particularly early in the game. We need to get some more points off of them. But yeah, turnovers were coming in a lot of different ways.

"Interceptions, some forced contact and I thought defense did a good job with those."

The first-team offense accounted for just one of the Lions' four touchdowns, but did show better efficiency than it did last week at Cleveland.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford finished 12-of-25 for 166 yards and the touchdown (a nine-yard completion to tight end Tony Scheffler) and made plays in the face of pressure, most notably a 67-yard screen to running back Reggie Bush.

"We got one on the board early, which was nice," said Stafford. "Our defense did a heck of a job getting us the ball and some great field position.

"We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities as much as we wanted too. I thought Reggie had another good game and played well. Tight ends played pretty well tonight too. It’s progress and we're moving in the right direction."

Perhaps the most notable part of the offense's performance against New England was the fact that it was without start wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who rested his bruised knee Thursday night.

"Calvin wasn't quite 100-percent and we made the decision to sit him down until he's 100-percent," said Schwartz after the game. "We need him 100-percent going into the season. We decided to scratch him at the last minute."

Without Johnson in the lineup, first-team receivers -- Nate Burleson, Patrick Edwards and Matt Willis -- accounted for three catches for 25 yards with eight targets. Bush finished with five catches for 103 yards.

That begs the question, says Tim Twentyman: should Bush be considered the Lions' No. 2 receiver?

As good as the Lions' defensive line was Thursday night, it also lacked discipline when it came to fouls after the whistle.

First-team defensive linemen accounted for three personal foul penalties in the first half and all of them turned prime field position for the Lions into an average opportunity.

"After two personal foul penalties for late hits on Nick Fairley and C.J. Mosley on plays the Lions had forced turnovers, defensive end Willie Young had a ridiculous taunting penalty on Tom Brady in the second quarter that gave the Patriots a first down instead a 3rd-and-long at their own 10-yard line," said Tim Twentyman in his Four Downs feature.

"They didn't throw Willie Young out of the game, but he didn't play the rest of the game," Schwartz said. "We didn't want anymore personal fouls. We had enough of it after two."


  • Punter Sam Martin showed his value as a fifth-round draft choice. As the first half drew to a close, he booted a 57-yard punt that pinned the Patriots back at their own one-yard line.
  • "I guess you'd say that was a three-point punt, because we got three points out of that field position," Schwartz said after the game.
  • Safety Louis Delmas made his 2013 debut against the Patriots and -- as he did when he made his 2012 debut at Philadelphia -- made his presence known. He not only recovered a fumble, but he had an early tackle-for-loss.
  • "It felt good," he said of the whole experience. "I miss those guys, being out there playing. It's great. It's fun. Great is an understatement to how it really felt. It was a breath of fresh air to physically be out there with my teammates."
  • The Lions may have suffered a significant blow on special teams with the injury to running back Montell Owens.
  • "It didn't look good," Schwartz said after the game of the Owens injury. "But we'll wait and see what the tests look like. There were some encouraging things from the tests they did afterwards, but you don't know and it would be premature to speculate where he is."