Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia said this week that the biggest thing he wanted to see from the first preseason game to the second was steady improvement.
Unfortunately, he didn’t quite get it Friday night against the New York Giants, as Detroit dropped its second preseason contest, 30-17.
The Lions were sloppy in all three phases. Fumbles, dropped passes, penalties, missed blocks and missed tackles all hindered the Lions at times.
The starters on both sides of the ball got quality reps deep into the second quarter to mostly mixed results.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford played three series. He led the Lions to a field goal on one series, but the other two were three-and-outs. Stafford completed two of his five passes for 51 yards, and was sacked twice.
The Lions recorded 89 yards of offense in the first half -- 24 on the ground on 10 attempts (2.4 average).
View in-game photos from the Detroit Lions preseason game against the New York Giants.
Defensively, Giants backup quarterback Davis Webb led two scoring drives in the first half against the Lions’ defensive starters, including a 17-play, 79-yard drive that culminated with an 8-yard pass to running back Wayne Gallman Jr.
Webb was 14-of-20 passing for 140 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 106.2. The Giants outgained the Lions 155-89 in total yards in first half, and led 10-3 at the break.
They increased the lead to 17-3 after a TJ Jones drop led to a Giants interception deep in Lions territory and an eventual 10-yard Kyle Lauletta quarterback scramble.
Lions backup quarterback Jake Rudock led two fourth quarter scoring drives capped off by a TJ Jones 11-yard touchdown and a 1-yard QB sneak, but it was too little too late.
Slay doing his thing: Veteran cornerback Darius Slay was on his game, despite the loss.
The finger-wag meter hit three for the All-Pro cornerback, who had a terrific first half. Slay defended three passes and made a tackle in the first 30 minutes, swatting passes away from Giants receivers Sterling Shepard, Cody Latimer and Kalif Raymond.
He looks to be in midseason form.
QB Comparison: Stafford saw his first game action of the preseason. He finished 2-of-5 passing for 51 yards for a passer rating of 77.9. He was sacked twice, and two of his three drives ended in three-and-outs. He did lead the Lions to a field goal on his second drive after connecting with Theo Riddick on a 42-yard pass play down to the Giants' 28-yard line.
Rudock was second in the game for the Lions, and was also re-inserted in the fourth quarter. He finished a solid game completing 23 of his 30 passes for 171 yards with a touchdown to TJ Jones, a 1-yard touchdown run and a passer rating of 100.8.
Matt Cassel played three series and was 6-of-9 passing for 42 yards and a interception. He finished with a passer rating of 37.5.
Defensive pressure: After not recording a single sack in last week’s preseason opener in Oakland, and notching only one quarterback hit, the Lions’ defense didn’t fare much better Friday vs. the Giants.
Detroit’s starters didn’t record a sack for a second straight game. Only defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois and Anthony Zettel generated quarterback hits all game.
Heads up: Safety Charles Washington was the first Lions player to be flagged for the new helmet rule. He was flagged for lowering his head and initiating contact with his the crown of his helmet on Giants receiver Roger Lewis Jr. after a 27-yard catch in the fourth quarter.
Injuries: Linebacker Steve Longa, who's been having a very good training camp so far for the Lions, was injured in a non-contact play in the third quarter trying to make a tackle in the open field against Lauletta, who scored on the play.
Next up: The Lions hit the road to play the Buccaneers Friday night in Tampa Bay.