What happened: New England jumped on Detroit early and often Thursday night to walk out of Ford Field with a 31-3 victory in both teams’ preseason opener.
The Patriots built a 14-0 lead on two Brian Hoyer touchdown passes. Hoyer started the game in place of Tom Brady.
Jarrett Stidham replaced Hoyer late in the second quarter and increased the Patriots' lead to 20-0 before the half with a touchdown pass to Jakobi Meyers, his second of the game.
The Patriots would go to the half leading 20-0 and out-gaining Detroit 262 to 28 in total yards of offense in the first half.
New England pushed the lead to 28-0 on a Nick Brossette one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and a Brossette two-point conversion.
A late field goal pressed the New England lead to 31-0 in the fourth quarter.
View photos from the Detroit Lions vs. New England Patriots Preseason Week 1 game at Ford Field on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019 in Detroit.
Detroit’s only points on the night came on a 37-yard field goal by Ryan Santoso with 2:17 left in the game.
Detroit managed just eight first downs and 93 total yards of offense in the contest. The Patriots, on the other hand, notched 26 first downs and 459 total yards of offense.
Participation report: The list of Lions players sitting out the first preseason game of the year was lengthy. Sitting out were: Quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., wide receiver Kenny Golladay, defensive back Quandre Diggs, cornerback Rashaan Melvin, linebacker Jarrad Davis, linebacker Devon Kennard, linebacker Christian Jones, wide receiver Danny Amendola, defensive end Trey Flowers, defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand, defensive end Mike Daniels and defensive tackle Damon Harrison Sr.
Projected starters that did play a little bit Thursday included: Cornerback Darius Slay, safety Tracy Walker, tackle Taylor Decker, center Frank Ragnow and tackle Rick Wagner. They played one series each.
Injury report: Veteran wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was carted off the field early in the first quarter with what looked like a serious left leg injury.
Kearse fell to the ground after Patriots defensive back Terrence Brooks fell into the back of his left leg as he was blocking out wide on a Ty Johnson run play. Kearse was in obvious pain as doctors and trainers put an air cast on his left leg before loading him onto a cart and taking him off the field.
Backup quarterback Tom Savage went to the locker room after being sacked to end Detroit’s second offensive series. He did not return.
Defensive tackle Darius Kilgo went down with what looked like a left leg injury in the second quarter. He was helped off by trainers and went immediately to the locker room.
Trench battle: Detroit’s starters along the offensive line played just one series, but allowed a sack and committed a holding penalty (Kenny Wiggins) during the first series of the game.
It didn’t get much better from there for the reserves. The Patriots recorded six sacks in the first half and finished the game with nine total.
Detroit’s defense didn’t generate a sack until midway through the fourth quarter (defensive tackle Fred Jones), and only hit Patriots quarterbacks four times total.
The Lions decisively lost the battle upfront on both sides of the ball, and it’s a big reason the score ended up so lopsided.
On a positive note: Second-year wide receiver Brandon Powell had a nice 24-yard catch and a 31-yard kickoff return. He caught both of his targets for 27 yards. He’s one of the players who could be asked to step up following the Kearse injury.
Rookie running back Ty Johnson had a nice 17-yard run showing off his speed to the edge. He finished with 22 yards on just three carries.
Next up: at Houston (Aug. 17)