|08.28.11 at 7:14 pm ET|
According to the Patriots, power outages throughout the area contributed to the cancellation of coach Bill Belichick‘s conference call with reporters on Sunday afternoon. The team arrived home safely after a bit of an adventurous plane flight home (check some of the post-flight Tweets from players here and here) early Sunday, but were given the day off on Sunday. In addition, the Patriots announced that Belichick would hold a press conference at Gillette on Monday at 3:30 p.m., followed by media access to the locker room at 4:45 p.m.
|08.28.11 at 1:02 am ET|
The stat sheet was as ugly as the game was brutal for Tom Brady.
He was banged up and around the entire time he was out on the field during a 34-10 walloping at the hands of the Lions Saturday night at Ford Field in Detroit.
Brady was hit six times, hurried four times, sacked once and intercepted once. Several times through the game, TV cameras caught Brady on the sideline talking with receivers Wes Welker and Chad Ochocinco.
“Well it wasn’t our best game, obviously,” Brady said. “From the first series on, we just could never really get into a rhythm. It was a bad night all around. We don’t make excuses for it, it just wasn’t a good night. We didn’t play the way we need to play, missed open receivers and careless interception there. You’re not going to win games if you play like that. There’s only one way to get back, get out to practice and get back to work and try to improve the things we didn’t do very well and hopefully play better next week.”
As for all those hits and hurries, Brady wasn’t about to throw his offensive line under the bus, or Danny Woodhead – for that matter – either for failing to pick up a blitzer or rusher.
“I think we were trying to get the ball down the field a little bit so you’re going to hold it,” Brady said. “They have a good pass rush. We held up out there for a decent amount of time. I have to do a better job of making quicker decisions and getting rid of the football and getting it to the guys who can do something with it.”
Is this the ultimate teaching lesson for Brady, Belichick and the Pats?
“I don’t necessarily think losing games and playing poorly ever helps,” Brady said. “I think we have to understand like every week, when you play well there are things you need to do better and when you lose, there are things you need to do better.”
In the end, Brady attempted philosophical perspective when looking at a very ugly preseason loss.
“You don’t want to ride the wave of emotions of, ‘Oh, you’re great and we suck, and we’re great we suck.’ We’re confident as a team. We just have to go play better,” Brady said. “That’s up to each of us individually and coach always says, ‘do your job.’ and he means it. When I’m the starting quarterback, and he says do your job, I have to do it very well. That what he expects of me and what I expect of myself. We’re going to go out there [Thursday] and try to do a lot better job.”
He’ll get one more preseason shot this Thursday against the Giants to get ready to do his job, starting Sept. 12 in Miami.
|08.27.11 at 11:09 pm ET|
A forgettable night of football for the Patriots, as they were dominated in all three phases of the game on the way to a 34-10 loss to the Lions in Detroit.
New England, which suffered its first preseason loss in 2011, saw Tom Brady go 12-for-22 for 145 yards in two-plus quarters of action, finishing with one touchdown and one interception. Meanwhile, Danny Woodhead ran for a team-high 28 yards on four carries, while Wes Welker had three catches for 71 yards and a touchdown.
On the other side of the ball, the Lions offense had few issues all night: Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford was 12-for-14 for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, receivers Nate Burleson (two catches, 46 yards, one touchdown), Jerome Harrison (three catches, 51 yards), Aaron Brown (four catches, 48 yards, one touchdown) and Tony Scheffler (three catches, 38 yards, one touchdown) all had big first halves as the Lions moved the ball with relative ease up and down the field against the Patriots’ defense.
Early on, the game looked an awful lot like the last time these two teams met last Thanksgiving, a mean, physical contest that had lots of hitting after the whistle. In that one, Detroit was able to generate a lot of pressure early and take a lead, but the Patriots were able to claw their way back and take home a win. But on Saturday, there was no comeback for New England, as the Patriots fell into a 17-3 hole and never recovered.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE PATRIOTS
Julian Edelman was probably the biggest positive in this game for the Patriots. The wide receiver and return man posted a 26-yard punt return that set up the Patriots first touchdown, a 44-yard scoring strike from Brady to Welker. In addition, he had one kick return, and played into the second half at the receiver position and came away with two catches for 12 yards before leaving the game late in the third quarter. (According to those who were there, Edelman was having his hand or finger looked at on the sidelines.)
Welker also had a good night, gathering in the lone touchdown pass from Brady, a 44-yarder down the seam in the second quarter on a sweet play-action fake. He left the game shortly after making the tackle on Detroit’s Ricardo Silva, who picked off Brady in the first half. On the play, Welker dipped his head and tackled Ricardo Silva, bring him to the turf at the Patriots 46. Welker walked off the field by himself before getting examined by Patriots trainers and medical staff.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE PATRIOTS
The Patriots were simply not prepared for the level of energy that the Lions had. In the days leading up to the contest, several Detroit players pointed to this game as a measuring stick, and that level of intensity showed. There were some questionable hits, to be sure, but it was clear from the jump that the Lions had the proper attitude when it came to this contest, and that showed on the scoreboard. (The Patriots got a brief jolt on the sidelines when Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien called the entire offense together late in the first half with New England trailing 17-3 and aired them out in an expletive-filled rant.)
The New England offensive line was overwhelmed throughout the first two quarters by Detroit’s defensive front. Detroit defensive linemen Cliff Avril and Ndamukong Suh ran wild throughout the first half, doing to the Patriots what the New England defensive front did to Tampa Bay last week. Making things tougher was the loss of starting right guard Dan Connolly, who went down with what appeared to be a foot injury in the first half. The Patriots had to turn to backup Rich Ohrnberger, who was abused by Suh.
The Patriots secondary had a sluggish night, with Devin McCourty making a few nice plays ‘ including a breakup of a Nate Burleson reception ‘ but other that that, it was a long evening. Kyle Arrington had a sack (after Andre Carter attracted the bulk of the attention from the o-line) and an interception, but was picked on by the Lions on a number of pass plays. The secondary appeared confused and out of place on a number of occasions, including a first-half touchdown pass from Detroit where Jerod Mayo was seen barking at his teammates as soon as the play was done.
|08.27.11 at 9:39 pm ET|
Detroit leads the Patriots 27-10 after two quarters of play at Ford Field. Here are a couple of quick notes:
It was a rough two quarters of football for the Patriots, who looked like they were overwhelmed early by the Lions’ energy in all three phases of the game. Detroit jumped out to a 10-0 lead (a lead that should have been 14-0 if wide receiver Nate Burleson hadn’t dropped a pass in the end zone), and save for two drives where the Patriots’ Stephen Gostkowski connected for a 33-yard field goal and Tom Brady hit Wes Welker on a 44-yard touchdown pass, it was almost all Lions.
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford started 12-for-14 for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, receivers Burleson (two catches, 46 yards, one touchdown), Jerome Harrison (two catches, 51 yards), Aaron Brown (four catches, 48 yards, one touchdown) and Tony Scheffler (three catches, 38 yards, one touchdown) all had big first halves as the Lions moved the ball with relative ease up and down the field against the Patriots’ defense.
On the other side of the ball, Ndamukong Suh and Cliff Avril (two sacks) set up shop in New England’s backfield at the expense of the Patriots’ offensive line, harassing Brady throughout the first half and generally making life miserable for the Patriots’ offense. (So much so that Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien called the entire offense together late in the first half with New England trailing 17-3 and and aired them out in an expletive-filled rant.) Brady was 11-for-20 for 142 yards, with one touchdown and one interception, while Welker had three catches for 71 yards and a touchdown, while BenJarvus Green-Ellis had four carries for 28 yards. Right guard Dan Connolly was injured early in the first half and replaced by Rich Ohrnberger.
The game had many of the same earmarks of the contest that took place between the two teams last Thanksgiving ‘ Detroit jumped out to an early lead in that one and controlled the pace through much of the first half. In that one (as was the case this evening), it was a physical, nasty affair with lots of hitting after the whistle, including a nasty shot by Suh.
There were some good things: Julian Edelman‘s nifty 26-yard punt return late in the second quarter set up the 44-yard scoring strike. And the pass play from Brady to Welker came as the result of a perfectly executed play-action fake to Green-Ellis that burned the Detroit secondary. And there were a couple of questionable calls, including a facemask on Logan Mankins that came on a sequence where Suh gave him a shot that wasn’t noticed by the officials. But all in all, a forgettable first half of football for New England.
|08.27.11 at 7:00 pm ET|
|08.27.11 at 5:08 pm ET|
Patriots defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth is not expected to play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Lions in Detroit, according to Tom Curran of Comcast Sports Net. Haynesworth has not played in New England’s first two preseason games, and returned to practice on a regular basis this week for the first time since the start of the month. He was acquired via a trade with Washington on July 28.
One player who hasn’t seen much action over the course of the preseason who is expected to play against the Lions is veteran safety James Sanders. Sanders, who has been slowed by a hamstring injury over the course of camp but has returned to practice on a regular basis this week, Tweeted on Friday: Excited about the opportunity to play tomorrow!
“I’m just looking forward to it just an opportunity to be out there on the field with the guys, get an opportunity to go out there and just play a game,” Sanders said on Thursday. “I haven’t had the opportunity to play in a game this preseason yet, and I’m excited, so I’m ready to go.”
|08.27.11 at 4:29 pm ET|
The Patriots look to continue their preseason dominance tonight at Ford Field in Detroit (8 p.m. ET, WBZ-TV) but the task could be a lot more difficult than the first two conquests. The 2-0 Patriots travel to Motown to battle a 2-0 Lions team that some believe could challenge the Packers this year for supremacy atop the NFC North.
It was the Brian Hoyer – Ryan Mallett show in a 47-12 laugher over the Jaguars on Aug. 11 at Gillette. That was also the game rookie Stevan Ridley had three touchdowns, including two on the ground. One week later, they destroyed another Florida team, beating up the Buccaneers in the heat and humidity of Tampa, 31-14.
Will Brady – as has been the case in the past – play into the third quarter in what is usually the “dress rehearsal” game for the regular season? “Coach just tells us to be prepared to play the whole game, all 60 minutes,” Brady said this week when asked about playing time in the third preseason game.
Will Brady – who will be looking across the line at Ndamukong Sug – look to target Ochocinco more than the four times he looked his way in Week 2?
And will we finally see Albert Haynesworth in game action in a Patriots uniform after battling conditioning and legal issues in the first three weeks of camp?
WEEI.com’s Patriots beat writer Chris Price breaks down 10 things to keep an eye on tonight.
Tonight in Detroit, they have a young, strong quarterback in Matthew Stafford, who had helped lead the Lions to preseason wins over the Bengals and Browns. Stafford was 6-of-7 with a pair of touchdowns in a 34-3 rout of the Bengals in the opener on Aug. 12. He followed that up by going 6-of-10 with 85 yards and a TD in a 30-28 win over Browns on the road a week later. He has yet to throw a pick this preseason.
They have a solid core of skill players around him in receivers Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson and running back Jahvid Best.
But maybe most of all, they have the potential of a devastating defensive line led by Suh, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Corey Williams.
Add to that mix a third-year head coach in Jim Schwartz who has everyone believing in Detroit that this team, the NFL’s only winless team in history in 2008, could be on its way to the playoffs three years later.
Sanders – like Vereen – has been battling a sore hamstring that the team has played cautiously, wanting both to be close to full strength before putting them on the field in a game. Tonight might be the time for both to test their respective healing powers.