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Bill Belichick on embarrassing loss: ‘We have to go out there and do something about it’

08.23.13 at 5:03 pm ET
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With his team back in Foxboro, the effort to put Thursday night’s embarrassing 40-9 loss to the Lions began the moment the Patriots landed early Friday morning.

During his weekly post-game conference call, Bill Belichick explained what he took from the film he watched after the game.

“Not really a whole lot new from what we saw last night,” Belichick said. “It just wasn’€™t a very good performance on the part of our entire football team. We just have to get back to work and do better than that in every area of the game. I don’€™t think there’€™s anything different than what the picture was last night. There were a few good individual plays here and there but overall just, we can’€™t play like that and expect to do well against a good team.

There were precious few bright spots but Belichick said on his conference call that a few players made a couple of individual plays that stood out, primarily referring to Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones on defense and Kenbrell Thompkins, despite a drop, running a few good routes in traffic.

Belichick said all the Patriots can do now is “go out and do something about it” The Patriots will need to cut their roster down to 75 players by Tuesday. The Patriots are off Saturday before returning to practice Sunday in preparation for the Giants next Thursday at Gillette. In a flashback to his “we played two quarterbacks” answer on not playing Tim Tebow Thursday, Belichick was asked why Vince Wilfork – who was suited up and ready to play – didn’t get into the game.

“We just didn’€™t put him in. That’s why,” Belichick said.

Asked to explain further, Belichick offered, “Because there were other players who played.”

Belichick was asked if he felt like the performance Thursday was a step back or just part of the natural progression leading up to the regular season.

“I don’€™t know. We’€™ll just go back to work and see if we can correct the mistakes and move forward and do a better job,” he said.

“We just need to go out and have a good week of practice and do things a lot better than we did them last night, that’€™s all. Nobody is going to do it for us; we’€™re going to have to go out there. Nobody but us can make things any better than what they were last night. We have to go out there and do something about it.”

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Read More: 2013 training camp, Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, Tim Tebow

Bill Belichick: ‘That certainly wasn’t a very competitive performance’

08.22.13 at 11:49 pm ET
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After watching his team get demolished by the Lions, 40-9, Thursday night in the third preseason game, Bill Belichick said there was nothing positive he could take from the effort at Ford Field.

He pointed to the four first-half turnovers in the Patriots’ first five possessions that doomed any potential momentum from the first-team offense.

“They really handled us in every phase of the game,” Belichick said in his opening statement. “We really weren’€™t very competitive in anything. We got thoroughly outplayed and outcoached and they just did everything better than we did. Obviously when you turn the ball over four times in the first quarter, that will knock you out of most any game, and it practically knocked us out of this one.

“We couldn’€™t ever make a stop in the second half defensively to ever really make it competitive, even though we had a couple of decent drives offensively. But when you can’€™t stop them on defense, then we couldn’€™t get back in the game. Couldn’€™t score on offense, so it’€™s a bad combination. Too many negative plays. Just too many bad plays in all phases of the game. We’€™ve got a lot of work to do, and that certainly wasn’€™t a very competitive performance tonight.’€

Did Belichick think the four turnovers, three fumbles and a Tom Brady interception, were uncharacteristic?

‘€œLook, anytime you turn the ball over four times, your chances of winning in this league are not very good,” Belichick said. “And when you do it in the first quarter, on the road, I’€™m sure they’€™re even less. Doesn’€™t really make any difference what happened in any other game, or any other week. ‘€¦ I mean, it doesn’€™t matter. What happened tonight is what happened tonight. We turned it over, we put ourselves in a hole, and we got beat.’€

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Read More: Bill Belichick, detroit lions, New England Patriots, nfl

Snap Judgments: Lions crush Tom Brady, Patriots in third preseason game

08.22.13 at 10:41 pm ET
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The Patriots suffered their first loss of the preseason Thursday night in Detroit, dropping a 40-9 decision to the Lions.

As is the case with the third preseason game, the starters went deep in this one. Quarterback Tom Brady — who finished 16-for-24 for 185 yards and one pick — played the first two quarters before giving way to backup Ryan Mallett (who ended up 11-for-22 for 96 yards and a touchdown). However, the New England offense struggled for much of the first two quarters, with the lone bright spot being rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, who came away with eight catches for 116 yards on the evening.

But it was a forgettable outing for the offense, as four turnovers (and two more turnovers on downs) added up to a miserable night for New England.

The Patriots wrap up the preseason next Thursday at home against the Giants.

Here are a few quick notes:

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Tom Brady takes a beating, proves to be human

08.22.13 at 9:59 pm ET
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If Thursday was supposed to be a dress rehearsal for the regular season, Tom Brady and the offensive line looked not ready for prime time.

The Patriots did commit four turnovers in the first half, including fumbles by Zach Sudfeld, Brandon Bolden and Shane Vereen.

But even more troubling for the Patriots Thursday night on the Ford Field turf was how Brady was knocked around. Brady was sacked twice and hit four times, including once at the end of the first quarter that caused a cut on his left hand.

Brady finished the night 16-for-24 for 185 yards, one interception, two sacks and a preseason low 72.4 quarterback rating. He had come into the game 18-for-20 for 172 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions. He had a 135.8 rating in two preseason wins over Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.

How bad was it for Brady? Two of his completions resulted in turnovers. His 20-yard pass over the middle to Sudfeld took the ball down the Lions’ 10. But Sudfeld was hit hard by Glover Quin and fumbled, resulting in the first turnover. On New England’s third possession, Brady threw a simple pass in the right flat to Bolden and he fumbled at the Patriots’ 12.

On his interception in the second quarter, Brady threw a timing slant pattern. He was targeting Aaron Dobson but Dobson ran into traffic off the line of scrimmage and never got to the spot. Instead, Chris Houston stepped into the vacant spot and picked off Brady.

The way he was hit may or may not have factored in putting Brady in harm’s way to start the second half, as Bill Belichick had indicated was a possibility earlier in the week. What he saw in the first half may have changed his thinking drastically.

The Patriots were very fortunate to only be down 16-3 at halftime as the Patriots’ red zone defense held the Lions to three field goals and one touchdown. The Lions were only able to convert the four turnovers into 13 points.

Read More: 2013 training camp, Bill Belichick, detroit lions, New England Patriots

What to watch for against Lions

08.22.13 at 3:48 pm ET
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What we’re looking for Thursday night in Detroit:

‘€¢ First and foremost, we know everything revolves around the quarterback, and if history holds true, he’ll play roughly 35 snaps Thursday night. In Tom Brady‘s last four preseasons, he’s played at least one half in the third game, with his longest stretch coming in 2010 when he was lifted with 12:30 in the fourth quarter for Brian Hoyer. (His shortest stretch came in 2009 when he left at halftime after Albert Haynesworth fell on his shoulder.) It’s also important to note that Brady is on pace for one of the finest preseason stat lines of his career. We’ll see if he can keep up the pace against a Lions defense that had its way with them in a 2011 preseason contest.

‘€¢ As for the rest of the starters, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday there’s an inherent value in having your starters play the first half, come into the locker room at halftime and get a bit of a blow, and then return to the field for the second half. Belichick intimated that it’s a good way to be prepared for regular-season football.

‘€œI think there’€™s still a lot to be said for playing a game prior to the start of the regular season where the players play, come in at halftime, go back out and play again, if that’€™s possible,’€ Belichick said. ‘€œI don’€™t think it’€™s like an absolute must, but I think it’€™s a good experience if they can experience it. We’€™ll see how it goes.’€

‘€¢ There are a handful of guys who aren’t expected to play tonight, including cornerback Ras-I Dowling, defensive lineman Jermaine Cunningham and wide receiver Danny Amendola. It will be interesting to see who gets the bulk of the reps in Amendola’s place. From what we’ve seen to this point in the summer, it’s likely that Julian Edelman will be in the slot, but the Patriots will likely do some shuffling deep into the second half. In addition, it’€™s worth noting that defensive back Devin McCourty switched his jersey from a red non-contact jersey to the standard blue this week, which could be a sign he’€™ll be ready to go for this first time this offseason come Thursday night.

‘€¢ In addition to Edelman, it will be interesting to see how the young receivers continue their evolutionary process with Brady. It appears right now that Kenbrell Thompkins has surpassed Aaron Dobson in the race for the No. 2 receiver spot, but the team continues to force-feed Dobson (through two preseason games, he leads the team in targets with 13), and that should be the case again against the Lions.

‘€¢ Energy. The Patriots were blown off the ball the last time they visited the Lions for the third preseason game of the year — back in 2011 — as Detroit really jumped on them early and took command right out of the gate. The Lions were clearly amped for the game, and it showed. (It was funny to hear Brady pass along the news this week that Belichick was reminding them about the loss in the 2011 preseason, as roughly 1/4 of the guys on the 90-man roster were around for that game.) One of New England’s clear points of emphasis last week against the Bucs was a fast start on both sides of the ball, and it was able to accomplish that early. No surprise to hear music at practice this week, as the Patriots were trying to anticipate the energy they’ll find at Ford Field.

‘€¢ In that same vein, it’ll be a good test for the New England offensive line, which will have the difficult task of trying to contain Ndamukong Suh. In that 2011 preseason game, Suh and a high-energy defense set the tone early. Despite the fact that Brady ended up playing 37 snaps, he was sacked twice, fumbled once and was hit seven times. Rough night at the office for No. 12.

Read More: Danny Amendola, Devin McCourty, Julian Edelman, Kenbrell Thompkins

Aaron Hernandez indicted by grand jury in murder of Odin Lloyd

08.22.13 at 1:06 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez was indicted by a grand jury in the murder of Odin Lloyd on Thursday. The indictment came shortly before Hernandez was due back in an Attleboro courtroom for a probable cause hearing.

Lloyd was found dead on June 17 near Hernandez’s home, and Hernandez was arrested nine days later. He was charged with first-degree murder and has been held without bail since. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons charges.

Ernest Wallace also was indicted Thursday, while Carlos Ortiz was not. Both were also arrested in connection to Lloyd’s murder.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez,

Tom Brady spends some quality time at his alma mater

08.22.13 at 11:33 am ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady visited with the University of Michigan football team Thursday morning.

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