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Patriots-Lions Live Blog: Pats Blown Out By Lions, 40-9 In Third Preseason Game

By Matthew Geagan, CBSBoston
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – Follow all the action in the Patriots’ preseason game against the Detroit Lions with the CBSBostonsports.com LIVE game blog:

Final — Lions 40, Patriots 9: It’s over, so we all have that to be grateful for.

The Patriots added a last-minute touchdown as Ryan Mallett found James Develin for a nine-yard score. Mallett couldn’t hit Quentin Sims for the two-point conversion, so we end with a 40-9 Lions blowout.

Mallett finished 11 for 22 for 96 yards and the touchdown.

The Patriots looked horrible in this one, a game they called a “dress rehearsal” for the regular season. The Lions overpowered the Patriots offensive line early on, and they got to Brady. The Pats QB was sacked twice and hit five other times, but still finished with 185 passing yards before Ryan Mallett took over in the second half.

Turnovers did the Patriots in on this one. Zach Sudfeld made a nice 20-yard catch on the Patriots’ first drive, which looked destined to end with a touchdown, but the rookie tight end coughed up the ball for the Pats first turnover of the night. Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden each had a fumble and Brady was picked off once, giving the Patriots a very uncharacteristic four turnovers for the game.

It’s just preseason, but this was not what everyone wants to see out of the Patriots in the most important of games that don’t count. If nothing else, this game gave Bill Belichick plenty of film to show his team heading into next Thursday’s preseason finale.

It was ugly, but at least it’s only preseason.

We’ll have plenty more coming from this game tonight and tomorrow on CBSBostonsports.com. 98.5 The Sports Hub has a full post game show coming up, and WBZ-TV will have Bill Belichick’s post game press conference on Patriots 5th Quarter.

4th Quarter, 4:08 — Lions 40, Patriots 3: It’s not getting any better for Patriots fans.

The Lions are in full-on blowout mode right now, adding another touchdown on a Theo Riddick two-yard touchdown run.

Lions march 47 yards down the field on eight plays to take a 40-3 lead.

In comes Mallett again.

4th Quarter, 9:25 — Lions 33, Patriots 3: It’s getting ugly in Mo-Town.

Kellen Moore found a wide open Micheal Spurlock in the end zone to cap off a 12-play, 90 yard drive by the Lions to take a 33-3 lead.

The big play of the drive came on a 1st and 17 from the Detroit 7. Moore went short to Bell, who took it 38 yards to the Detroit 45. That set the tone for the rest of the drive, and the Lions now have 247 yards in the second half.

Moore is now 9-for-12 for 150 yards and two touchdowns.

Mallett is heading back out for the Pats.

4th Quarter, 13:20: Rookie defensive lineman Cory Grissom, who was fighting for a roster spot, just slowly made his way to the sidelines and then to the locker room with a leg injury.

Grissom isn’t a known name, but was one of those players battling for a spot on this team. Now Anthony Rashad White, a rookie out of Michigan State, will get to show his stuff.

End Of 3rd Quarter: The Patriots offense put together and OK drive — or a pretty decent one by the night’s standards — but comes up with a big goose egg as Mallett can’t hit on a fourth and goal bid.

Mallett was 4-for-10 on the drive, and couldn’t hook up with Dobson in the end zone. There was a trio of Lions around Dobson, so there was little chance at the play being successful.

The 16-play drive covered 76 yards, and featured a couple of nice runs from Blount and a few more solid grabs from Thompkins. Josh Boyce also got in on the fun, making a pair of grabs for 18 yards — including a nice 13-yard catch to move the chains on a 2nd and 5.

But in the end, the Patriots get nothing out of it and enter the fourth quarter down 26-3.

3rd Quarter, 6:35 — Lions 26-3: Detroit adds three more points to their lead after a 7 play, 34 yard drive down the field to go up 26-3.

The Pats defense benefited from a chop block by the Lions. But on a 3rd and 20, Tavon Wilson made a nice tackle on Ryan Broyles to keep him from moving the chains.

Logan Ryan has seen extended minutes in this one, both with the first defense and now with the second team.

3rd Quarter, 10:03: Mallett didn’t do any better than Brady, as the Pats go three-and-out on his first drive.

3rd Quarter 11:00: It looks like Tom Brady’s night is over, as Ryan Mallett has taken the field for New England.

Given Detroit’s pass-rush this evening, that might not be such a bad thing.

Brady finished the evening 16-for-24 for 185 yards and an interception. He was sacked twice and hit five more times by the Lions, so he’ll be feeling this one tomorrow.

3rd Quarter, 11:00 — Lions 23-3: The Patriots sent out a lot of second-teamers on defense to begin the half, but that shouldn’t have mattered as the Lions did the same thing on offense.

Running back Joique Bell did most of the work, rushing for 37 yards on three caries, and the drive was capped off by a 22-yard touchdown by Joseph Fauria, the nephew of former Patriot and current TV analyst on WBZ-TV Christian Fauria,

For the Lions, they went 80 yards on eight plays in four minutes. Now we get to see if the Patriots offense woke up at halftime.

Halftime — Lions 16, Patriots 3: That was one sloppy half for the Patriots offense, a big difference from what we’ve seen so far this preseason.

The Patriots had the ball nine times in the half, and all they have to show for it are three points.

Brady finished the half just 16-for-24 for 185 yards and an interception. The Lions’ pass-rush bothered Brady all half, sacking him twice and putting five more hits on him. It’s very reminiscent of the Patriots preseason game two years ago in Detroit.

The Patriots have not been able to run the ball, with Stevan Ridley getting just eight yards on eight carries. Blount has seven yards on three carries, and Vereen just three yards on three carries. As for the receivers, Thompkins leads everyone with 93 yards on six receptions. Julian Edelman is having a nice game so far with three catches for 18 yards, and Aaron Dobson has shown off his skill with three receptions for 37 yards.

As bad as the Patriots offense has played, the defense is looking pretty good. Despite Detroit getting good field position due to four New England turnovers, they’ve kept Stafford and crew have only found the end zone once. Rob Ninkovich has been a steady force on defense, as usual, with six tackles and half a sack.

Bill Belichick should have plenty to say to his team at half time, and we’ll see if his chat nets some results for the offense in the third quarter.

Here are some notes from WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid on the Patriots’ second quarter:

- Tom Brady hurt his hand to end the first quarter, and though it doesn’t appear to be series, he went back in the game and throws an interception on a pass intended for Aaron Dobson.  That would lead to 7 for the Lions as Matthew Stafford gets up the field with Bush and Brandon Pettigrew. Then he hits Tony Sheffler on a 9 yard touchdown strike.  So far the Pats are playing sloppy football.

- Too many turnovers for the Patriots. Their third fumble of the game, this one by Shane Vereen, would lead to another Lions field goal.  The Pats at this point have three fumbles, an interception, a drop and Brady has been sacked twice.  Offense has been, to put it bluntly, horrible so far.

- The Pats finally got on the board on their third possession of the second quarter. Brady hits Kenbrell Thompkins for 27 yards on a big play, but the drive kind of stalls after that. Stephen Gostkowski connected on a 31 yard field goal though, so the Pats put three on the board.

2nd Quarter, 1:05: A whole lot of nothing for the Patriots offense on that three-and-out.

They ran the ball three straight times, and the Detroit defense only let Blount pick up seven yards on those three runs.

2nd Quarter, 1:27: The Patriots defense comes up again, forcing a three-and-out.

They benefited from a Scheffler offensive pass interference, but stops are stops.

The Patriots offense will take over, but will have a lot of field to cover as Detroit’s punt went out of bounds at the New England one-yard line.

2nd Quarter, 1:56: The Pats went for it, but fullback James Develin came up short of moving the chains.

If this was a regular season game, chances are Brady would have kept that himself and in all likelihood picked up the first. But this was a good chance for Belichick to get Develin some in-game experience.

The Lions now take over on their own 36.

2nd Quarter, 2:00: Two minute warning time, and the Patriots have a decision to make.

They’ll be facing a 4th and 1 from the Detroit 36, so chances are they’ll be going for it. Either way, this is perfect practice for the regular season, which is exactly what Bill Belichick wants out of these preseason games. 

2nd Quarter, 3:45  It’s a good thing the Patriots won’t meet the Lions in the regular season.

Brady was sacked again by Jason Jones after the Patriots got a first down thanks to a taunting penalty on Willie Young. Young got in Brady’s face after pressuring the QB, which is how it’s been in this game in regards to the chippiness.

On 3rd and 12 Brady went short to Thompkins, who made a nice surge towards the first down line but came up just short before being shoved out of bounds.

The offense looked better, but still worlds away from what we saw from Brady and Co. over the last two preseason games.

2nd Quarter, 6:23: Detroit running back Montel Owens just went down in the backfield as he went into his cut, and tossed the ball aside as he went to grab his leg in pain.

Since he went down due to an injury, and let the ball go before a defender touched him, he was ruled down and the Patriots were not awarded the ball. Instead the Lions faced a 3rd and 8, and Aqib Talib broke up Stafford’s pass for Nate Burleson to end the drive. Talib originally over-ran Burleson, but made a nice recovery to break up the play.

2nd Quarter, 7:09 — Lions 13, Patriots 3: The offense looked a lot more like the Patriots on their last possession, but it still didn’t result in seven points.

Brady hooked up with Dobson twice on the drive, once for 19 yards on 2nd and 10 and again for seven yards on a 2nd and 5, and had another deep connection with Thompkins. KT beat Chris Houston at the line with a great fake move, and sped down the sidelines before Brady hit him for a 27-yard gain.

But once in the red zone the offense stalled, with Brady throwing a third down bid too high for Michael Hoomanawanui in the end zone. The Lions defense has been putting pressure on Brady all night, and the pocket was collapsing as he let that one go.

Stephen Gostkowski booted a 31-yarder to put the Patriots on the board. Brady is now 13-for-18 on the night for 153 yards and a pick.

2nd Quarter, 10:40 — Lions 13, Patriots 0: The Patriots defense held again in the red zone, keeping the Lions out of the end zone once again. David Akers booted a 31-yarder to put Detroit up 13-0, but it could be a whole lot worse.

Dont’a Hightower got to Bush in the backfield on first down for a six-yard loss, and Stafford couldn’t complete his next two passes.

Maybe this will be the drive the Patriots offense wakes up.

2nd Quarter, 11:38: At least it’s just preseason, right????

This has gone from sloppy to ugly for the Patriots offense. After Brady was sacked by Jason Jones on second down, losing nine yards, Shane Vereen was hit in the backfield on 3rd-and-15 and coughed up the third New England fumble of the night. The Lions recovered, and will take over at the New England seven-yard line.

There’s still plenty of football left in this one, but things better pick up for the Patriots offense.

2nd Quarter, 13:00 — Lions 10, Patriots 0: It was bound to happen given the field position the Patriots are giving the Lions offense.

Matthew Stafford turned the Brady interception into points, finding Tony Schefter for a nine-yard touchdown on a 1st-and-9.

Brandon Spikes bit on the play action, and left the middle of the field wide open for Schefter.

Now let’s see if the offense can put something together with a 10-0 deficit staring them down on the scoreboard.

2nd Quarter, 14:46: Brady’s hand looks fine, that’s the good news.

The bad news: the Patriots turned the ball over for the third time tonight.

Dobson and Edelman got a little crossed up on their routes, and Brady’s short pass was tipped at the line a bit and picked off by Chris Houston. Detroit will now take over on the New England 37.

It’s been an overall sloppy night for the Patriots on offense. Now it’s up to the defense, again, to keep the Lions off the board with not much field to work with.

End 1st Quarter — Lions 3, Patriots 0: Last week there was concern over Tom Brady’s ankle. Now, it’s his left hand.

Brady was seen squeezing his hand after a nice completion to rookie Aaron Dobson on a first-down pass that picked up nine yards. It was a great catch by Dobson, and looks even better given how the rookies have handled the ball so far this game.

It looks like Brady caught the hand on the helmet of Nick Farley, so all eyes will be on that hand as they come out for the second quarter. So far, Brady is 8-for-9 for 90 yards. Thompkins leads all receivers with four catches for 56 yards.

1st Quarter, 1:20: Bolden’s fumble doesn’t hurt the Patriots in the end, as David Akers sent his 31-yard field goal attempt wide right.

It was a solid stance by the Patriots D, as Ninkovich and Tommy Kelly started things off by sacking Stafford for a seven-yard loss. Stafford went short to Bush on each of the next plays, but the Pats D was there each time to make the stop.

1st Quarter, 3:34: The Pats offense is having a tough time holding onto the ball tonight.

Brandon Bolden just coughed up a short pass from Brady for New England’s second fumble of the night. A penalty on Detroit has them taking over at the New England 20.

Bolden was a bubble player entering the game, and took the handoff on the two plays before his fumble (one run was called back due to a hold on Sebastian Vollmer). With LeGarrette Blount now getting some looks on the kick return unit, Bolden’s days could be numbered.

1st Quarter, 4:22: Just as the Lions defense just did, the Patriots D forces a three-and-out.

After Rob Ninkovich tied up Reggie Bush in the backfield on first down, Stafford couldn’t hook up with Schefter over the middle on second down. Facing a 3rd-and-13, Detroit went with another short pass to Bush, but the Pats defenders made sure the elusive back wouldn’t break off another long run like last series. Ninkovich got to him well before the first down line, and Detroit was forced to punt.

Good to see Ninkovich in mid-season form — the guy is always right where he needs to be to make a play.

1st Quarter, 5:52: Quick drive for the Patriots offense, who go three-and-out.

Ridley picked up a pair of yards on a first-down run to the right, and Brady hit Thompkins for six yards on second down, but the rookie couldn’t handle a Brady pass over the middle on third down, and the Patriots were forced to punt.

Thompkins should have had the third down pass, but Brady has shown he likes to throw to the undrafted rookie — who already has three receptions for 47 yards for the night.

There was some good news from the drive though: Dan Connolly returned to right guard for the first time this preseason.

1st Quarter, 7:14 — Lions 3, Patriots 0: One big play kept the Patriots defense from having a solid defensive stand on the Lions’ first possession.

Steve Gregory had a clear path to Matthew Stafford on 3rd and 10, but the QB found his new toy Reggie Bush on a screen and Bush took care of the rest. He took the screen 66-yards, though most of that was thanks to an overzealous Jerod Mayo who over-ran Bush on his tackle bid. He was finally brought down at the New England 13 by Kyle Arrington.

But the Lions couldn’t do much in the red zone, with Stafford overthrowing Brandon Pettigrew in the end zone on 3rd and 2 from the New England 5. Devin McCourty made a nice tackle on second down to keep Matt Willis out of the end zone, and the Lions had to settle for a 23-yard field goal from David Akers.

1st Quarter, 11:30:  The Patriots offense was marching down the field, but a turnover ended the drive before Tom Brady and company could find the end zone.

Brady hooked up with rookie tight end Zach Sudfeld for a nice completion over the middle of the field, but safety Glover Quin swatted it out of his hands and the loose ball was recovered by Detroit.

Brady looked good on the drive, finding Kenbrell Thompkins for a nice 37-yard strike on a 2nd and 11. He also went short to Julian Edelman on 3rd and 7, and Edelman made a nice catch and run to pick up the first down.

Stevan Ridley couldn’t get much going at the line of scrimmage, and found himself behind it on most of his runs thanks to strong pushes by the Detroit defensive line.

1st Quarter, 15:00: The Patriots got the ball first, with LeGarrette Blount and Matthew Slater lining up to receive the kickoff that went out of the end zone.

Out comes Brady and company. Let’s see how they deal with the Detroit crowd, and defensive line.

Pregame — 7:10 p.m.: Tonight is as close to “real” football as you’re going to get during the preseason.

The Patriots have been calling preseason game #3 against the Detroit Lions their “dress rehearsal” this week, as this game will give them a regular season feel against a tough opponent on the road. The starters are expected to play well into the third quarter, and with next Thursday night’s game against the Giants more of a formality for them, tonight will likely be their final extended warm up before taking on the Bills in 17 days.

There are plenty of intriguing story lines to keep an eye on, which we highlighted throughout today, and several of them will center around Tom Brady and the offense. The Lions have a stout defensive line anchored by the explosive Ndamukong Suh, so the New England offensive line will have their work cut out for them in trying to keep Brady upright.

Right guard Dan Connolly returned to practice this week, but it’s unclear if he will play. Will Svitek, an eight-year veteran who had never played guard in the NFL, has filled in for him so far and done well, but is tabbed with the tough task in handling Suh tonight. He’ll need plenty of help from the likes of Logan Mankins, Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer and Ryan Wendell to keep Brady standing, and give him plenty of time to execute his passes.

Brady had somewhat of a tough evening in Detroit two preseasons ago, getting sacked twice and hit seven other times, and finished the game 12-for-22 with a touchdown, interception and fumble. He’s been surgical this preseason, so tonight will be a good test against a good defense.

He’ll also be working without Danny Amendola, who missed practice this week, so tonight’s game will give the trio of young receivers and Julian Edelman a great opportunity to pick up the slack. Kenbrell Thompkins has turned heads so far this preseason and in training camp, and without Amendola on the field could see more than the four passes that went his way last Friday against the Bucs. It would be nice to see Brady go to Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce more, but the rookies have to earn his trust in order to see more passes. As for Edelman, many have him on the bubble, but he caught all four passes that went his way last week and is the veteran receiver of the bunch when it comes to knowing the Patriots’ system. Look for him to have plenty of passes heading his way, it’s just up to him to haul them in.

Over on the defense, while the Patriots defensive line and linebackers have looked solid, the Patriots secondary has not. They luckily will not have to deal with Calvin Johnson tonight — according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson — but will still be tested by the arm of Matthew Stafford. It could be a make or break night for a few players as well.

Safety Devin McCourty and corner Alfonzo Dennard could both hit the field for the first time this preseason, as McCourty shed the red no-contact jersey earlier this week in practice. Dennard will have to prove that he can contribute and stay healthy, and to make matters worse he still has his legal matter in Lincoln, Nebraska ahead of him.

Second-year safety Tavon Wilson will also have a spotlight on him, as he made some noticeable mistakes last week against the Bucs.  Veteran Adrian Wilson and Steve Gregory have not stood out too much so far, and a few younger players are looking to make names for themselves as their chances run out this preseason.

Overall, tonight’s game should provide us with a better glimpse of where the Patriots are — both on offense and defense — with the regular season just a few short weeks away.

Tune in to Patriots-Lions on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots. Following the game, stay tuned for Patriots Postgame on 98.5 FM and a special edition of Patriots 5th Quarter on WBZ-TV!

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