The Detroit Lions dominated the New England Patriots Thursday night from start to finish, with the score reading 40-9 when the clock hit zero.
The Pats got off to a rough start with three fumbles, an interception and a punt in their first five possessions. The entire game was largely reminiscent of 2011's preseason blowout by the Lions.
Surprisingly, this one was even worse.
The Patriots offense has sputtered for most of the game, despite Tom Brady finding rookie Kenbrell Thompkins for six catches and 93 yards and Aaron Dobson for three catches and 37 yards in the first half.
Thompkins would finish with eight grabs for 116 yards, and has to be considered the only bright spot for the offense.
Solid red zone stops by the defense are the only positives on that side of the ball, but their second-team defense gave up scores on each of the four second-half drives they faced (three touchdowns, one field goal). Overall, their tackling was been sloppy despite their stout play inside their own 20-yard line, and they paid the price on many screen and underneath passes.
This was a recurring theme of last season and one that badly needs to be fixed.
Of course, the Patriots are still a far better team than they showed against the Lions, who really seem to have New England's number in the preseason. Despite the impending panic across Patriots Nation, the team has enough time to breakdown their mistakes and be ready for the season opener in Buffalo.