Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Through the first two preseason games, the Patriots first-team offense looked like an absolute juggernaut. Quarterback Tom Brady was surgical, only misfiring on two passes, and the offensive line was excellent in both run and pass-blocking.
Well, the preseason rose has lost its bloom, as New England's first-team offense was uncharacteristically sloppy and stagnant in the team's 40-9 loss at Detroit.
The Patriots turned the ball over four times in the first half and the Lions' vaunted defensive line abused their opposition. Brady was often under duress, was brought down twice for sacks, and threw an interception. The run game failed to get going as well, as starting back Stevan Ridley carried the ball eight times for just eight yards. This was not the performance the Patriots were looking for.
Now, there were some positives, namely the play of undrafted rookie Kenbrell Thompkins, who continued to turn heads with eight receptions for 116 yards. But, on the whole, this was a very disappointing night for New England's offense.
While the third preseason game generally serves as the dress rehearsal for Week 1, don't be shocked to see coach Bill Belichick play his starters longer than usual when they host the Giants next week. He surely can't be happy with this latest showing.