This was one of the most entertaining preseason football games in years. I don’t know if the Patriots backups are really that good, or if the Lions were really THAT bad. It is most likely a combination of the both, and if that’s the case Matt Patricia better pray that nobody gets hurt this season. But the Patriots, who didn’t seem to have much young talent the past few years, proved that the future is bright.
Offensively, both QB’s looked great. Hoyer looked like he had no business even playing in a preseason game, picking apart the Lions and throwing 2 TDs and the same amount of incompletions. Jarrett Stidham looked very promising as well, making some tough throws and proving he can lead an offense. He could use some work when it comes to reading coverages, but this was his first NFL action so there is plenty of time for that. Jakobi Meyers was unbelievable and looked like he is hungry for a roster spot. He was uncoverable having 6 catches for 69 yards and 2 TDs. Maurice Harris, one of my favorites, had a great TD catch but followed it up with a couple drops late in the game. Braxton Berrios was another bright spot who saw a good amount of action in the slot, adding 3 catches for 45 yards. We did not see as much Dontrelle Inman as I expected, as well as Phillip Dorsett. N’Keal Harry looked solid in his action, but it was a very short sting on the field for him.
A disappointing position was tight end. You would think this is a try out for someone to replace Gronk, but nobody showed out. Matt LaCosse got hurt, and Ryan Izzo dropped what was a tough catch but was a great route he ran down the seam just like Gronk used to do. There was not much out of the running back spot either. Some typical Brandon Bolden early on, and a lot of Nick Brossette, who did find the end zone.
The Patriots pass rush made the Lions offensive line look like a bunch of little kids out there. 9 sacks they racked up as the tortured both Tom Savage and David Fales. Chase Winovich was very active in his time on the field, and looked like a crazed animal out there. He is hungry for his roster spot and proved that. Derek Rivers showed out and got 2 sacks, which is something he needed to do to prove himself after a couple injury prone seasons. JoeJuan Williams proved he is an aggressive corner leading the team in tackles, but also definitely needs some work in coverage if he is going to be what the team expects. Duke Dawson was another guy who needs to prove himself, and did not look great. He blew a couple of coverages. The defense overall was not on the field very much, and a team like the Titans might give them a little more opportunity to see who stands out and can make some plays.
I definitely did not see enough Danny Etling, but I love to see him on kickoff and punt teams. A lot of good things came out of this game, but there are much bigger challenges they will face this season.
-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)