The New England Patriots loss on Thursday night was as ugly as it gets. After a 40-9 loss where the Pats looked like the "little Giants" sans Ice Box and could have used Rashid "hot hands" Hanon's stick'em, the offense dropped the "TP" roll three times as the Lions poured it on in the 2nd half. Tom Brady even looked human for the first time this preseason. While the score may have raised a few eyebrows and left some fans worried going forward the New England faithful have plenty of reasons not to worry just yet unlike the Giants did that day versus the Cowboys. Here are my top reasons to stay calm.

It's just the preseason. We shouldn't have to delve deeper into this but for the sake of it; before the Patriots 2007 season their record was 2-2 in the preseason. They were also 2-2 before the 2011 season. Both campaigns culminated in a Super Bowl trips. Last year the Pats were 1-3 in the preseason but would they have made the Super Bowl had they won one extra preseason game? No. Just like the Pats wouldn't be hoisting an extra pair of Lombardi trophies if they had winning preseason's those years.  There's a reason everything resets for week 1 and to top it off, the Pats are notoriously "slower" starters. They need everybody healthy and working in January not August even though Brady looked sharp up until this point.

Perhaps the biggest reasons for the lopsided preseason game was the level both teams showed up to play at. Clearly the Lions were living up to their namesakes by scratching and clawing the Pats offense and pouncing on every mistake the offense made through out the night.  By the end of it the Lions had picked the Patriots apart and were chewing the bones. It felt as if it was a playoff game for the Lions and just another practice for the Patriots. Tom Brady admitted that much post game
We weren't prepared for it, and it’s a good lesson for us, I hope we learn from it.  I mean, these games are tough. It’s hard to win. It’s hard to win when you don’t play well. We’re not going to win if we don’t play well so we've got to figure out a way to learn from this and play better than we did tonight.
Not being completely prepared on a five day week leading up to a preseason game is understandable.

The Lions got steamrolled by Cleveland the week before and came in with an extra day and something to prove against an NFL top dog. Brady even knew " The Force" was strong this week with Belichick as he sensed a long night ahead for the Patriots. After the game Bill was asked if there were any positives he replied "Nope, nope.

We need to work on everything." If there is anything this football coach likes is having a ton of tape to go over mistakes and teach players. And if reports from training camp are true, the Pats have the players to learn from their mistakes in the film room.

Lastly, just to disagree with the coach a little, two bright spots for the Pats on Thursday night were Kenbrell Thompkins and the 3 red zone stops the defense had in the first half. Thompkins had 8 receptions for 116 yards and showed some nice rhythm with Tom Brady on some deep posts after making nice moves at the LOS.  While the 2nd unit defense was bad the 1st unit all things considered were a somewhat bright spot.

Those 3 red zone stops kept at least 12 total points off the board and the score manageable at the half. If there's one things most Pats fans know is that the defense has to step up this year and Thursday night was a little something positive to take into the last preseason game.

Frank Cypriano

Frank Cypriano 8/23/2013 02:51:00 PM Edit

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