Free Press sports activities writers Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez share their ideas after the Lions’ 30-28 exhibition loss to the Patriots on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, at Ford Area.

Nobody is apprehensive. Proper? Nobody is panicking. It was only a preseason recreation. A meaningless exhibition. And, come on, man, it was the Tremendous Bowl champion New England Patriots and Tom (Gisele, Why Does Every thing Terrific Occur to Me?) Brady.

In fact the Detroit Lions have been going to lose Friday’s recreation, 30-28. In fact. No biggie.

Right here’s the factor. The rating didn’t matter. It was all concerning the first half, when the starters performed and when the Patriots merely made the Lions look silly and unworthy of being on the identical subject on their method to a 14-zero lead quicker than Miguel Cabrera can throw a proper cross.

The primary quarter alone went like this: The Lions racked up seven penalties and fumbled the ball on the primary play from scrimmage. In the meantime, Brady was 10-of-eleven for 157 yards, two touchdowns and an ideal passer score of 158.three.

And, belief me, it seemed worse than that. First-spherical decide Jarrad Davis appeared dangerous in protection, Tahir Whitehead missed a deal with, Glover Quin missed a deal with, Quandre Diggs and Nevin Lawson have been victimized and the move rush produced little strain.

The Lions offense managed one first down and 32 yards within the first quarter.

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This recreation was very, very worrisome. It uncovered a number of cracks within the Lions’ basis.
Perhaps I’ve coated this staff too lengthy. Perhaps I’ve heard this too many occasions earlier than. I don’t imply any disrespect, however I had a tough time believing what the gamers have been saying within the locker room after the sport. Principally, they chalked it as much as a fantastic studying expertise.

“That’s what’s good about enjoying these sort of video games within the preseason,” Quin stated. “You get to get an excellent measuring stick and see the place you’re towards a very good soccer group. …

“So, you possibly can take quite a bit from it. A variety of errors that we will study from, lots of issues that we will simply study from and say, ‘Hey, we all know the extent that we now have to get to if we need to be an excellent protection.’ ”

Davis, a rookie, stated dealing with the Patriots was a revelation that additionally gave him a guidepost as a result of “you’ll be able to’t ask for something higher than that, particularly in a preseason recreation and particularly have the ability to know the place you’re, know what the problems are, know what issues you could work on and know the place groups are going to assault you. … So, I’m extraordinarily excited for a way that group carries themselves, how Tom performs, how everybody else round him performs.”

On the one hand, you’ll be able to reward the Lions for appreciating greatness and considering they will glean one thing from that greatness. However that’s like a squirrel getting run over by an 18-wheeler on the freeway and saying, “Man, I can actually study one thing from that truck crushing me like grape.”

Sorry, however street kill is street kill.

Quin is true about one factor. The sport undoubtedly was a measuring stick. However the measurement wasn’t favorable. It confirmed us that the Patriots stay the NFL’s hulking, towering giants, whereas the Lions are nonetheless ready for that progress spurt to kick in any day now.

The measuring stick confirmed us how far the Lions are from being something near an elite staff just like the Patriots, and even near being a constant winner just like the Inexperienced Bay

Packers, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks.

Operating again Ameer Abdullah had a superb recreation with ninety nine yards of offense. He might be one of many brilliant spots on offense this season if he stays wholesome. Like Quin, he didn’t need to admit the Lions weren’t within the Patriots’ class. I respect the aggressive edge gamers want to take care of mentally in an effort to avert a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure.

Any given Sunday, blah, blah, blah. I get it.

However Abdullah hit on why the Patriots are so rattling good. They play as a staff.

“In case you take a look at them defensively — their secondary is absolutely gifted, I’ll give them that — however they don’t simply have star after star,” Abdullah stated. “There’s different groups that we’ll play on this division which have extra stars defensively than what they’ve. It’s about them executing at a excessive degree. That’s why they’re so good.”

You recognize that each one comes right down to the person within the hooded sweatshirt on the sidelines. He calls for excellence accomplished his means, squeezes each final ounce of potential from each star, position participant and castoff on his roster. And he turns into lastly honed items that match his intricate machine that runs like clockwork.

OK, the Patriots have offered the Lions with an amazing instance. How do the Lions match that?

“Demand it, demand it,” Abdullah stated. “That’s the place the leaders on the group are available. And I feel a great instance is take a look at New England, then take a look at us. It’s only a play right here and a play right here.”

It jogs my memory of that basic Previous Spice business: Good day, Lions followers. Take a look at your Lions. Now again to the Patriots. Now again to your Lions. Now again to the Patriots. Sadly, the Lions aren’t the Patriots.

It might be humorous if it weren’t truly unhappy. Perhaps the Lions will have the ability to study from this recreation and develop into a lot better. Perhaps I’m making an excessive amount of of this recreation. Perhaps the Lions aren’t who they confirmed themselves to be towards the Patriots they usually’ll get up tomorrow married to supermodels able to play like a lastly tuned machine. Proper. And I’m on a horse.

Contact Carlos Monarrez: Comply with him on Twitter @cmonarrez. Obtain our free Lions Xtra app in your Apple and Android units.