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Live Blog! Patriots vs Lions

Devin McCourtey returns an interception last season against the Detroit Lions. (Associated Press)

We’re live from Ford Field in the Motor City! Wrentham, MA! Its Patriots! Its Lions! Its Saturday night pre-season football! Count your buddy from SoB, Ryan, in. He is joined by his buddy Drew, who thinks they’re going out for the game. Unbeknownst to Drew, this is not the case. After all, why wouldn’t he want to do a live blog of a preseason game on a Saturday night?

Pre-Game Musings

  • Mike Reiss from ESPN Boston gives us some pre-game notes. You may think the biggest news is that Fat Al isn’t suiting up. I, on the other hand, am excited this is a nationally televised game because that means we get Dan Dierdorf and Greg Gumbel for 3+ hours.
  • Always a fun complex for announcers – Dealing With Dead Air. Baseball, by nature, is a sport that has an abundance of free time. Commentators are forced to kill, kill, and kill time. It is part of the job. Football commentators are more “jacked up” and eccentric because it is only once a week. So when there is nothing going on and we’re subjected to watching Ryan Mallet throw a 5-yard out with 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter — high comedy ensues as announcers look for anything to talk about.
  • Tom E. Curran offers some Reiss-like pre-game thoughts only in an informal tone. I especially enjoyed his upbraiding of the local media’s coverage of Fat Al. I touched on this in my media musings column friday. Curran appopriately deems it Smarmageddon. (Side note: I praised the term on Twitter and was hit with a Tweet about possible mis-spellings — gotta love Twitter Bots!)
  • ESPN had an interivew with Joe Montana this week. They asked him about the QB battle between Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. I’m pretty sure that’s a battle no one wants to win. This, coupled with Peyton Manning’s mortality being displayed this pre-season through injury woes, made me fear being a Patriots fan in 15 years when Tom Brady is asked about the raging “battle” between Jon Kitna’s son and Kerry Collins’ nephew.
  • Per usual – live blog rules apply – nicknames used (DD and GG for commentators)

First Quarter

12:00 – I miss the complete first drive! Hurr Irene gets its first victim! Terrorism by nature is winning, as I was doing some last second prep. Rumor has it D McCourty was toasted was for a big play. The stellar second year man is not supposed to be a concern. Pats hold the Lions to a field goal.

11:00 – Gronk catch and run negated by woeful call on Ochocinco. Tim Donaghy anyone? Meanwhile Brady short-arms a 10 yard out to Woody. I’m frantically playing catch up here.

10:00 – Second & 20…the Pats run a predictable draw play to Woody. Meanwhile Brady gets popped on 3&18, fumbles and the Pats are forced to punt. This is not an auspicious start to the men donning the Flying Elvis.

Commercial Break – Drew, just now, realizes this is what “watching the game means”. He’s quick like that.

8:30 – DD LOVES the well executed screen! He makes us aware. Jerome Harrison just burned that Pats defense for 52 yards, dear God. DD tells us the enthusiasm meter for the Lions is a “10”. Nate Burelson hauls in a nice strike from Matt Stafford on a play action pass for a TD. Matt Stafford looks like Sam Bradford did last year when the Pats hosted the Rams in Foxboro during the pre-season….really good.

7:30 – Meanwhile TB12 looks like he did during the ’09 season…dis-interested.

7:22 – Brandon Tate hasn’t reached the 20 on the either of his kick-off returns. Not sure how I feel about the new kick-off placement rule.

Commercial Break – How awful does A Gifted Man look? CBS should have hired Chaz Sheen for that role.

6:45 – How is that not PI on the Lions LB? He just crushed Woodhead before the ball got there. Said linebacker then flexed like an evil professional wrestler playing to the crowd! Cue my Vince Vaughn Wedding Crashers quote, “Erroneous! Erroneous on both accounts!” Welker with a clutch crossing route catch on 3 & 8..

5:00 – TB channels his Mike Vick and scrambles to hit A. Hernandez.

4:00 – Fake double reverse and Brady cocks arm, he’s looking for Moss but gets clocked AGAIN and the throw falls short.

3:00 – A. Hernandez with a nice catch and run to pick up a first down on 3rd and 13. Pats driving into Lion territory. The Gronk follows with a nice 8 yard catch.

1:00 – Hernandez, again, with another catch. Am I excited to have hand-cuffed him with the Gronk on my SoB Fantasy football team? Yes. Yes I am.

End of 1st Q – BGE is stuffed on 3rd & 1. Pats to try a field goal. Great drive. But I feel like this is Rocky IV. The Pats are Apollo Creed and the Lions are the mighty roided up Russian, Ivan Drago. It’s supposed to be a damned exposition, and TB12 is being thrown around like a rag doll.

2nd Quarter

14:00 – J Harrison looks like he’s going to break a big gain every play. Kyle Arrington with a PI on Burleson. Pats D looking lethargic.

12:00 – Arrington picks up a nice sack with a delayed blitz to stall the Lions drive.

11:30 – Pats need a successful drive here. This game will not resonate well with coach BB with the way its going.

10:30 – The Pats answer the bell with….a 3 and out. Brady looking sluggish. In his defense, he’s being pursued by Detroit’s d-line like Snooki is being pursued by The Situation. Again, Rocky IV — It’s a damned exhibition!

9:30 – Dear God! Devin McCourty smoked again on a deep ball. Sophomore slump or just a pre-season game? Lions inside the 20.

8:45 – Are the Pats reading their press clippings? Kyle Arrington burned by the 3rd string TE on a seam route for another TD. 17-3 Lions. This live BLOG will be cut off when TB12 signs off. This is to depressing.

Commerical Break – H-5.0 is like a big bank — to big to fail. That show has to be unwatchable, but some high ranking executive at CBS clearly are saying, “We’ll make it work!”

8:35 – Brady shot-puts another throw. Welker was wide open on a play-action pass.

8:00 – Random thought: Is Alex Smith available?

7:33 – Brady destroyed on yet ANOTHER play. Mankins with a stupid penalty. Will this blog make it to half time?

7:30 – You’ll never guess? Brady sacked again! DD references the “excitement meter” again. Pats punting. I’m drinking. Drew is looking at the clock and making a strong case for, you know, going out tonight.

6:00 – Lions starting this drive inside their 10. If Stafford leads them down the field for ANY points — I’ll be seriously concerned about the Pats defense whom have done nothing to inspire any confidence.

5:00 – Stafford with a great throw to Johnson but McCourty breaks it up. Stafford has looked great: only two incompletions, 2 TD passes. Edelman with a nice punt return — he’s on the chopping block with the influx of WR on the roster. Pats starting inside Lions territory.

4:00 – Brady with a bomb to Welker! Touchdown! 17-10! Score is not indicative of how this game has went but great play fake by Brady nonethless.

2:00 – Shaun Hill – who could probably start on some NFL teams – takes the field for Detroit. He immediately finds a hole in the Pats defense for a big gain. Then he tosses a nice hook route and burns the Pats for 15+ more yards. Cue Darius Butler to do Darius Butler things. That means he gets a holding call against him. This game is going splendid!

1:07 – Lions’ drive stalls. Field goal — lead 20-10 — Brady looks like he’s coming back. So I’ll stick with this thing: but this is ugly.

:33 – Brady is picked off, and I’m done. Cya.

:07 – Pats D gives up another TD. Moving on…

Final Thoughts

Look, it’s the pre-season. And this game meant more to the Lions – a team that looks at this as an OPPORTUNITY to really improve – than the Patriots. BUT. The defense looked terrible. Granted they were missing players (Fat Al, Brandon Spikes, Cunningham, and many more), but Matt Stafford was 12-14. His two mis-fires included a drop and a GREAT break up by McCourty.

The offensive line’s performance reminded me of the Super Bowl loss to the Giants and the playoff loss to the Jets. Brady was constantly being harassed. Moreover, when Brady did have time he consistently was under-throwing players.

At the end of the day, it was good for a performance like this happened during the pre-season – where BB can ream them out with no tangible consequence – than during the regular season at the expense of a loss.

I’m out of here.

About Ryan Hadfield

Ryan Hadfield is the author of the weekly Sports Media Musings column at Sports Of Boston. Hadfield is known as one of the top sports media critics in Boston. He also contributes to Boston Sports Media Watch. In November 2011, Hadfield helped launch the new SoB Point Taken blog featuring his podcasts & musings on sports, media and culture. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

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One comment for “Live Blog! Patriots vs Lions”

  1. This live blog is great because Hurricane Irene coverage took over CBS in NYC so I can’t watch this game. Being a Lions fan, I’m interested to see how Stafford, finally playing more than a drive or two, plays in this game.

    Posted by A Lee | August 27, 2011, 9:08 pm

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