BSJ Game Report: Patriots 31, Lions 3 – Defense (9 sacks) shows off depth

(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Everything you need to know from the Patriots’ win over the Lions in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:


Defense flexes its depth: Not many of the Patriots' main starters on defense even saw the field but that didn't stop this unit from continuing to be the dominating group we saw to close last season. In the first half, the defense allowed just three first downs, didn't allow a third-down conversion and had six of a game-high nine sacks as the Lions had minus-2 yards passing. The most impressive thing was it was a total defensive effort. The group up front stopped the run (5 carries, 15 yards from backs), the secondary had tight coverage, which caused the quarterbacks to hesitate, and the pass rush got home with a variety of people (Jamie Collins, Derek Rivers, Danny Shelton, Ja'Whaun Bentley, Shilique Calhoun). Very, very impressive.

Passing offense very efficient: To say that the passing offense has been inconsistent to this point in training camp, that would probably be kind. But when the lights were on Thursday night, everything was clicking. The protection was good up front, especially from LT Dan Skipper, the ball was out on time from both Brian Hoyer (12 of 14, 147 yards, 2 TDs, 150.0 rating) and Jarrett Stidham, and then the receivers made contested catch after catch. From N'Keal Harry, to Maurice Harris and Jakobi Meyers, the Patriots seemed to catch every ball even if the coverage was tight. Now, how much of that was the Patriots and how much was the Lions not playing many starters?

Jarrett Stidham looks comfortable: