Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 8/23/13

The Patriots struggled in a big way last night against the Detroit Lions. Tom Brady wasn’t bad, but an interception prevented his stats line from looking good by any stretch and the lack of a touchdown pass is very uncharacteristic. The Patriots offense was without Danny Amendola, and that was bound to hurt the team’s productivity. Amendola has taken the role of Tom Brady’s safety blanket, and without him, the Patriots were never able to find their rhythm on offense. Then again, three lost fumbles will tend to kill any offensive productions. It was a sloppy game for the Patriots, but that doesn’t mean the Lions deserved no credit. For their part, especially on defense, they simply outplayed the Patriots. The Patriots’ defense is by no means an elite unit, so we need to take the Lions’ offensive performance with a grain of salt. Matthew Stafford was good, not great. The Lions were able to run the ball with some success, and Reggie Bush is quite clearly going to be a weapon in the Lions’ offense. We learned a few things in last night’s game, but there’s no reason to believe that we were witnessing trends emerging for either team. The Lions were without their best player, and the Patriots were without their best receiver. The Lions defense flashed some greatness, but then again, they’ve been known to do just that in the past. The takeaway from this game on the Patriots side is simple. It was an off game. Tom Brady can do better, and frankly, he will. On the Lions side, there should be cause for encouragement. The offense finally hit its stride, and the defense was outstanding. The Lions now just have to worry about transferring their preseason performance to the regular season. If the can do that, they may actually be able to compete in the NFC North. [follow]

This article first appeared on This Given Sunday and was syndicated with permission.

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