Lions hit with dose of reality in loss to Patriots
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) There's nothing like a matchup with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to provide a little more clarity during the preseason.
For the Detroit Lions, it was a bit of a reality check.
After solid performances in their first two exhibition games, the Lions went up against the defending Super Bowl champions Friday night and lost 30-28 , but the final score wasn't indicative of Detroit's struggles. The Patriots led 24-0 after one quarter, and it wasn't until the second half that the Lions really began to rally against New England backups.
''It was a preseason game, but we can clearly see the level that we have to play at if we want to win against good teams,'' safety Glover Quin said.
Quin made an analogy to his experience coaching youth baseball. His son made an All-Star team and went to a tournament, where the team won the first game.
''The second game we played, we played against a good select team kind of that had been playing together for a while, a good baseball team. We gave up five runs in the first inning, and we lost the game 6-3,'' Quin said. ''I said, `This was just a pool play game, but you guys see the level that you have to play on if you want to win some of these games.'''
''The tournament was the next day, and we won a game and we lost a game, and we got put out, but then the next week we had the big All-Star tournament,'' Quin added. ''We won the whole thing. We beat the same team that had just beat us. ... That's one thing I told the kids: `You guys raised your level of play because you understood the type of level that you had to play at to win.''
Detroit won preseason games against Indianapolis (with Andrew Luck out) and the New York Jets, but the Patriots were on a different level - and Brady didn't need much time to establish that. He went 12 of 15 for 174 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Although it's only preseason, this pattern is a familiar one for the Lions, who have made the playoffs two of the past three seasons but have struggled to beat top competition. Detroit was 9-4 last year before losing its final three regular-season games to the Giants, Cowboys and Packers. Then the Lions lost their playoff opener to Seattle.
The Lions were able to pressure the quarterback against the Colts and Jets despite their defensive line being below full strength. They did not have a sack against New England on Friday.
On Sunday, Detroit announced that defensive tackle Jordan Hill was going on injured reserve with a bicep injury. The Lions lost defensive lineman Kerry Hyder to an Achilles tendon injury in the game against Indianapolis.
''You have to be able to adjust, and sometimes those adjustments obviously will stretch you to the limits a little bit,'' coach Jim Caldwell said. ''We do have guys that are available and we'll be ready to go, but it's just kind of the nature of what we do. No one likes it, but nevertheless, we have to deal with it.''
Caldwell said linebacker Tahir Whitehead (knee) and tight end Cole Wick (chest) will ''be OK'' following their injuries.
NOTES: Quin said his kids and his wife have been down at their house near Houston during the flooding in that area. ''We're located kind of up a little bit. Our house is kind of out of the flood plain, but the streets that we travel on are not, so probably trapped in the house for a few days,'' Quin said. ''I feel like our home is in a safe spot, but the water, it's around it. It's all around.'' Quin said he's hoping to be able to travel down there soon.
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