New England Patriots QB Tom Brady had an outstanding game against the Detroit Lions. Brady finished the day 12 of 15 for 166 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. The interception was the fault of WR Chris Hogan giving up on a route and the two other incompletions were on target- WR Brandin Cooks dropped one and TE Rob Gronkowski had another ripped out of his hands.
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell shared his thoughts on Brady after the game.
“Yeah, one of the things, you know, he's as good as they come,” Caldwell said. “I mean, in particularly he's got some guys he can get the ball to. He gets the ball out quickly. He makes quick decisions. You're not going to show him anything he hasn't seen before.
“I mean, he's just an unusual guy. What you got to do is keep him out of the end zone, which we didn't do. He's going to complete some passes on you. I mean, there hadn't been anybody that's stopped him since he's been in this league. But to be able to slow it down, keep it in front, not have a bunch of mistakes and penalties, and a couple times when they hurry up, they got a couple of advantages on us from just a leverage standpoint which shouldn't happen.”
The “unusual” Brady completed his first three passes to WR Julian Edelman for 53 yards. His next two went for 39 yards and 2 touchdowns to WR Chris Hogan. WR Brandin Cooks dropped the next pass before he found WR Danny Amendola for 31 yards.
The Patriots used the hurry-up to their advantage after a big play to keep the Lions defenders on their heels and to prevent any substitutions.
Brady spread the ball to all of his receivers, running backs, and tight ends and the Lions didn’t know how to stop it. He knew where the ball was going prior to the snap so the Lions pass rush couldn’t disrupt the play and he converted drives into points.
“We had a kind of few plays that really sucked and then we had the interception which had sucked too,” Brady said after the game. “If you take those away, it'd be a pretty good night. You know, we'd have six pretty good drives there, but we'll learn from them. It's always good to calibrate where you are at and not everything is going to be perfect all the time. You take the lessons you learn from these preseason games and you try to apply them in a couple weeks when it really matters.”
The Patriots offense will miss Julian Edelman, but hopefully the offense can build off Friday’s performance. Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski, and James White form a formidable receiving corps, while Malcolm Mitchell, Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis, and Dwayne Allen can help, too.
Opening week is a mere 12 days away and the Patriots will have to make the necessary adjustments before welcoming the Kansas City Chiefs. Caldwell and the Lions probably don’t think the Patriots need to do too much work in preparation.
Brady would disagree, saying, “We still have a long way to go,” after the game.