Sometimes, the student upends the teacher.
On Sunday night, Detroit Lions head coach, Matt Patricia, did just that to his mentor Bill Belichick and his former team, the New England Patriots. After opening the season with a 31-point loss to the New York Jets at home and just fell short in Week Two at San Francisco, the Detroit Lions stunningly upset the New England Patriots 26-10.
Despite their struggles thus far in 2018, the Lions (1-2) looked to be very well-prepared on offense and defense. Their execution on the field supported that fact.
Detroit was in control from the start, creating holes for rookie running back Kerryon Johnson and giving quarterback Matthew Stafford time to pass. All night, the Lats struggled mightily to defend the run and the pass. Stafford threw for 262 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. Johnson had 101 yards rushing on 16 carries. He became the first Lions player to reach that milestone since Reggie Bush ran for 117 yards against Green Bay on November 28, 2013.
As for the Patriots (1-2), it was the first time that they have lost two of their first three games since 2012. However, the Pats loss was made more alarming by the manner in which it exposed their weaknesses on both sides of the ball. Tom Brady finished with just 133 yards passing and a 65.0 passer rating. The Patriots’ were uncharacteristically futile on offense. A rhythm could not be found via the running game or the passing game. Ten points marks their lowest offensive output since Week 17 of the 2015 season, when the Pats lost 20-10 to the Miami Dolphins.
Suffice to say, several slices of blame pie will be abundantly served in New England this week; as they attempt to regroup from a staggering loss to an opponent which few thought would cause them much difficulty.
Running back Rex Burkhead left the game in the third quarter with a neck injury and didn’t return. Further information on his status is expected within the next few days.
The Patriots return to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts to take on the 3-0 Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 30, 2018.
–Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the New England Patriots and the NFL. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC