Patriots Lose Edelman, Still Show Up Lions 30-28 

Philip Tor – Pats Militia

Friday night lights, Patriots edition. 

At least that is what Friday nights preseason clash, between the New England Patriots and Detriot Lions, felt like. Patriot fans caught their first glimpse of the true offensive power of the Patriots with great performances from Tom Brady and company. Josh McDaniels had the unit in a fast-paced hurry-up offense that left the Lions defense stifled, allowing the Patriots to build a 24-0 lead by the end of the of the first quarter. 

Kirthmon F. Dozier / Detriot Free Press

The Patriots first two drives were masterful, and both ended with touchdown passes from Brady to Chris Hogan. 

Despite the utter dominance of the Patriots, fans were left stunned when Brady’s favorite target, Julian Edelman was carted off the field after a non-contact knee injury forced him out of action. Edelman’s knee buckled and he dropped to the ground due to what could be a serious knee injury. UPDATE: Adam Schefter reported the Patriots suspect Edelman has a torn ACL, but will confirm with an MRI Saturday. 

Even after the heartbreaking injury the Patriots continued to assert their dominance. Amendola stepped up to make a few huge catches to extend drives, and Hogan showed off his ability to stretch the field over the top. Mike Gillislee also contributed to the cause by rushing for a touchdown, his first of the preseason. 

The defense also showed off their potential, torturing the Lions offense throughout the first half. Malcolm Butler picked up right where he left off last season when he forced a fumble on the Lions first drive. The succeeding possessions would not get any better for Detriot, as the Patriots forced three straight punts to help build the 24-0 lead. The secondary looked sharp with the corner trio of Gilmore, Butler, and Rowe locking down the receiving core of the Lions. Rowe continued his impressive training camp with an interception on a dropped pass in the second quarter. 

Once the second team entered the game after halftime, things started to go array for the defending champs. The Lions scored touchdowns on their first two drives of the second half, led mostly by running backs Ameer Abdullah, Dwayne Washington and Matt Asiata. Meanwhile the Patriots offense, now commanded by Jimmy Garoppolo, went three and out on their first three drives. 

Photo Credit: Keith Nordstrom

After another Lions touchdown by runnning back Dwayne Washington, the Patriots found themselves down by four points (28-24) with 7:21 left in the fourth quarter. Jimmy G stepped up to lead a great 13 play, 68 yard drive over three and a half minutes to bring the Pats within one point, after a Stephen Gostowksi field goal. On that drive rookie wideout Austin Carr caught two passes for 21 passes while running back DJ Foster muscled 30 rushing yards and a key fourth down conversion to keep the drive alive. 

After a quick three and out by the Lions, the Patriots went right back to work. With 2:12 left in the game, Jimmy Garoppolo fired a pass deep to Tight End Jacob Hollister for 31 yards that put the Patriots into field goal position. With two seconds left on the clock, Stephen Gostowksi drilled a 45 yard field goal to seal the win. 

Photo Credit: Keith Nordstrom

It was a great win on a terrible night for the Patriots as they secured their first win of the preseason, but lost a great talent in Julian Edelman. Although Edelman’s leadership and toughness can never be replaced, the Patriots have a roster front loaded with receiving talent including proven veteran Danny Amendola and rookies Austin Carr or Jacob Hollister who have had great pre-seasons thus far. 

As always follow @patsmilitia on Twitter and Instagram for the latest news on the Patriots and tune in to the Patriots final preseason game next Thursday when the Pats take on the New York Giants in Foxboro.