Turnovers doom Patriots early as Lions cruise, 40-9

Remember how good the Patriots offense looked over the first two games of the preseason? Yeah, not so much in Week 3. While it looked like the Pats were going to strike on their first drive of the game, it ended prematurely when undrafted rookie tight end Zach Sudfeld fumbled on the Lions’ 20-yard line.

That would be a sign of things to come. The teams’ first five drives of the game went like this: fumble, punt, fumble, interception, fumble.

The Patriots scored on just one drive – a field goal in the second quarter – before a garbage-time TD late in the 4th, as they got mauled by the Lions, 40-9.

Sudfeld paid dearly for his fumble. He wasn’t targeted by Brady the rest of the game, and didn’t make another catch until the final minutes of the blowout. The same goes for running backs Brandon Bolden and Shane Vereen, who both fumbled. Bolden didn’t see another carry, and Vereen got just one more in the final minutes of the game as well.

It’s certainly not good news for Bolden, who is one of the players vying for a final spot on the roster. He also got dinged up on a play. LeGarrette Blount lead all Patriots running backs with 26 yards on 10 carries.

We tried our best to find three bright spots, and the names are familiar ones – which is a good and bad thing. It’s good because it shows these specific players are ready to go. It’s bad because it shows that not enough other players the team is waiting on have taken a big enough step to really be noticed.

1. Kenbrell Thompkins – Thompkins has come to play in each of the Patriots’ first three preseason games, but he saved his best performance for Thursday night against the Lions. Thompkins was targeted 12 times in all, hauling in 8 passes for 116 yards – far and away the team’s best receiver on the field. If there was any question about his roster spot, there isn’t any more. Brady has shown a trust in Thompkins early on, and even though he did make one key drop in the first quarter, he made a number of nice catches to more than offset it. The Patriots lined Thompkins up all over the field, having to get more creative without Danny Amendola. It would be quite the story if Thompkins can be a real asset to the Patriots, having gone undrafted out of Cincinnati this year.

2. Chandler Jones – It’s still early (obviously), but Chandler Jones looks like he could make a case for a Pro Bowl selection. Jones just seems quicker – both with his hands and his feet – than his opposition on the offensive line. Jones didn’t light up the stat sheet – two tackles, one solo – but it’s his presence on the line and ability to chase the quarterback out of the pocket and get in his face that makes him a real asset to the Pats. It seems like the Pats got a real steal in last year’s draft when they got Jones with the 21st pick. He’s very versatile on the line.

3. Rob Ninkovich – I know what you’re thinking: How can a team that gave up 40 points have two great players on the defensive line tonight? Well, did you see the offense? But it’s quite simple. The Patriots defense was put in terrible field position multiple times throughout the first half, including three drives that started on the Patriots’ 19-, 37-, and 7-yard lines. In fact, in the first half, the Patriots defense only gave up one touchdown (the 37-yard drive), and just one Lions drive lasted longer than four plays. Ninkovich was a big reason for the success. Along with Jones, Ninkovich was all over the field and Matthew Stafford. He finished with a team-high 6 tackles including 3 solo, and was credited for half a sack. Ninkovich is a very dependable player for the Patriots, and one who certainly can and has taken on a leadership role with the team.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Woman's body found floating in East River in…

A woman's body was found Tuesday morning floating in the East River near Clason Point in the Bronx. The NYPD responded to the scene shortly…

International

Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting

Hurricane Odile injured dozens of people, forced the evacuation of thousands and smashed shops open to looters in the popular tourist area of Baja, Mexico.

National

Apple iPhone 6 pre-orders hit record 4 million…

By Lehar Maan(Reuters) - Apple Inc said many customers will need to wait until next month for their new iPhones after a record 4 million…

National

LAPD investigates complaint from detained 'Django' actress

The LAPD is investigating after "Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts accused police of violating her rights when they detained her.

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

Movies

Newsflash: Corey Stoll still not a man

In director Shaun Levy's "This Is Where I Leave You," Corey Stoll stars as the oldest of four adult children (the others are played by…

Movies

If you don't like Simon Pegg's new film,…

Simon Pegg goes all out in "Hector and the Search for Happiness" as the titular psychiatrist stymied by modern life who embarks on a globetrotting…

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."

Travel

World's most hipster cities: Top 5

Travel blogger Adam Groffman tells us his picks for the Top 5 most hipster cities in the world.

Education

The top 5 regrets recent high school grads…

College application season can seem like a blur for many students - as test prep, campus visits and filling out a seemingly endless stream of…