Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws against the New England Patriots in the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game in Detroit, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011.

It was not a good night in Detroit for the New England Patriots.  The Lions, who for years have been everyone’s doormats, totally outplayed the Patriots in every phase of the game as they cruised to a 34-10 win Saturday night at Ford Field.

It didn’t start good for the New England Patriots didn’t look so hot in the first half Saturday night in Detroit.  The offensive line was shaky at best in their protection of Tom Brady allowing him to get sacked twice, hurried seven times and hit another six.  And the poor play resonated with both head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien who both took time to rip into the entire offense at one point in the second quarter.

Detroit got on the board first with a 33-yard field goal by Jason Hanson that was set up by a big pass play when Matthew Stafford connected with Nate Burleson for 32 yards.

On the next drive Stafford once again found Burleson this time for a 9-yard TD pass that capped a 4 play 57-yard drive and gave the Lions a 10-0 lead.

New England got on the board after a 16-play drive stalled in Lions territory when Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 33-yard field goal to cut the Detroit lead to 10-3 at the start of the second quarter.

With New England’s struggling, Detroit stepped it up on both sides of the ball.  Stafford led the Lions on yet another quick hit drive that was only 3 plays going 51-yards it was capped off by a quick slant 22-yard TD pass to Tony Scheffler to give Detroit a 17-3 lead.

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With under four minutes left in the half Brady hit Wes Welker on a 44-yard seem route in which the wide receiver was left all by himself running up field after the Detroit corner bit on a sweet play action fake.  That cut the Lions lead to 17-10 but that would be as close as New England would get for the rest of the evening.

Detroit though wasn’t done in just over the last minute before the half they would tack on 10 more points to head to locker room up 27-10.  They got a 46-yard field goal from Hanson to make it 20-10 and quickly got the ball back following an interception of Brady by Ricardo Silva.  They were able to quickly march down field behind back up quarterback Shaun Hill and get a touchdown with just seconds left before the break when Aaron Brown hauled in a 9-yard pass.

Brady and the first team started the second half but remained for just one series before being replaced by Brian Hoyer.

In the 3rd quarter the Lions looked to add more points but missed a field goal attempt and then 3rd string quarterback Drew Stanton threw an interception in the end zone to kill a second scoring drive.

In the 4th quarter Detroit went on it fourth and 2 and got a 4-yard TD pass from Stanton to Derrick Williams to push the lead to 34-10.

With about 6 minutes to play in the game the Patriots went for it on 4th and 5 inside the red zone and Hoyer failed to connect on a pass and they turned the ball over on downs.

Game Notes

The Patriots wore their road uniforms – white jerseys with navy pants.

The spread (Patriots minus 4) was not covered; the over/under (44) was a wash.

The Patriots are 101-128-1 all-time in preseason.  They are 41-32 in the preseason since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994.

Bill Belichick is 38-30 overall in preseason and he is 27-21 with the Patriots.

New England is 2-5 vs. Detroit in the preseason including 1-4 as the road team.

This was the Patriots first preseason game at Ford Field.  The last preseason game in Detroit was at the Pontiac Silverdome.  The Patriots have played at Ford Field twice in the regular season.

The first preseason match up between these teams was on August 25, 1969 in Montreal, Canada.  The Lions won 22-9 in the exhibition game played at Jarry Park in front of 8,212 fans.  Patriots broadcaster Gino Cappelletti played in the game kicking three field goals for all of the Patriots points.

The Lions won the toss and decided to receive.

OL Dan Connolly hurt his ankle return was questionable.

OT Matt Light played the 1st quarter it was his first game action since shoulder surgery.

Patriots took a lot of early penalties, some of which may have been phantom, and that cost them some field position.

The officiating crew was pretty inconsistent both in the penalties they called and the one’s they missed.

The New England offensive line did a fairly poor job of protecting Tom Brady in the first half.  Sebastian Vollmer, Rich Ohrnberger and Nate Solder all got burned good.

Lions QB Matt Stafford was 12 of 14 for 200 yards and 2 TD passes in a little under 1 half of play.

Brady started the second half.

Brady finished 12 for 22 for 145 yards 1 TD and 1 INT.

Detroit out gained New England 300-185 in yardage in the first half.

Wes Welker injured neck making a tackle on the Brady INT did not return

Jonathan Wilhite was injured on a coverage play in the 3rd quarter.

Julian Edelman suffered a hand injury in the 3rd quarter.

Here’s the transcript of Robert Kraft’s halftime interview on CBS.

Next Game

The Patriots host the New York Giants on Thursday, September 1.  Kick off is at 7:30 p.m. on Patriots Preseason Television Network.

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Photo credit: AP Photo