New England Patriots

The Detroit Lions certainly made life miserable for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and a painfully predictable offensive attack in a 26-10 beatdown of New England at Ford Field on Sunday night.

In what finished as one of the most lifeless efforts from the Patriots, the 41-year-old Brady finished the night with just 14 completions on 26 attempts for 133 yards and a touchdown. The 14 completions were Brady’s fewest since the infamous Kansas City game that became a turning point for the 2014 Patriots, the 133 yards were Brady’s fewest since a Dec. 2014 loss to the Bills, and his 65.1 quarterback rating was Brady’s worst since a 2003 win over the Cowboys.

It was a historically bad performance, almost across the board.

Even the Lions themselves, who entered play with one of the worst defenses in all of football through the first two weeks of the new year, seemed surprised at what they were able to do against Brady and Co.

“That [expletive] is amazing,” Lions cornerback Darius Slay said of their defensive performance against Brady and the Patriots. “That [explestive] is crazy. It was like, ‘Whew.’ I looked up and said, ‘Damn, we doing that [expletive] for real.'”

And for the second week in a row, the defense found a way to largely erase Brady’s No. 1 target, tight end Rob Gronkowski, who finished the loss with just four catches for 51 yards and was double-teamed on nearly every play.

“We just tried to get hands on [Gronkowski] every play as we possibly can,” Slay said. “He’s a big guy, catch radius is big. Obviously the best tight end in the league, and great hands, so we just knew that’s his go-to guy so we had to take him away.”

And Slay, who capped his night with an interception against Brady, couldn’t help but marvel at his own accomplishment.

“I saw that thing, I said, ‘Ooooh, I have me one,’” Slay told The Athletic Detroit after Sunday’s win. “I was already thinking, ‘It’s from the GOAT? I get this from the GOAT?’ When he done and retired, I’m gonna keep that ball and … I’m gonna ask him to sign it. He’s the GOAT and there’s nothing like having the GOAT’s signature on your picked ball. I doubt if he’d do it, but if he do want to do it, I would gladly send it to him so he could sign that thing.”

Through three weeks, New England ranks 25th in yards per game, and rank 29th in third-down conversion percentage.