Before we got too giddy about a win over the Detroit Lions, let’s agree on something: the Patriots had a lot more to lose on Sunday than they did to gain. Under those circumstances – and independent of a 29-0 score that could have and should have been worse – they dominated the Detroit Lions with a third-string quarterback and stingy defense, the latter of which completely set the tone for the game.
Entering yesterday, the Lions had one of the best statistical offenses in the NFL.
Now those numbers look like downright fraudulent.
From the New England standpoint, here’s the question: what realities can you take from a game like this? The Patriots appear to have improved since the start of training camp, but their starting point was low, to say the least. The competition on Sunday was a joke. But let’s not forget that New England’s only two wins so far this season are against a pair of teams that are a combined 2-8 – Pittsburgh and Detroit – which aren’t the kind of victories that won’t move you up anybody’s list.
That said, here are a handful of takeaways: