Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Video shows Patriots' defense called out Lions' play before it happened, making atrocious performance even worse

Alex Reimer
September 24, 2018 - 10:08 am

The Lions moved the ball at will against the Patriots in the first half Sunday, securing 14 first downs and holding the ball for 12 minutes and 30 seconds in the opening quarter. It was almost like the Patriots had no idea what was coming.

Except, they did, which makes their woeful performance even more difficult to swallow.

In the aftermath of the Lions’ Week 1 blowout loss to the Jets, New York defenders claimed to know what Detroit was calling on offense. Apparently, the Lions haven’t cleaned that up. Video from the first quarter of the Lions’ 26-10 victory over the Patriots caught linebacker Dont’a Hightower correctly calling out that Matthew Stafford was going to toss the ball to the running back. The play was stopped for a loss –– one of the Patriots’ few victories from the evening.

Even if the Patriots knew what the Lions were calling at various points during the game, they didn't have the speed or coverage ability to keep up their offensive weapons. Rookie running back Kerryon Johnson became the first Detroit rusher to gain more than 100 yards on the ground since 2013, with perhaps the most telling sequence coming when he whisked by Hightower for 14 yards in the second quarter without an additional move or juke. 

Late in the first half, Cris Collinsworth wondered aloud whether the Patriots’ linebackers were fast enough to even cover the Lions’ backs. Right on cue, Stafford found Johnson for the first down immediately afterwards. Collinsworth’s question was answered. 

With Trey Flowers and Patrick Chung sidelined, the Patriots’ defense was undermanned Sunday. But that doesn’t excuse how the Lions and Stafford carved them up. The low-point for the Patriots’ secondary, and the play that probably sent drones of Bostonians to bed, was when Marvin Jones beat Stephon Gilmore into the end zone by several steps. 

Just imagine how behind Gilmore would’ve been if he didn’t know what was coming.