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Pre Season Week 3 NFC North Recap

Pre-season Week 3 is in the books, folks. The dress rehearsal is over and some NFC North teams got undressed and beaten to a pulp. Let’s take a look at the fake game results.

Patriots at Lions: The ShitShow at Ford Field: 30-28 Patriots

Well fuck me sideways and call me Suzy. The Patriots must have been spying on the Lions practice or deflating balls. The Lions got destroyed by the New England Patriots first string at Ford Field. The Lions defense was abysmal and the Patriots ran well and passed well most of the first half. Brady had all day to throw often and made some great throw with some great catches (Hogan second TD and Amendola big catch on 3rd drive).

The Patriots easily drove down the field on the first drive finding Edelman and drawing a penalty on Gronk. Chris Hogan beat rookie Jarrad Davis for the seven yard score. Golden Tate fumbled on the first play on the first drive to set up two quick Patriot TDs. Brady hit Hogan again on a go route beating Nevin Lawson in tight coverage/penalty and Quin coming over late. Hogan played lacrosse at Penn State in college and only one year of college football. He showed up in the playoffs last year and is continuing his strong play.

The Lions went 3 and out on the next drive as rookie Kenny Golladay was tackled short of the stick by Stephon Gilmore. The Patriots proceeded to drive 74 yards on 7 plays. Mike Gillislee ran it in for one yard and the TD. The Lions committed a penalty and the Patriots then went for two. Gillislee easily ran it in again for 2 points. 21-0 zip.

The Lions kept sleeping with another 3 and out. Stafford hit Marvin Jones for only 3 yards after two poor runs. The Patriots drove 37 yards on the next drive but the Lions stopped the bleeding and held the Patriots to field goal.

Finally, the Lions got a first down with a 14 yard pass to Abdullah with some jukes. However, on 3rd down, Stafford missed Golladay on a go route to the inside that Stephon Gilmore easily broke up. The Golladay hype is gone.

The Patriots continued to move with a 27 yard run by Gillislee. The Patriots got another first down but were finally stopped and forced to punt. Brady could be stopped. It was a miracle. The Lions offense showed signs of life and drove 42 yards with three first downs (Abdullah run and two passes to Tate). However, Stafford threw a side arm pass that Golladay was not meant for on the pass. Golladay deflected the pass and it was picked off by Eric Rowe.

Brady got the ball at midfield and Gillislee ran for a first down. Brady went for it all again with a deep pass for Hogan. Brady misfired and Glover Quin had good awareness to make a tough interception. Brady was stopped again.

The Lions finally scored. They marched 80 yards on 6 plays against some of the Patriots starters. Abdullah had two nice first downs and Stafford threw a laser to Golden Tate for a first down. Stafford finally threw a great go route to Marvin Jones who beat Malcolm Butler for the TD. 24-7. The epic come back was on.

I like to think the Lions would have come back from 24 points down and won the game with their starters to avenge the Falcons. The Lions starters did play one more series and scored another TD. The Lions went 9 plays for 88 yards with a nice 18 yard TD pass to Dwayne Washington from Stafford. The Lions defense stopped Jimmy Garropolo for a three and out. Detroit finally looked good against backups.

Jake Rudock took over and was on fire. The Lions scored two TDs under Rudock and led 28-24. The Patriots don’t lose though and chipped away at the lead with a field goal. Brad Kaaya couldn’t do anything on his lone drive. The Patriots with Garropolo moved into field goal range and Stephen Gostkowski nailed the game winner with 2 second left. Patriots win, as always.

Injuries: Tahir Whitehead had a minor injury as did Zach Zenner and Miles Killebrew. Oft-injured Jordan Hill tore his bicep for Detroit and lived up to his reputation. The Lions lose their 4th DT (backup under tackle) and rookie 6th round Jeremiah Ledbetter will be forced to step up in Hill’s absence. The Patriots had a major injury with Julian Dedelman tearing his ACL. Tough loss for them but they have his twin in Danny Amendola on the roster.

Packers at Broncos: 20-17 Packers

The Packers got a good defensive test in Denver. Rodgers only played two series and went 3/5 for 12 yards. The Packers went 3 and out on the first drive as Davante Adams was short of the sticks. The Packers defense gave up a first down but then forced a punt against the Trevor Siemian led Broncos.

Green Bay moved 29 yards which was mostly a 25 yard run Ty Montgomery run. The Packers got another first down from defensive holding. Rodgers just missed to Cobb on 2nd down. Rodgers was sacked on 3rd down to lose 11 yards after backup Jason Spriggs couldn’t block Von Miller (not a surprise there). Crosby nailed the 52 yard field goal.

The Packers defense continued to excel and Kentrell Brice picked off Siemian to set up a really short field for Brett Hundley. Montgomery ran in the 2 yard score for the 10-0 lead. The Broncos offense woke up with a nice 10 play 75 yard drive. CJ Anderson ran for a first down and Siemian scrambled for 16 yards. He hit Sanders for 10 yards and Taylor for 20 yards. Finally, CJ Anderson ran for the 16 yard TD.

The teams traded punts and the Packers punted again for good measure. The Broncos moved the ball with one first down but then turned the ball over on downs. The Packers did the same with a turnover on downs as Hundley was stuffed on a sneak. The Broncos got a late field goal to tie the game at 10 at the half.

Titans at Bears: 19-7 Bears

The Titans got one first down and then punted to the Bears 4 yard line. Mike Glennon actually looked sharp and led a 15 play 96 yard drive. Jordan Howard (run), Kendall Wright, Kevin White, Tarik Cohen (run), Cameron Meredith (28 yards) had some first downs. Kendall Wright got two more first downs of 10 and 15 yards. Wright may have won the slot job over Victor Cruz. Glennon hit tight end Dion Sims for the one yard score.

The Bears defense forced a 3 and out. The Bears earned one first down and then punted to return the favor.

The Bears defense made a great play and forced a safety for the 9-0 lead. The Titans missed a field goal and the Bears drove 47 yards to make a field goal. Chicago led 12-0 in the half and dominated.

The only bad news for the Bears was the gruesome injury to Cameron Meredith. The Bears lose their top receiver from last year and will need Kevin White, Kendall Wright/Victor Cruz and the tight ends to step up even more now.

49ers at Vikings: 32 31 Vikings

I didn’t watch this game but the Vikings offense really struggled. They were shut out in the first half. That is not a good day against San Francisco.

The 49ers scored two TDS and led 14-0 at half. The good news for Vikings fans is the 2015 Vikings lost 20-3 in Week 1 to the 49ers. The 49ers for some reason have their number. Minnesota won the division in 2015 by the way.

Looking Ahead

These games are still meaningless and there will be one more 4th pre-season game on Thursday for all four North teams. Roster cuts are due down to 53 by 4 PM ET September 3rd.  The season starts on September 7 when the Patriots host the Chiefs and college football already started. Real NFL football is around the corner. I can smell it. Lions are still Super Bowl bound (doesn’t mention year).