Lions are right on script
NFL exhibition games are about as meaningless and inane a sports event as you’ll find going.
In terms of importance, the preseason in pro football would rank below such red-hot items as the Bundesliga Soccer League, the Pro Rodeo League in Mesquite, Texas, or maybe the Drone League (believe it or not) standings.
All the preseason does is serve as a testing ground for personnel and to put a few more bucks in the pockets of already wealthy owners.
But one thing the preseason can do is show the Detroit Lions are following the script of another season.
Now, I seldom watch any of the preseason. It just does not peak my interest in the least bit.
But when Detroit played New England this past week, I forced myself to take in a quarter or so just to see how the Lions would do against the best team going.
Teams usually play their regulars more in the third game of the exhibition season.
It only required about seven minutes to see that little or nothing has changed in Motown.
The Patriots, behind the quarterback guidance of 40-year-old Tom Brady, sliced, diced and generally took apart the Lions.
The New England defense rendered soon-to-be rich beyond all reason Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford all but ineffective.
As he normally does, Stafford put together reasonable statistics against the second and third string NE defense later on.
The fact that the Lions eventually lost in the final seconds by a 30-28 score meant little. Remember, in their infamous 0-16 season, they were 4-0 in preseason.
The facts are clear. When Detroit runs up against a team with a good quarterback, they’re going to lose.
And this season they will face QBs like Carson Palmer of Arizona, Drew Brees of New Orleans, Eli Manning of New York, Ben Roethlisberger of Pittsburgh and, finally, the best of all of them, Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay.
And they must play against Rodgers twice.
Rodgers is in a category of his own when it comes to winning football games. He can beat you with his arm, his legs and his brain.
Stafford may well become the richest player in NFL history this year. But while he has a strong arm, that won’t be enough to get Detroit over .500 in 2017.
A 6-10 record looks about right for the Lions.