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This game was 21-0 Patriots before anyone knew what happened. It was 24-0, eventually…and then the Pats were driving for a 31-0 lead when Tom Brady threw one way the receiver broke another…easy INT in the end zone. What I’m trying to say is – the Patriots blistered the Lions in the 1s v. 1s battle. It was embarrassing.
The Lions scratched and clawed back into the contest as the Pats changed units and eventually took a 28-27 lead, but the Pats kicked an FG to late to win it 30-28. The score looked close, but in reality, for what any of us cares about – the Pats mauled them.
Think about the Lions – how do you win rolling out Abdullah, Tate, Marvin J., and Golladay as your four main weapons…and Riddick makes five? That’s not good…not awful, just not ‘wow’. A big boy team shut them all down in this game. It sucks randomly drawing the Pats in Week 3 of the preseason, the ‘showcase’ game – playing against them and realizing you literally have no chance of winning the Super Bowl because ‘New England’ exists.
All things we all probably knew before this game.
You’re here to hear about the Julian Edelman aftermath, aren’t you? Ok, let’s go there first.
Fantasy player notes…
— Julian Edelman done for the year…what does Belichick do now?
He likely starts out doing exactly what he did in this game – plugging Danny Amendola (2-27-0/2) right into that spot. The guy lining up in the same position and running the same routes as Edelman was Amendola. He’s your first fantasy play off this. He’s experienced in the role.
He’s also not as good as Edelman and highly likely to get hurt, but he’s got the first shot. He could see 10+ targets Week 1. I don’t think Amendola will be as reliable as Edelman…not for the NFL nor for fantasy, but he’s going to see work.
Over time, Amendola is going to probably lose some reps and/or get hurt and need to be replaced. Who do you want to vulture Amendola?
When Jimmy Garoppolo came into the game, so did his ‘Edelman’…the guy who lines up in the same spot and runs the same routes much of the time – UDFA rookie Austin Carr (3-30-0/4). He’s a darkhorse for down the road…that road may be 2018.
Another dark horse is a guy I said could do the same job and might be considered down the road – that is RB Rex Burkhead. Imagine Rex lines up at tailback, and then shifts to the slot pre-snap and runs Edelman routes? Rex is tough and has hands of gold. This unfortunate situation is ‘stock up’ for Rex, I think.
How does this affect the other Pats weapons?
I don’t think it means Brandin Cooks (1-8-0/2) gets some wild jump in targets. Different receiver altogether, but Cooks might see a tiny bump. I’ll also say that the Pats 1st team worked here for about a half, scored a bunch of points and Cooks saw two targets with one boring catch. I assume they are saving the good stuff for the regular season?
The ‘winner’ is more Chris Hogan (4-70-0/5), who put on a show in this game. Hogan can do a little of everything as a receiver. He was hot late last year with Brady and that carries over into this game. It stands to reason – teams underestimate Hogan with weaker coverage and focus on Cooks-Gronk-Edel-RBs, and Hogan becomes a silent killer. Hogan stock is going much higher.
— Mike Gillislee (8-38-1) debuted and looked just fine in his Patriots uniform. I don’t think anyone is going to know what RB Belichick is going with from game-to-game this year, and that’s what he wants…confusion and an unpredictable pattern.
Anyone could start the first snap of 2017 at RB for the Patriots.
The group is likely to be erratic in output and impossible to project or relying on for fantasy.
Rex Burkhead has one advantage over the group – he is the best receiver and could work like a WR…he has WR experience.
— Not much to talk about concerning the Lions… Basically, they were smacked around and then Dwayne Washington (7-15-0, 2-26-1/2) tried to pull them back into it.
It was not ‘one of those’ performances from Washington. I was not amazed by his work in this game like I was his 2016 preseason magic. He looked good, promising, fine here…caught a short pass out of the backfield and juked and jived and then burst through traffic for a sweet 17-yard score. It was a great play. He ran tough all night – he looks gangly but he’s muscle and 220+ pounds. He’s struggling reading holes running between the tackles.
Washington could be a weapon of mass destruction if used in the Riddick role, but that’s never going to happen…in Detroit. He’s wasting away. Sadly, what he did achieve in this game is – assure he’ll make the team and get buried.
— After two neat TDs against the awful Colts backup corner…Kenny Golladay (1-20/3) has been a ghost since. I don’t know any receiver looked good with the Pats coverage here.
— Another game, another Lions rookie CB Jamal Agnew (4 tackles) making plays and contributing on special teams. He’s a great draft steal for this team.