The stuttering New England Patriots were stunned and left licking their wounds for a second successive week after losing 26-10 to the Detroit Lions.
After going down to the Jacksonville Jaguars in week two of the NFL, New England's flaws were exposed again on Sunday, including the lack of targets for veteran star quarterback Tom Brady.
Meanwhile, Detroit took one of their weakest areas and turned it into a reason to celebrate.
It was the first victory for the Lions, pushing them to 1-2 — a record the Patriots mirror.
An uncharacteristic outing for the Patriots … or is there a problem?
New England were a shadow of themselves. The Patriots were missing something, anything, and never found it.
Brady, who has been needing playmakers down the field, was without the newest addition to the Patriots' roster, Josh Gordon, and their lack of a deep threat showed as New England had their fewest first-half yards (70) since December 2014.
The offense that has dumped points on their opponents in recent years was shut out in both the first and fourth quarter.
The Patriots went three-and-out on three possessions until late in the second quarter when they netted their first points with a 36-yard field goal. Brady had a dismal performance, finishing with just 14-of-26 passing for only 133 yards and a single touchdown. His longest pass of the game: a 19-yard connection to tight end Rob Gronkowski.
They tried to make up for it on the ground, but rookie Sony Michel and company could not hit their stride either — something the Lions did not have a problem with, surprisingly.
It would be easy to write this game off as just a bad day for the Patriots, except they lost 31-20 to the Jaguars last week, making this the first time since December 2002 New England have suffered consecutive double-digit losses. That is cause for concern among Patriots fans, but maybe the addition of Gordon will help open up the offense.
The Lions ran, and ran well
Detroit improved one of their weakest components: the run game.
For the first time since their 'Thanksgiving Day' game in 2013, the Lions had a 100-yard rusher. Kerryon Johnson opened up the game for Detroit, who have not been able to get things going on the ground. Johnson rushed for 101 yards on 16 carries.
His efforts ended a 70-game drought without a 100-yard rusher, the longest by any team since the 1970 NFL/AFL merger.
Johnson's effectiveness — along with a little help from LeGarrette Blount (16 carries for 48 yards) — helped quarterback Matthew Stafford settle down and overcome third-quarter woes that have plagued the team the past two weeks.
Detroit made it through their roughest quarter
Entering Sunday night, the Lions had given up the most third-quarter points throughout the entire league.
They would need to hold off a newly tweaked Patriots squad that many thought would come out of half-time with some adjustments. However, New England put only seven points on the board in the third quarter and were again shut out in the fourth.
Lions head coach Matt Patricia – the former defensive co-ordinator in New England now in his first year at the helm in Detroit – seemed to have all the answers for Patriots counterpart Bill Belichick's game plan in their first meeting on opposite sidelines. It was just what the struggling Lions needed after back-to-back losses.
|Neymar needs to mature to reach Messi levels - Xavi|
|We have a hell of a lot to do - Paine slams Australia batting|
|Kerber and Osaka to meet at WTA Finals|
|Lorenzo out of Japanese MotoGP|
|Real Madrid handed Africa trip in Copa del Rey|
|Allegri: Ronaldo has sharpened Juventus focus|
|No Wade in Wasps squad amid NFL reports|
|Rooney: Five of us controlled Man United dressing room|
|Bayern bosses launch scathing attack on ´disrespectful´ media|
|Saints lock in Lawes to new deal|
|Adelaide United 1 Sydney 1: Debutant Le Fondre rescues a point|
|Madrid can´t look back, only forward - Lopetegui confident of revival|
|Wimbledon to introduce final-set tie-breaks|
|Abbas inspires Pakistan to series victory|
|Madrid boss Lopetegui hopeful on Bale availability|
|Mood is positive at Bayern, insists under-pressure Kovac|
|LeBron offers food for thought after losing Lakers debut|
|Bolt future not an immediate concern for Mariners|
|Hazard: I could finish my career at Chelsea|
|Buffon hoping to avoid Champions League final against Juventus|
|Wilshere not ready for West Ham return|
|Chelsea v Manchester United: Hazard better under Sarri than he ever was with Mourinho|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|Khawaja suffers meniscal tear, doubt for India series|
|Babbel: Klopp must win trophies now at Liverpool|
|LeBron makes spectacular start on Lakers debut, but LA fall to Trail Blazers|
|Broncos thrash Cardinals to end losing streak|
|Price leads Red Sox past Astros and into World Series|
|LeBron makes fast start on Lakers debut with two massive dunks|
|Real Salt Lake 4 New England Revolution 1: Hosts boost play-off chances|
|Simmons gets triple-double in win over Bulls|
|´Ambitious´ Maguire wants Champions League football|
|Henry praises ´charismatic leader´ Falcao|
|WATCH: Cardinals WR Fitzgerald tackles former QB Warner on sidelines|
|Spurs right not to make signings – Pochettino|
|Icardi happy at Inter, close to contract renewal|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: Bosa leaves Ohio State while the World Series is almost set|
|Liverpool boost as Salah and Van Dijk join training|
|Cowboys discuss road woes, Prescott says team ´addressed the elephant in the room´|
|Isner scrapes through in Stockholm, Monfils eliminates Tsonga|
|Hinch says Altuve would be out with injury in regular season|
|WATCH: Schwarzenegger tells LeBron to make Lakers great again|
|LeBron tells Lakers coach Walton: I´m always fresh!|
|Mayweather should come back to fight me - Alvarez|
|Goerges battles past Vekic, Kasatkina wins all-Russian tie|
|Ask 32,000 Gibraltarians if the Nations League is meaningless - Styche|
|They´re going to speak about it for years - Azhar reflects on comical run out|
|Garcia in the mix as weather hits Andalucia Valderrama Masters|
|From lacking a ´football brain´ to signing a new contract – the Mourinho-Shaw saga|
|Alonso teases Indy 500 return as Hamilton reveals NASCAR temptation|
|Guptill ruled out of Black Caps´ UAE tour|
|UEFA investigating PSG-Red Star fan clashes|
|Just ´another weekend´ for champion-elect Hamilton|
|G League will offer $125K to top prospects in lieu of NCAA one-and-done route|
|Chargers defensive end Bosa ´a few weeks´ away from return, says father|
|Bale back in full Real Madrid training|
|Roma supporter found not guilty of inflicting GBH on Liverpool fan Sean Cox|
|´Fantastic´ Neuer will prove he´s still the best, says Lloris|
|Perez secures Force India stay|
|Australia wait on Khawaja scan|
|Shaw signs Manchester United extension|
|Jones lays down challenge to snubbed England star Cipriani|
|West Ham´s Pellegrini rejects Dzeko speculation|
|Emery fails to assure Ramsey of Arsenal future|
|Pakistan on course for victory after Babar 99 and farcical run out|
|Canelo ready to leave comfort zone to face Fielding|
|Eriksen ready for Tottenham return, Pochettino confirms|
|Titans coach rocked by Hurrell´s Rhinos switch|
|Rubin Kazan suspended from UEFA competition for FFP breach|
|Real Madrid could sack Lopetegui if results don´t improve, says Essien|