Matthew Stafford put forth his best game of the preseason, completing 12-of-14 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns as the Detroit Lions burned Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, 34-10, in the all-important third preseason game on Saturday night at Ford Field.
Brady, on the other hand, had the worst game of the preseason, completing 12-of-22 passes for 145 yards, a touchdown and an interception - something he threw only four times all of last season.
Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett didn't have much success either backing up Brady, with Hoyer completing 6-of-12 passes for 88 yards and Mallett throwing for 65 yards on 9-of-14 passing.
New England's rushing attack was essentially non-existant, with Danny Woodhead leading all rushers with four carries for 28 yards. Starting back BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 18 yards on eight carries.
Wes Welker led all Patriots' receivers with 71 yards on three catches and a touchdown. Matthew Slater had one catch for 53 yards and Aaron Hernandez collected five catches for 46 yards. Chad Ochocinco didn't have a catch.
Sergio Brown led the Pats' defenders with eight tackles (seven solo) and Jerod Mayo registered seven tackles (five solo). Albert Haynesworth and Shaun Ellis did not play once again, leading to speculation about their health.
Ian Johnson led all Lions' backs with 11 carries for 32 yards and Jerome Harrison had three catches for 51 yards to lead Detroit's receiving core. Calvin Johnson had one catch for 30 yards. Ndamukong Suh recorded one solo tackle in the game and the Lions sacked Brady twice - both of which were recorded by Cliff Avril.
Jason Hanson opened the scoring with a 33-yard field goal with 12:26 left in the first quarter, capping off an eight-play, 65-yard drive that lasted 2:38. After the Pats' offense sputtered out in their opening drive, Stafford led the Lions on a four-play, 57 yard drive that ended in a nine-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Nate Burleson with 7:32 to go in the first, putting Detroit on top, 10-0.
Stephen Gostkowski broke onto the scoreboard for the Patriots with his 33-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter, which brought a 16-play, 69-yard drive to a close with three points, trimming Detroit's lead to seven.
Stafford went to work again, taking the Lions on a three-play, 51-yard drive down the field and finding Tony Scheffler for a 22-yard touchdown pass to give his team a commanding 17-3 advantage with 8:51 to go in the opening half.
Brady's lone score of the day came with 4:03 remaining in the second quarter. Brady juked the Lions' defense with a perfect play-action fake and found Wes Welker wide open up the middle for a 44-yard touchdown, bringing New England within seven.
Not to be outdone, the Lions tacked on a field goal - a 46-yard strike from Hanson with 1:11 left - and a touchdown - a nine-yard pass from backup Shaun Hill to Aaron Brown with 12 seconds left - to take a 27-10 halftime lead.
The situation didn't improve for the Patriots, who were held scoreless through the final 30 minutes and surrendered another touchdown - a four-yard pass from QB Drew Stanton to Derrick Williams with 9:40 left in the fourth quarter - en route to their first loss of the preseason.
New England concludes its preseason action with a rematch of Super Bowl XLI against the New York Giants at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 1 at Gillette Stadium.