FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – With an early morning arrival from Detroit and Tropical Storm Irene causing power outages at Gillette Stadium, New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick canceled his usual day-after-game conference call.

It probably didn’t matter much. After all, how many ways can you say horrible?

New England followed up two dominant exhibition performances with a drubbing at the hands of quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions, losing 34-10 on Saturday night.

Tom Brady’s accuracy was off, the promising pass rush was puny and the coaching by Belichick — by his own admission — was poor.

“We didn’t do anything very well,” Belichick said. “We didn’t throw it, didn’t catch it, didn’t block, didn’t tackle, didn’t cover, didn’t return. It’s a long list. Didn’t coach.”

Three-time Super Bowl winner Brady wanted to get hit in the preseason game, saying that was part of the process of getting ready for the season. He didn’t have to wait long to get his wish.

When he wasn’t being chased by Ndamukong Suh, Brady was trying to avoid Cliff Avril, Corey Williams and the rest of the defensive line. Suh shoved Brady a couple times after he got rid of the ball, Williams got another shot on him just after he released a pass, and Avril sacked him twice.

The two-time and reigning MVP connected on just over half of his passes for 145 yards with a TD and an interception.

“It wasn’t our best game, obviously,” Brady said. “From the first series on, we could never really get into a rhythm. It was just a bad night all around.”

Brady said the Patriots were eager to throw downfield, and he may have held the ball too long at times.

Brady did catch the Lions in a defensive breakdown in the second quarter, finding a wide open Wes Welker over the middle for a 44-yard touchdown. Detroit answered with a field goal, and Ricardo Silva intercepted Brady late in the half to set up backup quarterback Shaun Hill’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Brown that made it 27-10 at halftime.

Belichick had plenty of good things to say about the Lions, who improved to 3-0 in the preseason.

“There was good energy in the stadium tonight,” the New England coach said. “The Lions gave their fans a lot to cheer about — a lot for the fans to be energized here with. The team played very well. They handled us, easily, so I’m sure everybody here is excited about their performance, and they should be.”

The Patriots have one exhibition game left, on Thursday night at home against the New York Giants, before opening the season on Sept. 12 at the Miami Dolphins.


BEARS: Backup tight end Desmond Clark indicated the knee injury he suffered in Saturday’s preseason game against Tennessee wasn’t as bad as it appeared, posting on Twitter that he’s confident he will return soon.

Clark left the field on a cart in the fourth quarter after taking a brutal hit to the left knee from Titans safety Anthony Smith while trying to make a catch. On Sunday, he posted on Twitter, “Took quite a shot out there but feeling confident I’ll be ok and back on the field soon.”


PACKERS: Green Bay released tight end Spencer Havner, wide receiver Brett Swain and offensive tackle Theo Sherman.

Havner played in 21 games with one start during his three seasons with Green Bay.


BILLS: Wide receiver Paul Hubbard was among six players cut by Buffalo.

Hubbard was released a day after he and backup quarterback Tyler Thigpen helped send Buffalo’s wild 35-32 preseason overtime win over Jacksonville into the extra period. The pair hooked up on a 4-yard touchdown pass with 38 seconds left in regulation and then again for a 2-point conversion.

Running back Anthony Elzy, defensive backs Rajric Coleman and Loyce Means, offensive lineman Isaiah Thompson, and punter Reid Forrest were also cut.


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