DETROIT -- The Detroit Lions didn't hear anyone tell them it was only the preseason. Or maybe they just couldn't hear the muffled screams of Tom Brady.
If Detroit's defensive line wasn't harrassing New England's All Pro quarterback into poor throws during Saturday night's nationally televised exhibition tilt, their own quarterback was busy flirting with perfection. Matthew Stafford put on a clinic, throttling the Patriots' starters for 200 yards and two touchdowns on 12-of-14 passing.
Fueled by a sell-out crowd and noticeable swagger, Detroit's dominant first half helped propel the team to a 34-10 win, improving their exhibition mark to 3-0. The Patriots dropped to 2-1 in the preseason.
One of Stafford's two incompletions was an endzone drop by receiver Nate Burleson on the team's opening series. The third-year quarterback has been masterful in his three exhibition starts, completing 24 of his 31 pass attempts for 356 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions.
Brady didn't fare as well. The former Michigan standout was sacked, hurried, hit, and intercepted in a disastrous outing by New England's first-string offense.
In an odd character exchange, Detroit's bravado was evident during the game's finer moments, while the vaunted Patriots -- penalized eight times in the first half -- were left reeling. The Lions racked up 300 first half yards to New England's 185 en route to a 27-10 halftime score.
Although the game tempered in the second half, New England was never able to recover. The Patriots didn't manage a score in the last two quarters.
Stafford's reserves, Shaun Hill and Drew Stanton, also turned in solid performances. The two combined to go 14 of 23 for 173 yards, with one touchdown apiece. Running back Aaron Brown led Detroit in receptions with four catches for 48 yards and a touchdown.
New England's first and only touchdown wouldn't come until the tail-end of the first half, when Brady found Wes Welker on a blown coverage for a 44-yard score. Brady finished the game 12 of 22 for 145 yards.
Notes: In the first half, the Lions had five plays of 20 yards or more to five different players ... During a half time interview, Patriots' owner Robert Craft congratulated the Ford family on building what he deemed an 'exciting' team for the city of Detroit ... Rookie Titus Young snared his first NFL reception on a 19-yard pass from QB Shaun Hill.