At times, it looked as if the New York Jets knew exactly what to expect from the Detroit Lions in their 48-17 victory Monday night.
According to the Jets, they did know exactly what to expect.
“We were calling out their plays as he was getting up to the line,” linebacker Darron Lee said of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (via the New York Post). “We knew his signals. We knew everything. Just seemed like we were in his head as a defense, but that’s just preparation for us all around. They run pretty true to whatever they get out of their formations, and everybody knew it.”
Stafford was intercepted four times (and narrowly missed a fifth), most on bad reads. Two interceptions went to Lee, who had a 36-yard pick-six that was the Jets’ first defensive touchdown in 74 games. They were his first two NFL interceptions. “Who’d I tell I was gonna break that curse?” Lee asked reporters. “I told somebody I was gonna be the first one to score the first defensive touchdown. I told somebody. … Glad it’s over.”
Of his pick-six, “I’ve been watching that formation since like July,” Lee said. “Jamal [Adams] called it out, I called it out. I’m like, ‘Just sit there and wait on the inside route.’ It was either gonna be a snag route or a ram route, and he ran a ram route. It was right there.”
Detroit started its first game under Coach Matt Patricia promisingly enough, intercepting Sam Darnold’s first pass and returning it for a touchdown. Patricia, the former Patriots defensive coordinator, became the first man since the Raiders’ Tom Cable in 2008 to lose his head-coaching debut by 31 or more points. (Cable had replaced Lane Kiffin after the fourth game of that season.) By the end of the third quarter, “J-E-T-S” chants and boos were echoing through a half-empty Ford Field.
“I don’t want to say they was predictable,” cornerback Morris Claiborne said (via Freep.com), “but we did a good job this week on just executing our game plan and knowing what they like to do, who they like to get the ball to.”
Claiborne chalked it up to capitalizing on “stuff that we knew that they run a lot of.”
“Certain guys were seeing certain things that showed up in reports,” he said, “and they’re calling it out and [getting] everybody on the same page so at least we have an idea of what’s about to happen or where they’re trying to beat us or how they’re trying to hurt us.”
Stafford, who hurt his knee late in the first half, shouldered much of the blame for the ugly loss.
“The story of the game is turnovers,” he said. “We had too many of them, I had too many of them. Can’t do that to our team.”
It was just one game, but it had the Jets crowing. “It’s a new era, it’s a new team,” Adams said, “a new swagger.”
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