User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Auto Racing
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Belichick: Ball security 'highest priority'

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

Fumble, punt, fumble, interception, fumble.

Advertisement
That's how the New England Patriots started their exhibition game against the Detroit Lions.

It wasn't the back end of the roster playing for a spot on the team, either. These were the starters playing the first half of what is considered the most important tuneup of the preseason:

``Our message has been the same here from Day 1 that ball security is of the highest priority for anybody that handles the ball,'' Belichick said in a conference call with reporters on Friday. ``There can be no mistake about that message. That message has been delivered ad nauseam.''

Belichick did not comment on why third-string quarterback Tim Tebow, who was 5 for 19 for 54 yards in the first two exhibition games, did not play. After the game on Thursday night, he said, ``Because I only played two quarterbacks.''

Asked on Friday why Pro Bowl defensive lineman Vince Wilfork did not play, Belichick said, ``Because there were other players who played.''

But not very well.

The Patriots moved the ball well on the opening drive before tight end Zach Sudfeld - who is expected to play a key role in replacing the imprisoned Aaron Hernandez - fumbled at the Lions' 10 yard-line. Detroit drove to the New England 5 yard-line before kicking a field goal to take a 3-0 lead.

The Patriots went three-and-out on their next possession and then got the ball back on a punt at their own 13. A penalty pushed them back and they were at the original line of scrimmage when Brandon Bolden coughed up the ball.

The Lions couldn't move the ball before missing a 31-yard field goal. But it wouldn't be long before New England would turn the ball over again.

On the fifth play, Brady threw the ball into coverage and it was picked off by Chris Houston. Four plays later, Matt Stafford hit Tony Scheffler on a 9-yard touchdown pass that made it 10-0.

After the kickoff, the Patriots managed just two plays before Shane Vereen fumbled on his own 6 yard-line. Four plays later, it was 13-0.

``We didn't do anything in the first half other than turn the ball over,'' Brady said. ``You aren't going to score in this league unless you can string a bunch of plays together. We could never get more than a couple plays in a row before we shot ourselves in the foot.''

The turnovers didn't just cost the Patriots a meaningless game; it may have kept them from working on what they needed to see in the penultimate exhibition game: According to ESPN.com, Vereen and Bolden never got back on the field.

``Was it sending them a message?'' Belichick said, repeating the question. ``I think that message has been delivered on a daily basis since we started practicing back in May. I don't think there are any new revelations about that message. Ball security is very important to anybody who handles the ball, in any situation. There can be no mistake about the importance of it.''

The Patriots, who won their first two exhibition games, will play the New York Giants at home next Thursday in their final tuneup, then open the season against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 8.

``We had a couple of good weeks against Tampa and Philly. We had some good practices and then we have a week like this, when you figure out we aren't anywhere near where we need to be,'' Brady said. ``If we are going to kick off in two weeks, we are going to have to play a lot better than this. That's a good lesson for all of us. I don't care who you are. It's the NFL. It's a very humbling game.

``And if you don't bring it every single night, every week, you are going to get your butt kicked.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Lawrence: Inside the Stats - Week 3
Marshall: Tech Trends - Week 3
Simo: Books pick up Week 2 win
News: NFL Betting Recap - Week 2
Peterson barred from all team activities
CBS: Rihanna out of NFL telecast
Chiefs already down seven starters
Steelers trying to shore up run defense
Falcons D desperate to get more pressure
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NFL Hot Streaks
12-3 Totals TY, 23-11 L34 Picks
6-1 L7 Guarantees, 3-1 L4 Totals
4-1 Record Sunday
10-4 L14 G-Plays, 20-9 Totals TY
17-8 L25, 20-10 This Year
10-1 Guaranteed Play Streak
5-1 Record Last 6 Picks
3-1 Sunday, 4-1 L5 Over/Unders
8-4 L12 Guaranteed Plays
2-0 Sunday, 3-1 L4 Selections
6-3 Last 9 NFL Selections
3-1 Sunday, 4-1 Over/Unders TY
4-0 Guarantees This Year
NFL Pro Football Expert Sports Picks
2014 NFL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
James Manos + 880
Hank Goldberg + 852
Scott Pritchard + 655
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Andy Iskoe + 405
Paul Bovi + 290
Chip Chirimbes + 265
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 73 %
James Manos 67 %
Brian Edwards 63 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Pritchard + 775
Antony Dinero + 630
Mike Rose + 400
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 1030
Hank Goldberg + 875
James Manos + 480
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 490
The SportsBoss + 200
Antony Dinero + 183
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest