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News writers Justin Rogers and Bob Wojnowski do their best to remember this is a preseason game, missing the starters, and that it only matters so much. Justin Rogers, The Detroit News

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Allen Park — It's coach speak, but we're often told reviewing the film of a game reveals things weren't as bad or as good as initially believed.

Still, anyone who watched the Detroit Lions get thumped by the New England Patriots in the preseason opener, 31-3, is going to struggle to find any good in the result. Beyond the scoreboard, the box score does the job of encapsulating Thursday night's one-side domination. 

The Patriots made 26 first downs, the Lions eight. The Patriots racked up 459 yards of offense to the Lions' 93. And the Patriots nearly doubled the Lions in time of possession and offensive snaps.

It was a beat down, of epic proportions. 

More: Lions camp observations: Backup QBs labor through Matthew Stafford's off day

But the preseason isn't about the score. It's about player development and evaluation. So after dissecting the film, was Lions coach Matt Patricia able to unearth any positives? 

Turns out, yeah, a few. 

"Obviously the score wasn’t where you want it to be and all that, but if you look at some of the things from an evaluation standpoint, some of the guys out on the field, definitely thought there was some improvement with some of those players out there," Patricia said. "Guys like (Miles) Killebrew and Jalen Reeves-Maybin, some of those guys that I thought really stepped up into some roles, that maybe they hadn’t had an opportunity to showcase before, and I thought that was really good. That was making the most out of their opportunities." 

Additionally, Patricia highlighted rookie running back Ty Johnson, who had carries of 17 and 13 yards, although the latter was called back due to a holding penalty. The coach also noted some good blocking, which might have otherwise been missed on a night where Detroit's quarterbacks were sacked nine times. 

"There were probably some good interior blocks that maybe didn’t get showcased enough because maybe some of the other blocks around it weren’t good enough or the situation that it was."

These silver lining won't be enough for the Lions or Patricia as the team continues its march toward the regular season. Up next week, joint practices and a preseason game with the Texans in Houston. 

More: Lions signing journeyman QB Josh Johnson after injury to Tom Savage

"It’s all part of the process of what we look at to say, ‘All right, hey, this is a really tough week’, but we know that going in," Patricia said. "We’ve got another really tough one coming up. There will be another element added into it with practicing down in Texas, the heat, and kind of the adjustment there. And the travel.

"Our first game is away, so we’re going to have to learn how to travel well, and go down and prepare, and get ready to play a game."

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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