FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 16: Tim Tebow #5 of the New England Patriots warms up prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium on August 16, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Yes, the headline should be that the Patriots' sloppy play led to a 40-9 Week 3 preseason loss to the Lions. But it is the preseason, even if the third game is supposed to be the dress rehearsal for the regular season. But -- and we say this at least once a week -- as long as Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are on the payroll, the Patriots will be fine. They'll still win at least 10 games, they'll finish atop the AFC East, and they'll be in the playoffs come January.
One person who might not get to experience all that? Tim Tebow, the embattled quarterback who signed with the team this summer and has been sloppy and inconsistent in the team's first two preseason games. Against Detroit, he never got on the field. Is this indicative of something larger, or was Belichick's plan all along to stick with No. 2 quarterback Ryan Mallett?
"You just prepare, and whatever you're asked to do, you do at 100 percent, with everything you have," Tebow said after the game, according to ESPNBoston.com. "You want everything to go well, but it's not. There are going to be ups and downs. That's what life is, and you just have to handle them as best as you possibly can."
The Ford Field crowd could be heard chanting Tebow's name, followed by a chorus of boos when Mallett returned to the field.
"You try not to pay attention [to the crowd] and focus on the plays, and learning, and what they're doing," Tebow said. "You try to get a rep every single time. You might not be on the field, but you can still get a rep."
When asked if he was frustrated by the turn of events, Tebow added: "I'm a blessed individual."
Belichick offered no details for his decision to go with just two quarterbacks, but if Tebow is going to make the roster, he'll likely have to have a strong showing in the Patriots' final preseason game against the Giants.