Turnovers often win games so the four forced by the Lions defense in Thursday night’s exhibition against the Patriots is an uplifting sign for the 2013 season.

“It definitely feels good” said safety Glover Quin who forced the first of three fumbles. “Any time you can turn the ball over and take the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands it’s a good thing. I thought we played pretty physical; we played fast. We executed really well tonight and sometimes when you put your head on the ball sometimes it comes out.”

Lions defenders repeatedly attacked the football and created turnovers on four of New England’s first five drives.

The Lions have proven the importance of turnovers the last two seasons.

In 2011 when the Lions went 10-6 they had a plus-11 turnover ratio third-best in the NFC. Last year the Lions had an atrocious minus-16 ratio second-to-last in the conference and stumbled to a 4-12 finish.

Quin forced a fumble by Patriots tight end Zach Sudfield on the opening drive and safety Louis Delmas was in position to scoop it up.

Two drives later linebacker DeAndre Levy knocked the ball free from running back Brandon Bolden and it bounced right to defensive end Jason Jones.

Cornerback Chris Houston had an interception on the next drive. Fellow cornerback Bill Bentley forced a fumble by running back Shane Vereen on a blitz on the following drive and rookie defensive end Ezekiel Ansah came up with it.

“Every time you see us tackling you’re probably going to see somebody trying to get the ball out” Jones said. “That’s what we’ve been trained to do.”