There aren’t a lot of positives to take away from the Detroit Lions 24-6 loss against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on Thursday night. The biggest positive is the fact that it was a preseason game against a team that the Lions will meet again in week 6 of the regular season. By then we will be able to better judge how the season is going and how it will turn out. Jumping to conclusions after this game, however, is extremely premature. Even if it was a game of poor execution, missed tackles, personal fouls, and dropped passes on the Lions part.
Matthew Stafford looked out of sync for the second consecutive game even if it was in limited action. He completed 11 of 16 passes for 74 yards and no TDs. Stafford’s security blanket in Calvin Johnson sat out of the game as a healthy scratch in hopes of keeping Johnson rested and healthy for the regular season and Stafford looked frustrated by having to throw the football to the likes of roster hopeful WR Patrick Edwards and the not so sure handed TE Brandon Pettigrew. It appears that out goes BigPlayCJ and out go the Lions. Without their superstar WR on the field the Lions were out of this game and fast.
One bright spot for the Lions in the game was newly acquired RB Reggie Bush who displayed the passionate desire and on-field leadership that has long been missing in the Detroit Lions offensive backfield. Bush had 13 total touches of the football in his limited action. He had 8 rushes for 15 yards and 5 receptions for 44 yards. When the regular season rolls around and the offense is hitting on all cylinders Reggie Bush is going to be a valuable weapon and security blanket for Matthew Stafford’s security blanket in Calvin Johnson. Bush will demand respect from opposing defensive coordinators and will create more single and double coverages for Johnson. A double covered Calvin Johnson is still a dangerous Calvin Johnson.
DT Nick Fairley was a dominant force on the defensive line and he was routinely applying pressure with his rush. Officially, Fairley’s stats show he had one solo tackle and two assists, but those stats nowhere near give justice to his performance. He did have an offsides penalty that he needs to clean up, but overall he had a very good night. Offsides penalties can be expected from time to time, though, when you are playing full go football with your ears pinned back ready to crush the QB. Fairley and fellow DT Ndamukong Suh are going to be a lethal tandem in the NFL for years to come if they can stay healthy and on the field playing together.
The kicking battle is still a preseason fan favorite with rookie kicker Havard “Kickalicious” Rugland leading the way in most fans eyes. Veteran kicker David Akers booted a nice 48 yard field goal and Rugland made an ugly 33 yarder, but he made it none the less. Rookie Punter Sam Martin is still handling the majority of the kickoffs, but struggled overall in his punting duties. As a side note, there has been very little chatter about missing retired kicker Jason Hanson. 6 for 6 on field goal attempts through two preseason games is good statistically speaking but not enough to forget Detroit’s longtime kicker Jason Hanson. You are not forgotten Hanson! #4 forever!
|Kicking Stats thru 2 Games|
By the Numbers
|Penalty (Yards)||6 (49)||8 (68)|
|Time of Possession||28:35||37:26|
Production is down everywhere except for in time of possession and turnovers. Penalties are far too high through two games.
Matthew Stafford — is not looking like a franchise QB through two preseason games. Week three will be a better measuring stick, though.
Rookie DE Ziggy Ansah — still looking good big fella. Keep progressing!
DT Nick Fairley — Dominance is so beautiful and you can be one beautifully dominant dude. Stay healthy!
Possible bubble DE Willie Young — Good game, but your production dropped some. I hope you are paying attention to DEs Ronnell Lewis and Devin Taylor because they are stepping up their games.
CB Ron Bartell — I wonder if you’ll be a first wave cut or a second wave cut.
WR Matt Willis — 3 receptions for 18 yards. You are making a name and I hope you make the team.
CB Bill Bentley — What happened to you? Do you need new cleats? You have to be on your feet to make plays.
- Detroit Lions’ starters embarrassed in preseason loss to Cleveland Browns (mlive.com)
- Detroit Lions @ Cleveland Browns Preview (detroit.cbslocal.com)
- Detroit Lions Recliner Report – Cleveland Browns (thesilverdomeblues.com)
- Detroit Lions Recliner Report (thesilverdomeblues.com)