That’s one half of preseason football the Detroit Lions would like to forget. All three phases were beaten thoroughly and the Lions trail Cleveland 17-3 at the half.
A few observations …
- No Calvin Johnson in the lineup (knee contusion) meant not much going for the Lions offense. The starters played five series and accounted for a grand total of three points and 88 yards. Matthew Stafford and Co. didn’t pick up a first down until their fourth possession. The Lions had only four first downs in the half.
- The offense (aka running back Reggie Bush) got things going a little bit on their fifth and final possession. On that drive, the Lions went 47 yards in 14 plays. Bush accounted for 34 of them.
- Bush caught five passes for 44 yards in the first half, showing a little bit of how the Lions plan to use him.
- Stafford stayed relatively clean, but didn’t see his receivers get a lot of separation from defenders. There were zero holes for running backs to run through. The offense had a grand total of 13 rushing yards in the first half for an average of 1.2 yards.
- The Lions have said all training camp that their length and athleticism upfront on defense will allow them some versatility in some of their rush packages. We saw that early in the first half when the Lions switched their defensive ends and defensive tackles on a third-down play. Nick Fairley got underneath Browns left tackle Joe Thomas and applied great pressure on a third-down incompletion. That forced a punt on the Browns’ first possession.
- For a second straight game, the Lions’ starting secondary played poorly and did not tackle well. There’s a little bit of concern growing there, but we should remember it’s the preseason and there’s no Louis Delmas at safety. Browns starting quarterback Brandon Weeden completed 8-of-10 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Not good. That after all four Jets quarterback had over a 90.0 rating last week.
- Ndamukong Suh and Fairley played well, except for a Suh roughing the passer penalty. They chased the ball well and both made plays down the field.
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 13 Comments »