Detroit Lions @ Cleveland Browns Preview
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By: Dan Hasty
Welcome to the Detroit Lions season premiere of “Hasty Assumptions,” a look at the week ahead for the Honolulu Blue & Silver. I’ll be taking you through this season as part of the Detroit Lions Radio Network. Here, we give you a weekly three-pack of assumptions on the Lions week ahead.
A few things to look for in Week 2 of the NFL Preseason, as the Lions battle the Cleveland Browns in the Great Lakes Classic:
Hasty Assumption #3: Improving upon a run game that averaged just three yards per carry in Week 1.
As a team, the Lions ran 27 times for 81 yards last week, and will focus to improve upon it against the Browns. For a team with more passing attempts than any other NFL offense last season, an improvement on the ground will be paramount. A rushing attack that ranked 23rd in the league last year features the addition of Reggie Bush, who rushed for over a thousand yards in 2011. The Lions, looking for their first thousand-yard rusher since 2004, face a team who committed to upgrading its defense this offseason, with tackle Desmond Bryant. On the edge, Paul Kruger, Quentin Groves, and sixth overall pick Barkevious Mingo give the Browns the pass rush they lacked last season.
Hasty Assumption #2: The Lions secondary containing Browns quarterbacks Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer. In last weeks 26-17 win over the Jets, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith & Greg McElroy totaled nearly 300 yards and a 70 percent completion rate.
Led by Chris Houston, the Lions defensive backfield will look to stop an improved Browns passing attack with the acquisition of former Miami Dolphins receiver Davone Bess, and the emergence of wide receiver Josh Gordon, as well as talented third-year tight end Jordan Cameron. Thus far, Lions first and second-year cornerbacks Darius Slay and Bill Bentley have impressed in training camp, and are expected to contribute this season.
Hasty Assumption #1: Stay healthy. In training camp, the Lions are making every effort protect their players. Ensuring the health of safety Louis Delmas and recovering wide receiver Ryan Broyles, two players the team hopes to see big contributions from this season, is paramount. The Lions, like many NFL teams, make its focus on getting through the preseason injury-free. As of Tuesday’s practice: Delmas, Broyles, Calvin Johnson, guard Leroy Harris, safety Amari Spievey, and special teams ace John Wendling missed work, but the bulk of those were due to precautions. This early in the preseason, every safety measure will be taken. Expect no difference against the Browns Thursday night.
Don’t forget to catch every Lions game on The Detroit Lions Radio Network, and Detroit’s flagship for Lions football, 97.1 The Ticket.
Those are this weeks Hasty Assumptions. We’ll talk after Week 2 of the NFL Preseason.