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Dennis Fithian: What To Look For Tonight From The Lions

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Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions drops back to pass during the first quarter of the pre-season game against the New York Jets at Ford Field on August 9, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions drops back to pass during the first quarter of the pre-season game against the New York Jets at Ford Field on August 9, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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By: Dennis Fithian
@dennisfithian

An offensive touchdown by the first string with a nice balance of running and passing. Matt Stafford attempted more passes than anyone in NFL history last year with only 20 TD’s.

A TD by the offense would also hopefully show the way for more points earlier in games this year for Detroit. Lions averaged 10.4 points per game at the half last year ranking 21 out of 32 teams. No team that scored less at the break than Detroit last year made the playoffs.

Tackling. Browns Trent Richardson is a good second preseason game challenge for the Lions defense. Richardson is just as dangerous catching the ball out of the backfield as he is getting the hand off. Play action and wrapping up the ball carrier is the biggest key for Detroit’s defense tonight.

More of the same from Ziggy Ansah. He didn’t look too raw or inexperienced last Friday. If he makes more plays tonight Lions fans have to be that much more encouraged about Ansah being a factor for the Lions defense from week one.

Esprit de corps: I’m not sure how to define it but this year’s Lions team seems to have it. This team looks like they like each other and show genuine enthusiasm when any player in a practice or preseason game does something positive. Of course you can be the biggest “rah rah” in the NFL and end up in last place.

Browns -2.5

Home team and uncertainty under center. The game means more to the Browns which means almost everything if your trying to pick the final score.

Prediction: Cleveland 31 Detroit 26

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