It’s the Detroit Lions (1-0) vs. the host Cleveland Browns (1-0) in a preseason battle of unbeaten teams. Sure, it’s an exhibition game. However, this year it just doesn’t feel like an exhibition game, does it?
The Lions and Browns have a long history of competition and are the closest thing to a long term rivalry than any two NFL teams playing outside their respective conferences.
The Detroit Lions defense will face their second straight West Coast offense. The Browns, led by quarterback Colt McCoy, have embraced the new offense installed by new head coach Pat Shurmur, who doubles as the Browns offensive coordinator.
Shurmur has stated that the first team will likely play the entire first half.
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz says that his first team will only play the first quarter with the exception of the offensive line, as the Lions' “Big Uglies” will play a bit longer.
In addition to the new offense, the Browns have switched back to the 4-3 defense and holding the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers to 17 points was a promising start for a team in transition.
New coaching staff, new offense and new defense? No problem for the Browns, who punked the Packers 27-17 last week.
Thus, there are many questions to be answered in this game. Can Colt McCoy beat the Lions pass rush? Can the Lions offensive line spring the running backs? Will a strong safety emerge as a clear-cut starter for the Browns?
How will key injuries affect the outcome? Which players on the bubble will be studs, and which players will be duds?
Keep reading during and after the game for news and analysis of the game’s biggest stories. We’ll look at some of the more intriguing matchups as events unfold.