With one in the books, the Detroit Lions will look to improve on what was ultimately a disappointing performance in the team’s first preseason loss against the Oakland Raiders. The New York Giants will square off with the Lions this Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET at Ford Field for Week 2 of the NFL preseason.
There were some important take-a-ways from Game 1, with much of the focus falling on the lackluster passing from the backup quarterbacks, but Game 2 brings a whole new batch of players and schemes to keep an eye on. So, when you settle into your chair with your ice cold beer this Friday evening, keep these three things in mind while watching.
Continue to carry on, Kerryon
When Kerryon Johnson ran onto the field last week, it seemed every Lions fan had their prayers answered. 67 yards from scrimmage with an average of 4.9 yards per carry. His promising performance against the Raiders ensures all eyes will remain on him.
The Giants’ shut down the Browns’ running game for the most part, but Johnson may be able to shine in the passing game. I expect him to see a heavy workload again and hopefully, he can find the end zone this week.
Stafford needs to stay healthy
If the first preseason game was any indication of how good the depth chart is, Matthew Stafford cannot afford to miss a game. Jake Rudock and Matt Cassel went a combined 22/37 for 165 total yards. Sure, there were no turnovers, but there weren’t any touchdowns either. Both QBs looked hesitant and conservative in a game where the Raiders’ secondary controlled the game.
I don’t think Rudock will be on the roster by the end of the season, so his performance doesn’t mean much, but Cassel should be playing better. The 14-year veteran shouldn’t have any problems with second and third string defenses but he couldn’t seem to develop any kind of connection the entire game. Maybe the receivers are to blame, but Cassel has some making up to do on Friday. The Lions have to play the Los Angelas Rams in the regular season in addition to their games against Minnesota and Chicago, presenting all sorts of opportunities for a quarterback to get bruised up. If the team wants to survive the black n’ blue division, they need to have an efficient backup that can replace Stafford if needed.
The Raiders carved up the Lions’ defense in every position and the front seven should take a lot of the heat. It seemed that a linebacker was in coverage of every first down given up. Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Rolan Milligan had absolutely dreadful performances, giving up catches over the middle and to the tight ends.
Sophomore rookie Jarrad Davis didn’t look that sharp either. If the defense can’t get their stuff together, Jim Bob Cooter’s efforts won’t mean anything. Look for the plays in the tackle box to see how Detroit can handle a Giants’ rushing squad that put up over 100 yards last week.
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