Takeaways from the Detroit Lions preseason finale; a 35-17 thrashing at the hands of the Cleveland Browns
Another preseason game and another ugly start for the Detroit Lions. There’s not much else to say about the first quarter. The Browns went right down the field and scored easily on both of their drives. Once again the Lions looked pretty poor in all facets other than one good play by rookie safety Tracy Walker on the opening drive. It’s getting harder to say that we can rest easy knowing that these aren’t our starters playing.
42-yard sprint to the house for Cleveland to start the second quarter… I was going to try and be more positive, but can already tell it won’t be easy. Jake Rudock could’ve been worse through two quarters. Lucky for him, Matt Cassel threw the ball right to an outside linebacker for a pick six in the two-minute drill. I’ll say an extra prayer that Matt Stafford stays healthy this year after watching that. On the Cleveland side, rookie Baker Mayfield has done everything that the coaches have asked of him with excellent poise so far.
The Detroit Lions started the second half with the ball at Cleveland’s 24-yard line and finished at the 28-yard line… nice. The only other thing I took notice of up through the third quarter was the decent play of running back Dwayne Washington. This will be an audition for him before he becomes the lead back for the Montreal Allouettes. Commentator Matt Shepard mentioned defensive end Robert Ayers to Rod Wood during a third-quarter TV interview, but unfortunately, we didn’t get any juicy details on what happened with that situation.
To start the fourth quarter, Jake Rudock was at 7/14 for 49 yards but was able to lead two touchdown drives before the end of the game. He played every down except for the one drive that Matt Cassel was out for. Rudock has been nothing more than a final five-minute darling this preseason, and I believe that this means Cassel is going to be the team’s primary backup quarterback going into the regular season. Nobody that has been watching the team through this preseason will be confident in either choice. On a side note, the Lions defense played better in the second half, but there’s still a lot to be desired from these guys who most likely are all going to be cut on Saturday.
Ameer Abdullah did not play in this game. A lot of people were expecting that he would see a bulk of carries in an effort to showcase for a potential trade. It seems that Ameer is in the Lions plans for this season after all. The coaching staff and general manager Bob Quinn must be convinced that whatever they could get in return is not worth the production that Abdullah could provide headed into the regular season.