The Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions are both a few years from being contenders, but they are both showing signs of improvement this pre-season. Detroit has a far better opportunity to exceed NFL handicappers expectations this season, but the Browns are hoping that Colt McCoy can lead them to the promise land much earlier than expected.
These teams will go head to head on Friday, and are hoping to keep the momentum going from their opening week wins. Both teams aren’t expected to even break the .500 barrier this season by football handicappers, but if they can get a lucky bounce or two along the way, they both will have a chance to crack the playoff picture. Detroit has a ton of offensive weapons, but their defense needs to improve in several areas.
The Lions young group of play-makers will only get better as they gain experience. Mathew Stafford has shown signs of brilliance when he’s on the field, but unfortunately he’s spent most of his career on the IR. Stafford is only 23 years old, but has the ability and poise to be a top tiered quarterback in this league. Stafford finished his short season with a 60% completion rate, and a 6:1 touchdown to interception ratio. Any quarterback would look good if their main target was Calvin Johnson. Johnsonis only 25, but he’s established himself as one of the top receivers in the NFL. He has caught far fewer balls than many other receivers over the last 3 seasons, but much of that is due to the lack of production from the rest of the offense. Now that running back Javid Best has a full season under his belt, we can expect this team to be far more consistent in moving the chains. Best’s number last year weren’t eye-popping, but most defenses loaded the box and forced whichever quarterback the Lions had under center to beat them. That obviously didn’t happen.
This season can go either way for Detroit, but they have a solid group of young players and will only get better over time. The Browns on the other hand haven’t had any expectations placed on them since they came back into the league. Colt McCoy is hoping to change that perception around with a breakthrough season this year. McCoy has been impressive in camp, and is hoping to lead this offense to far more scoring than they had in 2010. He has a solid running back in Peyton Hillis to relieve some of the pressure, but the Browns receiving group isn’t up to NFL standards.
This may be just another pre-season exhibition, but you can bet that both teams will be fighting hard for a win to build confidence heading into the regular season. Tune in Friday as the Browns and Lions go head to head In what should be a hard fought showdown.