Detroit Lions: 5 Matchups to watch against the Cleveland Browns

Last game of the preseason so no holding back now! Here are five matchups to watch:

1. QB Baker Mayfield vs Lions Defense

Mayfield will get his first ever NFL start so to speak against the Lions Thursday night. The Browns have come out and said no starters are going to play for them and I expect for the most part, the Lions will follow suit.

After giving up play after play to all three of the Buccaneers’ quarterbacks last week, I’m looking for the Lions to bounce back– even if the starters sit out.

2. QB Jake Rudock vs QB Matt Cassel

This battle may be already over for the backup spot in the coaches eyes, however, this is obviously the last time both quarterbacks will take the field in hopes to get a chance to play in the NFL this year.

3. RB Kerryon Johnson vs RB Nick Chubb

Johnson may be able to see some extra reps this week. Coaches know the Browns starting defense is out and could use this as an opportunity to get the rookie second-round pick some extra work. At the same time, testing out the rookie can help the veterans like Blount and Riddick get some rest for the regular season.

Chubb was at least a few Lions fans draft crush in this past draft. For those fans, they should get a fair opportunity to see the Browns second-round pick and how he compares to Johnson.

4. Lions Pass Rush vs Browns O-Line

The Lions pass rush (or lack thereof) has been a topic of conversation since week one of the preseason. With many players fighting for their roster lives, some new players like Eli Harold coming into the fold, and the Browns resting starters, there should be no excuse for not getting pressure on Mayfield.

5. WR Brandon Powell vs Browns DBs

Powell has shown in all three games so far this preseason that he is the teams best reserve wideout. He still may be on the outside looking in between the logjam at receiver and due to the fact that Patricia may lean towards keeping extra players on the defensive side of the ball.

Powell needs to go out there and show them why he’s worth keeping over those other players. Is a fifth wideout more valuable than an eighth D-lineman, a sixth linebacker or a tenth defensive back? That’s the case he needs to make.

With this being the last preseason game, Powell should be able to get a large number of snaps to showcase he can do more than just a handful of catches.

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