The Detroit Lions looked sloppy for a second straight week of preseason, losing to the Cleveland Browns, 24-6, in Cleveland on Thursday night. The offense struggled in the preseason opener against the New York Jets, and arguably looked even worse against the Browns with Calvin Johnson out this week nursing an injury.
Defensively, the secondary had a difficult time slowing down the formidable Browns passing attack led by Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell. The two combined to go 20-for-26 passing for 223 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. In comparison, Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill were a pedestrian 19-for-27 for 124 yards combined.
Sean Yuille over at the Lions blog Pride Of Detroit had a difficult time picking out bright spots from the game. He mentioned kicker David Akers and the defensive tackle duo of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley as standouts. Most encouragingly, the Lions' biggest-name offseason acquisition had a fine performance:
RB Reggie Bush - Bush was really the only player who could do anything on offense for the Lions. With Calvin Johnson out, Bush became the go-to guy, as evidenced by him getting the ball on five straight plays at one point. Later in that same drive, he got the ball on three straight plays. It's true that he took a bad personal foul penalty at one point in this game, but he bounced back and finished the night with 5 catches for 44 yards. (His rushing stats were another story, as he had only 15 yards on 8 carries.)
Bush's role in the passing game could be of pivotal importance to the Lions this season, as they look to keep teams from double-covering Johnson all season. In a perfect world, the running back would also do a better job picking up yards on the ground, though that may be asking too much behind the Lions' offensive line.