The Cleveland Browns will be heading into their game with the Detroit Lions on Friday night riding high off a key win against the Green Bay Packers last week. The Browns used the dominance of Colt McCoy and some timely defense to beat the Pack, but will need to improve in some key areas in order to notch their second consecutive victory.
Here are the three biggest things Cleveland will have to do in order to beat the Lions and continue their momentum during the preseason.
1. Get revenge on the runningbacks: The Lions are lacking depth at the halfback position heading into 2011. Detroit attempted to boost their depth chart last week by signing two former Browns, Mike Bell and Jerome Harrison. Cleveland will have to contain Bell and Harrison throughout the ladder part of the game and hopefully force the Lions into passing situations.
Cleveland played very well against the run during the Packer game, but showed some room for improvement against Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn. Ramzee Robinson and Buster Skrine seemed to improve in the secondary as the game went on and it will be interesting to see if they can be a factor early against Detriot.
2. Let Colt McCoy Play Football: Colt McCoy showed great improvement against Green Bay as his 135 yard performance was arguably the best of any starter in the first week. Cleveland needs to let McCoy continue to improve over the second and third weeks of the preseason and ensure that he knows his way completely around the West Coast offense. If the Browns continue to give McCoy 10-15 reps a game, he should have a great foundation heading into the regular season.
3. Rush The Passer: Cleveland’s front four did very well against Green Bay, even with two rookies starting their first professional game. Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard with both active and looked as if they made good reads during their time on the field. Sheard assisted on a sack towards the end of the first quarter along with defensive end, Jaymee Mitchell.
Dick Jauron seems to be doing a great job with his young talent and is calling plays that are focused on their strengths. However, both Taylor and Sheard will have room for improvement and will only benefit from extended competition against opposing starters.