Friday, August 27, 2010

Count me among those who have learned a lesson about Lions' third preseason game

Look, I’ve fallen into the same trap, the one where I point out how the Lions’ third preseason game is the most important, and that it is a litmus test for the coming season.
Hopefully, I have learned my lesson. In truth, there is nothing important about the third preseason game - or any other preseason game for that matter. Not ultimately.
The Lions of 2008 changed the meaning of preseason football forever. They went 4-0 in the preseason. And they were only team in the history of the NFL to go 0-16 during the regular season.
In the third preseason game in 2008, the Lions routed the Cleveland Browns 26-6.
In that game, Oxford’s own Dave Rayner - the former standout kicker for Michigan State - was the star. He kicked four field goals.
He wasn’t even on the team that season.
Yes, on Saturday, when the Lions face the Browns, they will play their regulars more than any other preseason game. And they have tried to simulate a regular season week as much as possible preparing for Saturday’s game.
It’ll be intriguing to see whether the first-team defensive line plays as impressively as it did in the first two preseason games, and whether quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Jahvid Best continue to excel.
But there is a reality here that can’t be denied: You can’t simulate a regular season game.
We’ll just have to wait until Sept. 12, when the Lions face the Bears in Chicago, to really find out whether they are actually improved or not.



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