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Perfect Preseason Continues with 26-6 Win Over Cleveland

While it wasn’t as important for the Lions starters to play a lot against the Browns, what was important was to keep the momentum and confidence going.  With those goals in mind, consider it mission accomplished, as the Lions pounded the rather flat Browns 26-6 at Ford Field to move to 3-0 in the preseason.  While the team is undfeated through three preseason games, coach Rod Marinelli is not counting is as anything more than three preseason wins.

“Tackling was pretty sharp. We had a couple misfits in our run game, and we have to be on that. And I want to run the ball consistently,” Marinelli said.  The offense was led by QB Jon Kitna, who threw for 98 yards in leading the team on two field goal drives early, and then RB Kevin Smith took over with a highlight reel 35-yard TD run that made it 13-0.

“It was just a play where there was an opportunity for it to be made. The line watched everybody down. I got in there, a guy had his hand on me and I broke his tackle,” Smith said. “When I got to daylight, I saw receivers blocking, the receivers did an excellent job blocking. Dan (Orlovsky) was out there. If it wasn’t for Dan – Dan really took two (Browns defenders). I kind of weaved, set it up, and Dan pushed a guy and I just dove over the top.”

Kicker Dave Rayner, taking the spot of an injured Jason Hanson, booted four field goals in the victory.  The defense held the Browns to just 250 yards, and even though the Browns were without some of their big names offensive players (Derek Anderson, Jamal Lewis, Braylon Edwards), the unit was impressive making life tough on QB Brady Quinn and others.  Quinn was held to just 106 yards passing in going 14-for-24.

The Browns never got in the end zone, a sign of a defense that is showing great promise three games in.  The team also held Cleveland to just 4-of-15 on third down conversions.  The only points for Cleveland were two Phil Dawson field goals in the second quarter that closed the lead to 13-6.  Rayner kicked a 47-yard field goal with :20 left in the first half to push the lead to 16-6.

The team will look for a perfect preseason as they travel to Buffalo to play the Bills on Thursday night the 28th at 6:30pm.


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