It is sort of hard to write a preview of Detroit's game this week in Cleveland against the Browns. There is one key factor that will have a major impact on this game, and that is the availability of one Calvin Johnson. It looks like Johnson will be a game-time decision, so it may not be until Sunday that we know whether or not Megatron will be out there. The fate of this game is in his hands.
We saw what happened to the Detroit offense last week without Johnson. He is the best wide receiver in the league. The Lions don't have Nate Burleson, and they won't have Tony Scheffler this week either. They really need Johnson. They need him so Matthew Stafford has somebody to throw the ball to. They need him to keep defenses from being to focus all their attention on Reggie Bush. Detroit only scored nine points against the Packers, and their touchdown came late, and I've got some news for you too. The Browns are better on defense than the Packers are.
Even if Johnson does play, he will have Joe Haden on him, but at least Johnson will be out there and be an option. The Lions and Browns are both currently 3-2 and looking for a win to keep themselves atop their respective divisions. It will be a long day for Detroit's offense regardless. Without Megatron, I could see them getting shut out.
The thing is, as good as Cleveland is on defense, their offense is not good. Brian Hoyer gave them a nice boost at quarterback, while should let you know just how dire things were under center, but now Hoyer is done for the year. Brandon Weeden is the quarterback now, and he isn't good. Their top running back is Willis McGahee, whose best days are behind him. Weeden is immobile, so the Lions should be able to get after him. Their concern will be keeping rising tight end Jordan Cameron, and big play receiver Josh Gordon, in check.
I expect a low scoring game here, and it is hard for me to offer a prediction beyond that. If Johnson plays, I think the Lions win. If he doesn't, I think the Browns win. I have no idea if he will play. So you can see why I'm in this delicate conundrum. However, for this exercise, I'll just assume Johnson plays, and the Lions get just enough out of their offense to win. Final Prediction: Lions 20, Browns 17