The Detroit Lions enter their most important preseason game of the year tonight against the New England Patriots in what is billed as the dress rehearsal for the regular season.
As a follow up to yesterday’s post exploring five players who have a lot to prove, here is a look at five things every Lions fan should hope to see tonight:
5. Chris Greenwood’s Debut
The Lions knew patience would be required with 2011 fifth-round pick Chris Greenwood when they drafted him out of Albion. That patience has been tested as a result of injuries that have largely kept him off the field since joining the Lions.
Greenwood finally seems healthy after putting together a string of practices of late, but whether or not he makes his professional debut remains to be seen. Odds are he will and he almost has to if he is to have any chance at making the team.
The Lions still have some question marks at corner but Greenwood has to be healthy if he is to help the team. Preseason games aren’t important for ever player, but they are essential for a player like Greenwood.
4. A good night from David Akers
Håvard Rugland is a great story but the Lions will be best served by David Akers winning the kicking competition. Rugland very well may prove to be a good NFL kicker down the road but the Lions aren’t in a position to take a gamble on a youtube sensation who just learned how to put on football pads a few months ago.
Yes, Akers struggled a year ago but it is becoming increasingly clear that those issues can be explained away by a sports hernia and the complications that followed. Akers’ has been steady throughout camp and preseason games so his proven track record is something the Lions can rely on as they replace Jason Hanson.