Five Key Matchups to Watch in Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns

Next2 of 6Prev
Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

Lions DE Ziggy Ansah vs. Browns OT Joe Thomas

Easily, this is the most intriguing matchup of the game, just because it will allow the Lions to see how far rookie defensive end Ziggy Ansah has come in his rookie season.

Thomas is perennially one of the elite left tackles in the NFL, and has been either a first- or second-team All-Pro every years since 2008. That’s as tough as tests get for a defensive end.

Ansah has certainly impressed through his first five games as a professional, and he appears to be improving each week (a trend that has held true since the first moment he stepped on a football field). But Thomas has shut down players with more than just pure athleticism before. If Ansah can generate some push here, he will show that he is truly evolving as a player.

Realistically, Ansah is probably not far enough along to hold his own against a player like Thomas. But this game will serve as a great measuring stick for his development. If a player of Ansah’s relative inexperience has some success against one of the NFL’s premier left tackles now, who will be able to stop him in three years?

Next2 of 6Prev
Use your ← → (arrows) to browse
Next Lions Game View full schedule »
Thursday, Aug 2828 Aug7:00at Buffalo BillsBuy Tickets
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Detroit Lions Reggie Bush Riley Reiff Ziggy Ansah

  • Herman Moore

    Nice article, Dean. I think Reiff holds his own against Mingo. I worry more about Raiola, who always gets shoved around by the big guys, and Cleveland has some big guys. I expect good things from Ansah, who surprises me every week. The receivers have to step up this week if the Lions are going to win. Even if Calvin plays, they have to get open.

    • Dean Holden

      True enough, though the secondary receivers will have a lot easier time getting open vs. corners other than Joe Haden. Megatron can handle him, I’m not sure anyone else can.