Browns 2017 opponent breakdown: Lions, Week 10


One by one, is breaking down each of the Browns' 2017 regular season opponents as training camp fast approaches.*

Who: Detroit Lions

When: Nov. 12

Where:Ford Field, Detroit

Series history:4-15 (Most recent: Lions 31, Browns 17 in 2013)

Way-too-early storyline(s):Following a 9-7 season filled with highs, lows and their third postseason appearance since 1999, the Lions are poised for another playoff run behind quarterback Matthew Stafford and the league's 11th-best passing offense. Despite the loss of all-world wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Detroit went on an impressive (and sometimes heart-stopping) midseason 8-1 run before losing its final four games. The Browns haven't won in Detroit since 1983.

Key players to watch:QB Matt Stafford, RB Ameer Abdullah, RB Theo Riddick, WR Golden Tate, WR Marvin Jones. TE Eric Ebron, OL Taylor Decker, CB Darius Slay

What happened this offseason?

 Left tackle and 2016 first-round pick Taylor Decker will miss 4-6 months following a June surgery to repair a torn labrum. Decker, a former Ohio State star, was poised to build upon an impressive rookie season that saw him start all 17 of Detroit's games. The Lions are optimistic Decker will return at some point.

— The Lions added significant pieces to their roster in former Packers guard T.J. Lang and tackle Rick Wagner but lost veteran receiver Anquan Boldin and linebacker DeAndre Levy, who was widely considered one of the league's top linebackers before knee injuries derailed his past two seasons. Levy totaled 151 tackles in 16 games in 2014.

— Rookie linebacker Jarrad Davis should help fill that void left by Levy. The Lions took the former Florida standout with the 21st overall pick after he finished with 98 tackles, 11 TFLs, 3.5 sacks and four pass breakups as a junior. Detroit also claimed another former Gator in cornerback Teez Tabor, who was once considered to be a first-round talent before a poor Combine showing. Tabor should compete for a starting job after an impressive minicamp.

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