Before the NFL Draft, tonight’s Browns vs Lions game wasn’t likely to be on most people’s radar outside the Midwest. Then Johnny Manziel happened. Although not the Browns’ top draft choice, “Johnny Football” slid to the Browns farther down the first round and immediately became their most high-profile rookie. With all eyes on Manziel during Cleveland’s preseason camp, it’s safe to say he’s a big reason football fans are interested in tonight’s game. You can watch Cleveland Browns vs Detroit Lions online preseason game 1 live in various ways.
To be fair, Manziel isn’t the only reason to watch the game, though he does give the game an added must-watch vibe. As with all preseason NFL games, Cleveland and Detroit aren’t going to give their starters the majority of the reps tonight. So, although we’ll see QB Matthew Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson get some play for Detroit, the majority of tonight’s game will be spent checking out the rest of the Lions and Browns.
That’s what makes the Manziel story so intriguing today. Unless he really does get the nod as the Week 1 starter, as some on the Pittsburgh Steelers coaching staff think he will, these preseason games are the best chance fans have to see Manziel taking reps.
Kickoff for tonight’s Browns / Lions game is 7:30 Eastern. By most accounts Browns QB Brian Hoyer is expected to get the start. How long he stays in the game before giving way to Manziel is unknown, though it’s more than likely they’ll alternate quarters or get relatively even playing time. Those minutes will be determined largely by Manziel showing he’s continued to improve his knowledge of Cleveland’s playbook.
Last season the Lions had a decent offense, ranking 13th overall in the NFL. It was their eighth-ranked passing game that really lifted that total, as their ground game only mustered a 21st ranking. A large part of that passing game was Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, who’s scheduled to play in tonight’s Browns game, and Stafford, who’s hoping to flourish under the team’s new coach and offensive coordinator.
Both the Lions’ new head coach and new offensive coordinator have worked with Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, respectively, with both All-Pro QBs giving credit to the Lioins newbies for their development. Under their tutelage, Stafford could be poised for a big year, starting in tonight’s first Lions preseason game.
Because of the new offense, Stafford may see a few more reps than expected for a preseason game. But truth be told, the quarterback play on the other side of the field — Hoyer vs. Manziel — will garner much more attention.
If you’re like to see it all unfold, you can watch tonight’s Browns vs. Lions preseason game online via the NFL’s Preseason Live service. That package grants viewers access to watch any and all out-of-market football games for $19.99. Alternately, if you’re an NFL Network subscriber via your normal satellite or cable TV package, you can watch the game online free via the NFL Online website once you put in your info for that provider.