Lions drop Great Lakes Classic to Cleveland 19-17


After leading the entire game the Lions fell to the Cleveland Browns 19-17 in the 2012 preseason opener on a Jeff Wolfert 45-yard field goal with about 28 seconds left in the fourth.

Despite the loss though there was still plenty to take away from the game as fans got their first look at the 2012 Detroit squad.

First, third round draft pick Bill Bentley showed some indication that he could at some point become a serviceable piece to the Lions secondary. After Browns receiver Travis Benjamin beat Bentley down the sidelines for a 34-yard reception, the first year corner made some adjustments and immediately became effective there after.

Bentley nearly intercepted a Brandon Weeden pass attempt to receiver Josh Gordon on the ensuing possession. However Bentley capitalized on a second chance intercepting a Weeden pass to Greg Little setting Lions RB Keiland Williams for a five yard rushing touchdown. This gave the Lions an early 7-0 lead.

“He (Bentley) should have had two (interceptions),” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “You know, we haven’t played real well. It’s been a little sloppy in a couple situations that they ran the ball that they shouldn’t have been able to run the ball.

“You know, it looks like a preseason game. We have a lot of work to do.”

Defensive end Willie Young also made the most out of his time on the field recovering a fumble after forcing it when he slapped the football out of Brandon Weeden’s hands in the first.

The Lions’ running game was also effective tonight with 198 total yards on 33 attempts. Joique Bell was the teams leading rusher with 89 yards while Keiland Williams finished with 71 total yards.

Kevin Smith who started the game for the injured Mikel Leshoure and Jahvid Best had five carries for 28 yards.

The Lions first team offense did not advance past the 50-yard on two possessions while QB Matthew Stafford was tagged with an interception after a miscommunication with TE Brandon Pettigrew. Calvin Johnson had two receptions for 36 yards.


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