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Friday, August 28, 2009
Previewing Detroit's third preseason game


Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

Detroit has an early Saturday kickoff against Indianapolis -- 1 p.m. ET -- so I've already got three things on my mind:

  1. Assuming this is a fair fight, Daunte Culpepper has a chance to put some distance between himself and Matthew Stafford in the Lions' quarterback competition. Culpepper has hardly been flashy this preseason, but he's been steadier than Stafford. It's possible the Lions will extend the battle into the final week of the preseason. But you would think Culpepper can take the lead if he puts on a strong performance against the Colts.
  2. The Lions are expected to get some offensive weapons back on the field. Most notably, receiver Calvin Johnson and rookie tight end Brandon Pettigrew will make their preseason debuts. Johnson will help give us a more realistic sense of the quarterback competition, in addition to giving the running game some breathing room. The big thing for Pettigrew is getting through this game healthy.
  3. Assuming Colts quarterback Peyton Manning gets extended playing time, you might want to look away when the Lions are on defense. They had trouble keeping up with and tackling Cleveland last week, and against the Colts they'll be without starting cornerbacks Phillip Buchanon and Anthony Henry. That's not a good combination.