The Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns last squared off during the 2009 regular season, meaning it's been four years since the traditional preseason rivals have played in a game that actually counts in the standings. The Browns defeated the Lions during this year's exhibition contest quite handily, but will that outcome play a role now, more than two months later?
Terry Pluto, esteemed scribe from The Cleveland Plain Dealer, doesn't seem to think so. This week, we break down the suddenly surprising Browns with Pluto, getting his thoughts on Cleveland's new quarterbacking situation in the wake of Brian Hoyer's injury while attempting to answer the question of why the Browns have enjoyed such an early season turnaround.
(1) Lions 101: With Brian Hoyer now lost for the season, do you believe Brandon Weeden can finally step up and become the guy at quarterback for Cleveland? How quickly would Rob Chudzinski go with Jason Campbell on Sunday if Weeden should struggle against Detroit?
TP: It's Weeden's team now. They see Campbell strictly as a backup.
(2) Lions 101: Two months ago, the Browns throttled the Lions during the preseason 24-6, stopping Matthew Stafford and slowing Reggie Bush early in the game while lighting up Detroit's defense. Was that performance merely a case of preseason football which should be thrown away, or are there building blocks from that day that could help Cleveland win again this Sunday?
TP: Preseason means nothing.
(3) Lions 101: Cleveland started 0-2, but has ripped off three wins in a row to place themselves in a first place tie atop the AFC North. What, in your opinion, has been the biggest reason for the team's quick resurgence?
TP: Hoyer was part, but just as important has been the defense. It's very hard to run on these guys.
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