Lions at Browns, 7:30 ET
Tonight’s preseason game could be the pinnacle of the Lions’ season.
In one game the James Mungro Memorial Award presented by (yup, sponsor still pending) could be granted, and the Lions could even the all-time series in the Great Lakes Classic. Detroit is 5-6 in this annual fake rivalry that stretches all the way back to 2002, when Joey Harrington was rookie quarterback full of hope.
There even used to be a bronze trophy worth $10,000 (seen above) on the line, but apparently it’s been locked in a closet since 2005. That makes it the only fake award on the internet more prestigious than the James Mungro Memorial Award presented by (who knows?).
Here’s what you need to know about the team that is going to even the series and, finally, restore this franchise to glory.
Out: No current JMMA nominees. (Brandon King, Carmen Messina)
In: CB Myron Lewis, CB Conroy Black
Lewis and Black join the list of official candidates, but they’re joining too late to be considered contenders. For one of them to avoid a trip to Cut City on Monday, he’ll need to have three interceptions, return at least one for a touchdown and then celebrate by either mooning the crowd or looking straight into the camera and flicking off the entire world.
In case that does happen, Lewis wears No. 40 and Black wears No. 38. Fumble point afficionado DeQuan Menzie is also 38, and he’s also a cornerback, which means those like five snaps at the end of the fourth quarter are going to be pretty confusing.
The expansion never stops.
WR Cody Wilson
I was nice to Cody Wilson. I let him hang around, even taught him a couple things. And how does he repay me? By beating corners in practice and getting a feature in the Detroit News. That’s low, bro. Real low. Goodbye Cody.
Somehow LaAdrian Waddle avoided this list for the second straight week. He got more pub, but escaped because the article was pretty boring and Waddle basically said, ‘It’s pretty easy’ when asked how hard it was to transition to the NFL.
Just like last week, here are the JMMA candidates to watch and when.
Starters: No JMMA candidates.
They’re likely to play into the second quarter so, unfortunately, you’re first hour or so of viewing will be spent watching this boring millionaires. I would kill time by watching to see if Ziggy Ansah can do something other than realize when a ball was being thrown straight to him (seriously, other than one run play, he got handled in the first game) or if Riley Reiff can improve from a poor performance last week. You also may want to keep at eye out for Stephen Tulloch, and not just when he’s on the field.
Backups: Watch No. 74 Rodney Austin (Tier 2), No. 63 Jimmy Saddler-McQueen (Tier 1), No. 66 LaAdrian Waddle (Tier 2).
These guys should play most of the second and all of the third quarter.
Austin’s move to center makes him more intriguing. Another outburst that makes those watching question his sanity, could put him in the top tier.
That is, if Saddler-McQueen doesn’t just win the award outright. He can pull a snatch and grab despite being No. 2 in the rankings because he has a better chance at making the team right now than our No. 1 contender, Ogemdi Nwagbuo. Saddler-McQueen is the fourth DT on a team that will take either three or four defensive tackles. Nwagbuo is fifth or sixth depending on how good you think Andre Fluellen is.
It’s going to take an effort reminiscent of the Hawks in the first half hour of the Mighty Ducks from Saddler-McQueen to do win the JMMA after just two weeks, but it’s possible.
We already touched on Waddle. That sounds dirty.
Third-/Fourth- stringers: Watch No. 16 Terrance Austin (Tier 1), No. 38 Conroy Black, No. 24 Tyrell Johnson (Tier 2), No. 40 Myron Lewis, No. 49 Jon Morgan (Tier 3), No. 41 Adrian Moten (Tier 3), No. 38 DeQuan Menzie (Tier 3), No. 47 Martavius Neloms (Tier 3), No. 95 Ogemdi Nwagbuo (Tier 1).
Like usual, these guys will finish the game.
Terrance Austin could jump to the top with another game of needless celebrations/reactions, but his name remains a major hurdle. He needs to change his name to Tyrannous Austin. Then he could have a cool nickname like “T-Rex” or “Dinosaur” or “Ty”.
Johnson needs to add a helmet-to-helmet hit to another forearm shiver to remain relevant.
Morgan, well, let’s face it. Morgan’s probably going to Cut City.
Moten is a sleeper. He is so anonymous I forgot what number he was from last week and had to look it up. That’s good work by Moten. We want our JMMA winners to be like ninjas. Make an impact and then make everyone forget you were even there.
We already know Menzie won’t do anything in the game, but another solid fumble point will probably keep him alive another week. Don’t rule out Menzie rolling to the James Mungro Memorial Award presented by (sponsor pending) solely on his name and a string of fumble points.
Neloms needs to show something other than a few special teams tackles and the name Martavius.
If Nwagbuo does what he did last week I’ll cross over the threshold of rational thought. I’ll campaign for him to start. I’ll say mean things about Jim Schwartz’s family after the coach refuses to let Nwagbuo practice with the first string. I’ll rail Martin Mayhew for not giving Nwagbuo the completely illegal in-season franchise tag in order to keep him from going elsewhere. I’ll do all this, but only if Jimmy Saddler-McQueen hasn’t already locked up the award.
I’m starting feel pretty good about the Lions evening the Great Lakes Classic series.