With training camp right around the corner, preparations are almost underway for the 2015 NFL season. The preseason officially begins Sunday, August 9 with the Hall of Fame Game. Soon after, each of the 32 NFL teams will begin their four-game schedules.
The Detroit Lions made the playoffs for the second time in 15 seasons in 2014, but fell in the Wild Card round to the Dallas Cowboys. There have been few positives since too, as defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley both left in free agency. The Lions had one of the best run defenses in the last several seasons and parlayed that to an 11-5 record in 2014.
Overall the Lions gave up both the second fewest points (17.6) and yards (300.9) last year. Can they sustain that in 2015?
Below is the preseason schedule for the Lions. All times are Eastern.
Detroit Lions 2015 Preseason Schedule
Thursday, August 13 vs. New York Jets (7:30 p.m.)
It will be a busy run-up to the preseason opener as Detroit doesn’t open training camp until August 3. Ten days later, the New York Jets will visit Ford Field. The Jets may be one of the most improved teams in the league in 2015 thanks to additions Darrelle Revis, Buster Skrine, Antonio Cromartie, Brandon Marshall and others. New head coach Todd Bowles makes his debut in this one.
Thursday, August 20 @ Washington Redskins (7:30 p.m.)
The Lions take on the Redskins a week later in Landover, Maryland. The Lions hope to improve the ground game in 2015, which has been mediocre over the past several seasons. In 2014, Detroit ranked 28th in the league at 88.3 yards per game, but there is hope second round draft pick Ameer Abdullah could provide the spark the running game needs.
Friday, August 28 @ Jacksonville Jaguars (8 p.m.)
Week 3 is traditionally when the starters see their most work. If that’s the case for the Lions against Jacksonville, Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson will get to play a little pitch and catch. The teams played in Week 3 last year, with the Lions winning 13-12. Stafford was just 10 of 18 for 98 yards an interception, though.
Thursday, September 3 vs. Buffalo Bills (7:30 p.m.)
One of the biggest position battles in Detroit takes place at backup quarterback. Kellen Moore, Dan Orlovsky and Garett Gilbert all want the No. 2 spot and the opportunity for playing time should Stafford get hurt. He has made 64 straight starts dating back to 2011. The is a battle that will take place throughout the preseason, but will be under the microscope in the finale against Buffalo.