Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  By DAVE DYE  |  Last updated 8/21/13
It's the third exhibition game, which means more playing time for the starters, the closest the preseason comes to simulating the regular season. The Detroit Lions take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots Thursday night at Ford Field. The Lions would like to see the first-team offense come to life and score its first touchdown of the preseason while the defense needs to upgrade its tackling from last week's lazy loss at Cleveland. Here are five storylines to follow: 1. Two years ago, the Lions used this third preseason game as a springboard to a 10-win, playoff season by routing the Patriots, 34-10, at home. "I definitely think it gave us some momentum for sure," left guard Rob Sims said. "They've been a great team over the last decade. Whenever you can play somebody that's going to go deep in the playoffs every single year, yeah, it was a good feeling. "I don't think it dictates how the season is going to go either way, but it definitely does not hurt." Could there a little some deja vu Thursday night? 2. The competitions for starting jobs at right guard and right tackle apparently remain unresolved. Even Sims, the team's top offensive lineman, insists he's not sure how they're going to play out. "We think about it the same way you guys do," Sims said of the uncertainty. "We see a couple guys at both of those positions that are really fighting for that starting job. It's been a great competition to watch." The rotations continue on a daily basis. Dylan Gandy started the first game at right guard, Jake Scott the second. But rookie Larry Warford is also in the mix. Over at right tackle, Corey Hilliard started the opener, Jason Fox last week. This is the game where the coaches should tip their hand a little bit more on what they plan to do for the regular-season opener in a couple weeks. 3. Will he or won't he play? The Lions aren't expected to make an announcement on whether safety Louis Delmas is going to make an appearance until game day. Delmas continues to rehab a chronically injured left knee. The objective from the start of training camp was to get him healthy for the regular season, which is why he has practiced so infrequently. But Delmas has tried to talk his way into the lineup for this one. "That's my goal," he said. " I think I need it. I don't think there's one athlete that can just sit back and not play any games and go out there and have a successful game. I did it last year (against Philadelphia after being out a couple months). I'm not going to say that was luck." It's very unlikely Delmas will play in the final exhibition so this is his one shot to get some live action before the September 8 opener against Minnesota. 4. Despite a new group of receivers and tight ends, Brady already appears to be in midseason form. He's completed 18-of-20 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns, no interceptions. His quarterback rating is off the charts at 135.8. He finished last season at 98.7. "That dude there is like God on the field," Delmas said. It will be a good test for a defense that has to start wrapping up on tackles if it's going to be improved at all from last year. "This one will definitely show how we are as a defense and how we accept pressure," Delmas said. 5. Cornerback Chris Greenwood, a fifth-round draft pick last year out of Albion College, could make his Lions' debut. He missed all of last season following abdominal surgery and missed much of this camp because of a hamstring injury. Three other newcomers - defensive back Rashean Mathis, defensive tackle Justin Bannan and linebacker Rocky McIntosh - should also get playing time after being added to the roster in recent days. Mathis, who already has taken some first-team reps at the nickel (fifth DB), was released by Jacksonville after nine years with the Jaguars. He called coming to the Lions "a breath of fresh air" for him. PREDICTION: Lions 30, Patriots 20.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Thunder interested in trading for Carmelo Anthony

Mayweather says he will stand ‘toe to toe’ with McGregor

Raiders to limit Marshawn Lynch's workload in 2017?

Kobe Bryant responds to if he is influencing Kyrie Irving

Andy Reid chastises Tamba Hali for social media outburst

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Every 2009-2016 NBA MVP will now play for Warriors or Cavaliers

Mike Tyson weighs in on Conor McGregor’s chances of beating Floyd Mayweather

Report: Robert Griffin III scheduled to work out with Chargers

Report: Derrick Rose will sign with Cavs

Notes on the prospects from 2017 NBA Summer League

Mississippi State fan uncovered infamous Freeze phone call

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker