Most people will have their eyes on the Lions' offense and parts of the defense, and for good reason.
No matter how long the No. 1 offense plays – and it probably will be the first half, based on what's happened in previous years – it has to have more firepower and function more efficiently than in the previous two games.
Johnson ran routes an hour before the pregame warm-ups to test the bruised knee that kept him from playing in last week's loss at Cleveland. Johnson must have felt some soreness, because he was ruled out about 90 minutes before kickoff.
It's not an overstatement to say that having Johnson would have been good for the offense. Whether it's a preseason game, a regular season game or even a series or two in the regular season, someone has to pick up the slack in Johnson's absence.
Game 3 is the final dress rehearsal for the regular season. It's time for someone other than Johnson to play a significant role.
Up front: A case can be made that the two most critical starting jobs that are still open are on the right side of the offensive line.
If that position is settled against the Patriots, the Lions will have two full weeks to get the line grooved for the regular season opener against the Vikings.
Safety first: Delmas was acting and talking leading up to the game like he was going to play. If his knees are healthy enough – and that seemed possible – it would be good for Delmas and the secondary for him to get some playing time at free safety.
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No secondary is going to win consistently against Brady. He's just too good. But playing sound football and avoiding mental breakdowns represents a good base for the start of the regular season.
Quarterbacks' message: Brady and Stafford both talked about how they wanted to play in interviews with the media earlier in the week.
Brady stressed the importance of practice.
"It's all helpful," he said. "You can never have enough practice. I approach practice very seriously.
"There's a lot of emphasis always put on the third preseason game. Everybody's going to play longer. You feel like you're in a bit of a game-plan week. You want to go out, and you want to do well, even though it's not going to overall count in your standings.
"They're all important in preparation for the season. As much time as I can get, I'll take."
The worst part of playing in the third game is coming out, Stafford said.
"I like playing," he said. "I like getting out there. Probably the worst part is starting up, getting it going and getting something going and having to come out. That's no fun."