2021 season preview: Lions at Browns

Opponent: Cleveland Browns

Location: FirstEnergy Stadium

Week/Date: Week 11, Sunday Nov. 21 at 1:00 p.m.

TV/radio: FOX/97.1 FM

Previous matchup: Nov. 12, 2017: The Lions defeated the Browns 38-24 at Ford Field.

Why this game matters: There's a lot riding on every game now, and not all of it is in the standings.

The Browns should be living up to projections that they are contenders to win the AFC North after making the playoffs last year and beating the Steelers in the wild card round. They have to take a step up, and so does QB Baker Mayfield. He has to show he can lead a team to a championship.

The Lions should be establishing an identity to show progress that they have the foundation to contend. And the heat is always on the quarterback. In Jared Goff's case, that means showing he can lead the team through this building process -- and be the leader when the Lions contend for playoff berths and division titles. – Mike O'Hara

Crucial matchup: Browns defensive ends Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney vs Lions tackles Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell.

Garrett and Clowney have the potential to be one of the better edge-rushing tandems in the league, and the same goes for Decker and Sewell on the other side of the ball. This is a strength on strength matchup, and the winners will go a long way in determining which team wins this contest. – Tim Twentyman

Rookie watch: The spotlight is on linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, the Browns' second-round pick out of Notre Dame.

Owusu-Koramoah was a sideline-to-sideline playmaker for the Irish. He had 24.5 tackles for loss in his last two seasons, with seven sacks, five forced fumbles and four fumbles recovered.

His only drawback is size: 6-1, 215. It will be interesting to see how the Browns use him. It's likely he'll be a hybrid linebacker/safety, and he'll probably gain weight. Wherever he lines up, he'll get attention. – Mike O'Hara

WEEK 11 · Sun 11/21 · 1:00 PM EST



Cleveland Browns

FirstEnergy Stadium