Lions vs Browns Review: Detroit Avoids Disaster Against Cleveland

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Lions vs Browns: Detroit Looked To Give The Browns Another Loss and Keep Them On The Path To 0-16.

It was closer than many people were thinking. Fans thought the Detroit Lions would dominate the winless Cleveland Browns, but when looking at it more in depth, it was going to be a close game to begin with. The Browns defense was known for stopping the run, something the Lions struggle with. While their offense isn’t impressive, it would still be a good matchup for the Lions as they struggle against opposing tight ends and receiving running backs. Detroit was able to avoid being the first team to lose to the Browns this season with a 38-24 win.  See how it all went down in today’s Lions vs Browns matchup below.

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Lions vs Browns: Offense

Matthew Stafford started off less sharp than he should have been. He made some bad throws and didn’t look like himself. Luckily he was able to rebound and look like his old self. He finished going 17/26 for 249 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception, along with four carries for 17 yards.

The running game was surprisingly effective against a team known for stopping the run. Ameer Abdullah led the charge with 11 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown. Theo Riddick had success as well running the ball, getting four carries for 35 yards. The team wasn’t able to have a 100-yard running back again, but a team total of 104 yards against a team that averages less than that per game is a good thing.

Golden Tate was the standout receiver of the game for Detroit as he led the team in catches and yards with six for 97 yards and a touchdown. Theo Riddick had three catches for 12 yards and a touchdown. Kenny Golladay did well in his return, getting two catches for 64 yards. Eric Ebron had two catches for 39 yards and a touchdown, while Marvin Jones was held to just one catch for 22 yards.

The offensive line got a boost in the return of Taylor Decker. While he was back, T.J. Lang was out and another returning offensive lineman, Corey Robinson, took his job at right guard. Decker was on a snap count as Brian Mihalik rotated in and out with Decker. The line struggled with protecting Stafford, letting him get sacked four times, but they were able to create holes for the running backs, something that is rare for the Lions.

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Lions vs Browns: Defense

The defensive line had issues with creating pressure as they were only able to create one sack, by Anthony Zettel, who also had six tackles, two for loss. They also allowed 201 rushing yards as the quarterback, DeShone Kizer, was able to run freely as the team didn’t invest in a QB spy. He rarely faced pressure and it gave him chances to do stuff on offense.

Linebackers did their job well in containing Duke Johnson, holding him to 88 total yards. Tahir Whitehead led the team in tackles with eight, one for a loss, along with a pass deflection. Jarrad Davis had four tackles and a pass deflection. Paul Worrilow had five tackles.

Defending the pass was a struggle for the Lions as the rookie was able to make some impressive throws against this secondary. Darius Slay got involved heavily, getting five tackles, three pass deflections, and an interception. Nevin Lawson was struggling in coverage, but he stepped up big in the second quarter, forcing a fumble, recovering it and returning it for a touchdown, also finishing with three tackles. Tavon Wilson was another active defensive back with seven tackles and one sack.

Special teams had help from everyone this week as Sam Martin was able to punt, racking up four for 176 yards, putting one inside the 20-yard line. Matt Prater made his only field goal from 46 yards out, and Jamal Agnew had four punt returns for 56 yards.

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Week 10: What It Means

The NFC North division is in the same position as it was last week. The Packers beat the Bears, and with the Lions and Vikings both winning, the Lions are still behind by two games to the Vikings. The Thanksgiving showdown could turn into a first-place battle for the division.

Ziggy Ansah missing the game was bigger than many expected for the Lions defense. While Ansah hasn’t had that big an impact this season, he was able to create pressure on opposing quarterbacks and running backs. He could run stride for stride with defensive backs and catch up to running backs down the field. Him being out was big news for the Browns and it showed.

Week 10: What To Think About

Taylor Decker on a limited snap count is something to note. While it was good to see him back, was it worth the risk? If your starting left tackle is still dealing with a nagging injury, why bring him back earlier than needed and risk the chance of making the injury worse? Brian Mihalik was doing fine at left tackle, and with Corey Robinson returning it didn’t seem like it was needed, but it was good to see Decker back on the field.

The defensive line without Ansah is a problem that needs to be addressed next off-season. If the Lions don’t bring back Ansah, they must draft a high prospect or bring in a veteran free agent to fill the void. This team needs a star to create a lot of pressure, and while A’Shawn Robinson is good a stopping the run and Zettel is a good number two defensive end, they don’t have that true stud pass rusher.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BKnappBlogs, find me on Reddit at /u/sportsguy4life and leave me your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.