Matthew Stafford looked Joe Fauria’s way only three times in Cleveland. Those looks were good for 21 points.
It took them a while to get going, but the Detroit Lions erased a 17-7 halftime deficit to completely dominate the Browns in the second half, despite playing with a very limited Calvin Johnson.
The Detroit Lions took shifts looking unstoppable and inept against a strong Cleveland defense. They marched down the field for a touchdown in their first drive of the game, then did effectively nothing for the rest of the half. In the second half, they outscored the Browns 24-0.
For once, the Lions thrived after making halftime adjustments.
The Lions were able to get the offense going primarily because of contributions from Kris Durham (8 rec, 83 yards) and Fauria. Calvin Johnson played, but was clearly not 100 percent, and seemed to play primarily as a decoy.
Brandon Weeden played better than many expected, but he looks like a classic case of trying to do too much. The Browns did a good job of giving Weeden time in the pocket early in the game, and when they did, Weeden looked like a smart, accurate passer. When the Lions did get pressure, though, Weeden’s accuracy suffered and his decision making went beyond questionable.
This wasn’t a perfectly-played game for the Lions, but the Browns are a quality football team in most areas, and the Lions closed the game out like they have few games in the last several years. They even held the Browns out of the end zone in garbage time.
Mikel Leshoure saw his first carries of the season in this game, mostly due to Joique Bell leaving the game with bruised ribs. We’ll keep you updated on Bell’s status as it develops throughout the week.
The Lions move to 4-2 to take on the 4-2 Bengals at home next week, while the Browns drop to 3-3 to play the 3-2 Packers.