The Detroit Lions faced the Cleveland Browns in their preseason finale which also doubled as a renewal of their “Great Lakes Classic” preseason rivalry.
The Browns received the ball first and Mayfield connected with tight end Devon Cajuste for a couple of strong gains through the air and rookie running back Nick Chubb carried five times for 30 yards. Chubb would go on to score a three yard touchdown on a fourth down conversion for Cleveland from Detroit’s three yard line.
On their first offensive possession, Detroit only managed a three and out and when their defensive counterparts took the field for the second time, they continued to give up significant yardage to their opponent as has been the case for the past four weeks. The Browns marched right down the field into the red zone and tacked on a field goal to stretch their lead to 10-0.
The Lions were again forced into a punt by the Browns’ defense after a paltry five plays on their second series. Ameer Abdullah came into the final preseason game squarely on the roster bubble and was most likely looking to at least put some good tape out there for himself but Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington both got the running back touches for the Lions.
It was thought that Abdullah would have received some significant carries but that wasn’t the case tonight as it was Dwayne Washington who showed what he was capable of bringing to a team.
Detroit’s defense looked to put up more of a fight during Cleveland’s third offensive series but they were gashed on the ground for a 42 yard touchdown run by Matthew Dayes to power the Browns’ lead to 17-0.
Matt Cassel replaced Rudock at quarterback just prior to the two minute warning and after completing some good passes to Dontez Ford and Jace Billingsley and driving the offense down the field a little bit, he was intercepted by defensive end Nate Orchard who returned it 64 yards for a pick-six. As a result, the Lions trailed 25-0 going into halftime.
Coming out of intermission, Detroit caught a break after Cleveland muffed on fielding the Lion punt and Detroit recovered the ball nearly in the red zone. Even with amazing field position, the Lions couldn’t capitalize with a touchdown as they settled for a 46 yard Ryan Santoso field goal to make the score 25-3.
After four consecutive punts between the teams in the third quarter, the Browns were able to add another field goal to their tally.
Returning to action midway through the third quarter, Jake Rudock was still in the game to begin the fourth. With the aid of a roughing the passer penalty, Detroit was able to piece together their longest drive of the game (until their next series) with Rudock even making a critical play with his legs in order to gain a first down. Dwayne Washington was rewarded for his strong play with a couple of red zone opportunities and he punched it into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown which brought the score to 28-10.
With both teams’ starters long gone, Cleveland was able to strike for their fourth touchdown of the game.
Deeper into the fourth quarter, Detroit’s Teo Redding came up with a phenomenal 38 yard catch in order to move the Lions into the red zone and Chris Lacy was able to snag a four-yard touchdown which made the score 35-17. Lacy’s reception would serve as the final score of the game which ended in a loss for the home team.
The Detroit Lions inspired little confidence in their final preseason game before their regular season opener on Monday Night Football. There is plenty of work ahead for this team as the preseason comes to a close with a 1-3 record.