Only the Detroit Lions can make a barn burner of a game with the Cleveland Browns. In a thrilling back-and-forth contest, the Lions prevailed in a crucial 38-24 win at home. The offense came out sluggish and was granted a second chance by Detroit’s turnover-forcing defense. The Lions certainly did not look perfect and have a lot to work on after a struggle with a team that has not won a game this season.
Here are the grades for each part of the team.
Ah, yes. Another week in Detroit Lions football and another one-half showing from the offense. In a game that started out with a Matthew Stafford interception, the cats ultimately compiled 345 total yards and four touchdowns on Sunday. Stafford went 17-26 for 249 yards, three touchdowns, and a pick. It was honestly an underwhelming day for the quarterback for the most part, as the offense really didn’t do a whole lot until the third quarter.
Cleveland came into the game with the fourth-best rushing defense in the league, and Ameer Abdullah and company felt the pain as the Lions only rushed for total 104 yards. Abdullah had a couple of strong first down runs but was not able to get anything in the second half, although he did have a nice eight-yard score in the second quarter. Theo Riddick was able to get a few nice runs as well but did his damage in the air catching three passes, one which went for a score.
They ended up with 38 points, but the score is misleading. The Lions offense scraped out only 10 points against the Browns in the first half, as cornerback Nevin Lawson got a scoop and score in the first half. The Browns have an above average defense, but the Lions should have been in the driver’s seat the entire game. It is another unconvincing show, proving that consistency is still their worst enemy. This is one that you feel like you should be happy about but it was easier to see more negatives than positives this game.
Rookie Kenny Golladay returned from a five-game absence and had two decent catches for 64 yards, including a beautiful fade route that shifted the momentum Detroit’s way. In irrelevant news, Eric Ebron actually scored a touchdown this week, but only managed to catch two passes for 39 yards.
The offense scored a lot and was able to come back with punches when it mattered. They earn a B.
Ah, yes. The classic Lions defense that will allow over 200 rushing yards but get enough turnovers to stay in the game was on full display this week. The bend-not-break method worked for the Lions, but barely. The defense got sliced up by Isiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr., who each rushed for over 50 yards. Quarterback DeShone Kizer added another 57 yards on the ground in what was his best game of the season. Kizer let it fly for 232 yards two total touchdowns and a pick that ultimately closed the game for the Lions.
Darius Slay remains to be a beat at the starting corner spot, sealing the game with the interception in the back of the end zone late in the game.
The big note was Detroit’s absent run defense. This was the first game this year that they won when allowing over 100 yards rushing. As a whole, the defense has posted some good games, but offensive onslaughts like this don’t tend to bode well. That front seven needs to put in some major work, especially with a game against the run-heavy Chicago Bears next week.
They earn a C-.
Special Teams A+
Ah, yes. Another perfect game from Matt Prater.
Prater was able to get the Lions on the board with a 46-yard blast in the first quarter and then proceeded to nail all five of his PAT’s.
Return specialist Jamal Agnew, who leads the league in punt return yards, received four punts and averaged 17 yards per return while Matt Dayes ran the Lions’ only kickoff out for 22 yards.
Sam Martin had his fair share of work cut out, logging seven punts with an average of 44 yards per attempt.
All in all, a ho-hum day for special teams as it was the offense that ended up bringing the cats back in it. The best part about them is their consistency. Sam Martin seems to be in pro-bowl form after returning from his injury while Matt Prater hasn’t lost a bit of luster in his shine during his tenth season. They earn an A+.
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