After getting off to a strong start and taking a 10-0 lead today in Detroit, the Browns fell apart with a bad play call at the end of the first half, an injury to quarterback DeShone Kizer and some ugly coverage in their secondary.
Run Defense - The Browns normally stout run defense got gashed by runs of 20, 10 and 21 yards on consecutive plays - with Garrett, Ogbah and Shelton on the sideline - on 1 drive that eventually ended in a Matt Prater 46-yard field goal with 6:00 left in the 1st quarter to cut Cleveland's lead to 10-3.
Question: Is there one word that can describe what it meant for the Lions to win and avoid a crushing upset at the hands of the still-winless Browns?
The 5-4 Detroit Lions will travel to the Windy City in Week 11 to face a divisional rival, the Chicago Bears.
Greg Robinson, who started the first six games of the season at left tackle, was waived-injured on Friday with an ankle injury. It's the fourth defensive score this season for the Lions, seventh fumble recovery this season for the Lions, and first fumble recovery returned for a touchdown for the Lions since October 2015 (36 games).
The Browns, of course, have no hopes of a second-half turnaround that would suddenly vault them to playoff contention.
The Browns came back in the third quarter with touchdowns on back-to-back drives in the third quarter to take a 24-17 lead with 2:23 left in the third. To make the playoffs they'll need to play better than they did today, but they played well enough to beat the Browns. The Week 10 matchup was much closer than most anticipated, with the Browns putting up 10 unanswered points to start the contest.
Kizer was having a good game, he had a touchdown pass while completing 15 of his 24 passes. Kizer was careful with the ball and made a nice throw to Seth DeValve before the Browns' third touchdown.
What I didn't like: The end of the first half was a series of clock-management mishaps that saw the Browns blow a chance to tie the game or cut the deficit with a field goal. McCarron, Kizer looked more comfortable than he has in a long time.
On the next drive, Kizer scored on a 1-yard sneak to make it 24-17. "They could easily be a three- or four-win team right now", running back Ameer Abdullah said. Add the end of the first half and the fact the defense gave up 31 points after starting fast, and it's not tough to see why the Browns lost for the ninth time in nine games.