Calvin Johnson was back after missing last week with a knee injury, but the star receiver for the Lions in Sunday’s win at Cleveland was Joseph Fauria.
Yes, Fauria, the undrafted rookie who only had three passes thrown his way on Sunday, was the big story because he caught all three passes for touchdowns. The first was a 1-yard TD in the first quarter that gave the Lions a 7-0 lead, and Fauria added two more touchdown catches in the fourth quarter as the Lions went from down 17-7 to a 31-17 win.
The victory improves the Lions to 4-2 and allows them to keep pace with the 4-2 Bears and the 3-2 Packers in the competitive NFC North. This was the kind of game the Lions needed to win if they want to be a playoff team.
The Browns are now 3-3, with three wins in the games started by quarterback Brian Hoyer, and three losses in the games started by quarterback Brandon Weeden. Today’s loss was not all Weeden’s fault by any stretch of the imagination, although Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy had an excellent game and intercepted Weeden twice.
Without Hoyer, the Browns aren’t going to be a playoff team, even in the weak AFC North. The Lions’ road to the playoffs won’t be an easy one, but today’s game was a step in the right direction.