The Browns remain winless. But at least this time they showed some signs of life.
After getting off to a strong start and taking a 10-0 lead today in Detroit, the Browns fell apart with a terrible play call at the end of the first half, an injury to quarterback DeShone Kizer and some ugly coverage in their secondary. The Lions ended up winning 38-24.
Kizer was having his best game of the season before suffering a rib injury that forced him to the locker room. He was replaced by Cody Kessler and the Browns’ offense fell apart, and although Kizer came back to finish the game, by the time he returned Cleveland had fallen behind by two touchdowns.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, meanwhile, got off to an ugly start but turned it on late, with three second-half touchdown passes to put the game out of reach. Detroit also got some big runs from running backs Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick.
For the 0-9 Browns, the signature play was the last play of the first half, when Kizer tried a quarterback sneak from the 2-yard line with no timeouts left and ended up helplessly trying to get the offense lined up as time expired. That was a dumb play call that will overshadow the fact that Cleveland played better today than it has for most of the season.
For the 5-4 Lions, the win wasn’t pretty, but it did keep them in NFC playoff contention. To make the playoffs they’ll need to play better than they did today, but they played well enough to beat the Browns.