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Week 10 Game Recap: Cleveland Browns 24, Detroit Lions 38
What you need to know
The Browns, and rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer
, showed improvement coming off the bye week but the end result was still the same as the defense couldn't slow Matthew Stafford
and the Lions in the fourth quarter. Kizer left the game at the end of the third quarter with a rib injury and didn't return until the team's final offensive drive of the game. Cody Kessler
filled in for Kizer and did not look good under center. If nothing else, Kessler's performance showed that Kizer is the one who should be starting for this team. Kizer played one of his best games of the season but he wasn't without blame, either. With the Browns on Detroit's two-yard line, 15 seconds on the clock, and no timeouts remaining before the end of the first half, Kizer audibled to a quarterback sneak. He didn't get in and time ended up expiring before the Browns could stop the clock. In addition to Kizer's rib injury, the Browns also lost linebacker Jaime Collins to an MCL injury on an interception return.
The Detroit Lions rebounded after a slow start for 31 offensive points and a defensive touchdown. The offense was led by Matthew Stafford
's fine second half play. Stafford benefitted from the return of Kenny Golladay
who added a vertical element to Detroit's offense. Detroit played well in the red zone after recent struggles, converting both opportunities touchdowns with a touchdown run by Ameer Abdullah
and a reception by Theo Riddick
. Golden Tate
led Detroit's passing attack, as Marvin Jones
had a lackluster performance after strong play in recent weeks.
|QB DeShone Kizer, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 37 - 232 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 7 - 57 - 1|
Kizer played one of his better games of the season against Detroit. He came out of the bye week making quicker decisions and getting the ball out quicker. He also did an excellent job running the ball as his ability to scramble helped keep the Detroit front seven at bay. His first pass of the game was a deep strike to Sammie Coates
down the left sideline for a 38-yard gain. Kizer then connected with Kenny Britt
for an 18-yard touchdown pass on the second drive of the first quarter, Kizer's first touchdown pass since Week 3. He left several other scoring chances on the field, however, as he missed tight end David Njoku
on at least two fade routes in the end zone during the course of the game. Kizer also committed a rookie mistake at the end of the first half. With the Browns on Detroit's two-yard line, 15 seconds on the clock, and no timeouts left, Kizer audibled to a quarterback keeper. He didn't score and time expired before the Browns could get off another play. Kizer bounced back to lead the Browns on two scoring drives in the third quarter, including one where he punched in a one-yard touchdown on the ground. He took a big hit at the end of the third quarter and was replaced by Cody Kessler
for most of the fourth quarter. He did return for his offense's final drive and led the team down the field before throwing an interception in the end zone. He had Ricardo Louis
for a touchdown had he thrown a back shoulder pass but his accuracy failed him, resulting in the pick. Kessler's inability to do anything while Kizer was sidelined should further cement Kizer as the team's starter for the remainder of the season, health permitting.
|QB Cody Kessler, 7 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 3 - 5 - 0 TD / 0 INT|
Kessler took over for DeShone Kizer
at the end of the third quarter and led the team for just over two offensive possessions. The Browns went three-and-out in both of his drives with Kessler taking three sacks and completing just one of three passes. If nothing else, the marked difference between Kessler and Kizer's play on Sunday showed that it is Kizer who should be starting for the team.
|RB Isaiah Crowell, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 90 - 1, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (2 targets)|
Crowell turned in his best statistical performance of the season on Sunday against the Lions. His 90 rushing yards served as a season-high while he managed to find the end zone for the second consecutive game. Crowell remains the Browns' preferred option on running plays in the red zone as he saw four red zone carries against Detroit. He was stuffed on his first two chances, coming in the first and third quarters, before he managed to punch in a four-yard score in the third quarter. On the scoring play, Crowell bounced the handoff outside to the left to beat the defenders to the goal line. Later in the third quarter he saw a carry from Detroit's one-yard line but was stuffed. The Browns have been slower to abandon the run over the past two games, which has led to Crowell's best two performances of the season.
|RB Duke Johnson, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 54 - 0, Rec: 6 - 34 - 0 (6 targets)|
Johnson set season highs in carries (10) and total touches (16) against the Lions on Sunday. When he got the ball, he was his typical slippery self as he managed to elude tackles throughout the afternoon. Johnson continues to serve as one of the better pass-catching running backs in the league. It was only one week but if the coaching staff starts to commit to getting him the ball like they did against Detroit, he could emerge as a major offensive factor down the stretch.
|WR Kenny Britt, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 38 - 1 (3 targets)|
Britt was demoted to second string receiver before the game but he didn't show any ill effects as he posted one of his best games as a Brown. Britt scored his second touchdown of the season on the Browns' second drive of the game. He caught a short pass and then broke a Nevin Lawson tackle for a 19-yard score. Britt could have had a bigger game but he saw a 29-yard reception nullified by an offensive holding penalty. On the final drive of the game, Britt drew an end zone target from DeShone Kizer
, but the ball was thrown much too high for him to have a chance at the catch. Much maligned this season for not appearing to be fully invested at times, Britt even showed some fire in the second half when he fired his helmet to the ground after Cody Kessler
missed him on a pass.
|TE Seth DeValve, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 70 - 0 (6 targets)|
DeValve had a productive game as he led the Browns in receiving and tied for the team lead with six targets. He did, however, commit an extremely costly fumble in the second quarter which resulted in a defensive touchdown for the Lions. On the play, DeValve caught a nine-yard pass and was fighting for the first down when he was stood up and stripped by the defender. In the third quarter he came very close to scoring a touchdown as he was brought down at the one-yard line after a 35-yard catch.
|TE David Njoku, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (6 targets)|
Njoku only managed one catch on Sunday but he was heavily targeted when the team was in scoring position. He drew an end zone target on a fade route in the first quarter but the ball was thrown too high. Later in the first quarter he committed a drop on a perfect pass down the seam. On the last drive of the second quarter, he had another drop but was bailed out by a pass interference penalty on the defense. On that same drive he saw another end zone target, this time failing to get his feet down in bounds.
|QB Matthew Stafford, 52 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 26 - 249 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 17 - 0|
rebounded for a solid game after a poor start. On the second series, Stafford threw a bad interception when he threw the ball across the middle into traffic off his back foot with pressure in his face. The throw had little chance of success even if Jamie Collins was not standing in the line of the pass, and the throw was easily intercepted. The ball was amongst the worse throws Stafford has made this season. The interception set up a Cleveland touchdown which created a 10-0 Cleveland lead. Detroit leaned on the run game and a defensive touchdown to take a 17-10 lead while Stafford struggled to find his groove. Detroit went up tempo in the second half, which allowed Stafford to find a rhythm and throw three touchdown passes. The first was a red zone throw to Theo Riddick
for an 8-yard touchdown. The second was a well thrown ball to Eric Ebron
on a double move down the sideline, and the third was a screen pass to Golden Tate
. Stafford threw the ball well in the game, including a pass he dropped into Golladay over a Cleveland cornerback that set up a 50-yard gain. Detroit found success relying on Stafford in the red zone after struggling in recent weeks, including his touchdown pass to Riddick. Stafford continued to show solid mobility with two runs for third down conversions, and shows no ill effects of his earlier season ankle injury.
|RB Ameer Abdullah, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 52 - 1, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (2 targets)|
After fumbling twice last week, Ameer Abdullah
saw no limitation of his role against Cleveland. Abdullah was involved in the running game early, where he saw improved blocking on the left side of the line of with the return of LT Taylor Decker from the PUP list. Abdullah capitalized on a solid hole created by Decker and TE Michael Roberts
for a 20-yard carry and another 19-yard carry to the left side of the line. Abdullah accelerated well through the hole on both plays, but was unable to make anyone miss in the second level. Abdullah also saw red zone work, and was able to capitalize on his lone carry inside the 10-yard line for a seven-yard touchdown up the middle. Abdullah was limited to two targets and only one catch for three yards as Theo Riddick
continues to be the primary receiving back.
|RB Theo Riddick, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 35 - 0, Rec: 3 - 12 - 1 (3 targets)|
was involved early in both the run and the pass game. Riddick had two carries over ten yards, and showed ability to salvage a gain when there is no room to run by cutting back across the formation. Riddick continued to be the secondary back despite Ameer Abdullah
's two fumbles last week, but saw a season high 35-yards rushing. Riddick continued as the lead receiving option out of the backfield, catching all three of his targets for 12 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown pass was an angle route out of the backfield, where Riddick broke open to the middle of the field, for the catch. Detroit's goal line offense has been stagnant in recent weeks, and the use of Riddick is an expansion of his offensive role.
|WR Golden Tate, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 97 - 1 (7 targets)|
led Detroit in receiving for the third consecutive week. Tate's work in the early part of the season was nearly exclusively in the screen and short area, but Tate for the second consecutive week, had a catch on an intermediate in breaking route that he turned into a run after the catch opportunity. This week's catch was a 35-yard completion on a dig route where he made multiple defenders miss after the catch. Tate's touchdown occurred on a fortunate play call. Detroit called a screen to Tate where Cleveland was bringing a near all-out blitz. Stafford executed the throw to Tate quickly and precisely and Tate was able to set up blocking for a 40-yard touchdown.
played for the first time since September, and resumed his role as a deep target in the office. Golladay was only targeted three times, but two were high value. One was a deep target in the end zone that Matthew Stafford
threw into coverage and too far off the sideline for Golladay to catch. The second was a deep throw down the sideline that Stafford dunked over the cornerback, which Golladay caught and ran for a career long 50-yard catch. Golladay is a deep target where Marvin Jones
and T.J. Jones
have found success with Stafford in recent weeks, and fit right into that role in his first game back.
|WR Marvin Jones, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 22 - 0 (2 targets)|
's lone catch was a comeback route, which he executed well then broke a tackle to create a 22-yard gain. After being a primary weapon for Detroit the past two weeks, Jones was quiet against Cleveland, with only two targets on the game. Kenny Golladay
shares a similar target profile as Jones, so his return is a potential threat to monitor Jones's workload.
|TE Eric Ebron, 34 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 39 - 1 (3 targets)|
scored his first touchdown since week two, on a stop and go double move while split to the perimeter of the field. Ebron created separation on the move, and caught a well thrown pass from Matthew Stafford
. Ebron's only other reception was an early check down pass. Ebron is an ancillary piece to the offense, particularly with the return of WR Kenny Golladay
, but again outproduced back up Darren Fells
in the game.