Lions vs. Browns: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Cleveland

Andy McNamaraCorrespondent IIOctober 13, 2013

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 15: Quarterback Brandon Weeden #3 of the Cleveland Browns during the first half against the Detroit Lions of a preseason at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 15, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

In-game: The Cleveland Browns welcome the Detroit Lions to FirstEnergy Stadium.

Both clubs sit with 3-2 records and the Browns are going for their fourth consecutive victory.

Detroit leads the series 17-5, including playoff meetings. Catch the action at 1 p.m. ET on your local Fox affiliate.



Lions: 31

Browns: 17


Final Game Analysis for the Cleveland Browns 

Pass Offense: Typical slow second half start for the Browns and they had a total of six offensive yards in the third quarter. Rough day for tight end Jordan Cameron as he was called on two penalties and five non-impact catches.

Absolutely horrendous underhand throw away by Brandon Weeden in the fourth quarter that was intercepted and allowed Detroit to score a touchdown that put the matchup out of reach. The offense as a whole went to sleep coming out of the locker room for the second half and had no answer for anything on Detroit’s defense.

Receiver Josh Gordon was in full beast mode the entire afternoon. An elite talent that contributed seven receptions for 126 yards.

Run Offense: For some inexplicable reason there was next to running attack in the second half following a 115 combined rushing yards during the first two quarters.

Pass Defense: Detroit’s rookie tight end Joseph Fauria was a definite force as he scored three touchdowns and exploited the size mismatch against Cleveland’s smaller defensive backs.

Quarterback Matt Stafford was able to march at will as the Browns’ defense got worn down from being on the field so often. Calvin Johnson was on for much of the half, but primarily as a decoy that the secondary obviously had to respect.

Safety Tashaun Gipson had an interception in the endzone and brought it out for a nice return that resulted in zero points. Quietly, Buster Skrine was the MVP of the secondary today. He was buzzing everywhere breaking up passes and wrapping up receivers.

Run Defense: Reggie Bush came out of the gate hot in the third quarter as he busted loose for over 30-yards after only rushing for 18-yards in the opening half.

Barkevious Mingo showed development in his run protection from the Buffalo game as he improved on containment and downed Bush for a loss in the backfield. Tons of credit to T.J. Ward for stuffing the run all day long, applying tremendous pressure.

Bottom line is that the Lions rushed for 92 yards in the second half and that really opened up the passing attack.

Special Teams: Nothing notable on the kick or punt returns for Cleveland. An overall solid job by the Browns’ cover units except for Johnson Bademosi getting an unsportsmanlike penalty on a fourth quarter punt that put Detroit on the 41.

Coaching: Norv Turner went back to the end-around in the third quarter, this time handing it to Josh Gordon. The call was ineffective this time as Gordon had to battle just to get back to scrimmage. Disappointing that the Browns got away from the running game after the success they had going to it in the first half.





First-Half Analysis

Pass Offense: Brandon Weeden started slow, but gradually opened things up on the medium to long throws. A part of that was the running game being effective and Weeden taking early shots downfield. A good drive in the middle of the second quarter was stopped by a DeAndre Levy interception caused in large part the consistent pressure applied by Ndamukong Suh.

The Josh Gordon and Weeden combination clicked all half and Gordon was forced to make a couple of tough catches to keep drives alive. Gordon is playing at an elite level, hauling in four catches for 79-yards in the first half. Jordan Cameron and Davone Bess only have one reception each, so there are definitely some untapped weapons that should be focused on coming out of the half.

Run Offense: Willis McGahee may not be as explosive as he once was, but that veteran mind of his found the holes and made the right cuts when the offensive line was able to create lanes. Cleveland nicely mixed in Chris Ogbonnaya for some carries with McGahee and, as the half wore on, you saw Detroit respect the play action.

The biggest run of the half came from the club utilizing Travis Benjamin’s playmaking ability in an end-around handoff for 45 yards in the first frame. This half saw the Browns total an amazing combined 115 yards rushing from six different players.

Pass Defense: The Browns forced Matt Stafford into a dink-and-dunk type of passing game and gave up nothing longer than eight yards except for a Kris Durham catch for a gain of 24. Calvin “Megatron” Johnson was a non-factor.

It was a tough first quarter for Joe Haden as he was called for back-to-back pass interference penalties that landed Detroit at the 1-yard line and resulted in a touchdown. From there the secondary settled down and was dominant in terms of breaking up passes.

Run Defense: Reggie Bush was invisible in the rushing and receiving department. Joique Bell had a pair of promising carries in the first, but was not given the rock after that. Cleveland only gave up a combined 26 yards and averaged 2.4 yards per carry.

Special Teams: Cleveland’s return game was ineffective and in the case of one second-quarter punt return attempt by Travis Benjamin actually lost yards because of a poor decision and a penalty for running into the kicker.

The Browns’ coverage units were solid throughout and didn’t give up any notable returns.

Coaching: Offensive coordinator Norv Turner got creative once again as he kept Detroit guessing. They used Travis Benjamin in an end-around that turned into a 45-yard gain and ran a play out of the Wildcat formation with Chris Ogbonnaya for a couple.



Andy McNamara is an international sports broadcaster and journalist.

Follow Andy on Twitter @AndyMc81