Lions escape against winless Browns but must be better to reach playoffs

Doug Mendoza
November 13, 2017

Up by seven points after back-to-back touchdown drives in the third quarter, the Browns (0-9) gave up three touchdown drives over the final 20 minutes of play and could not recover on the way to a 38-24 loss to the Lions (5-4) in Detroit.

Kizer missed two second-half possessions after suffering a rib injury on a third-quarter hit from cornerback Quandre Diggs.

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? 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 Lions pulled away in the end - and they've been a good closing team - but against better teams they can't look like they did in the first half against the Browns.

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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. The Browns now list Kizer as questionable to return. "What you've seen from us week in and week out, we've had a lot of guys up and down, but it's a team game".

Considering how hapless the Browns have been for much of this season, that's a problem. He did return to the game, but by that point the deficit was too large with too little time left.

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.

Playing with that "dog" he vowed to have after the bye week, Kizer threw a touchdown pass and ran for one in what was clearly his best game of the season - before the injury. After receiving the opening kickoff, the Lions went backward. Last year, Decker played every snap at left tackle as a rookie. They also surrendered an 8-yard TD run by Ameer Abdullah that tied the game at 10 in the second quarter. Jackson said the Browns have to play perfectly to win. Their first play after the punt was a 37-yard pass to Sammie Coates to set up a field goal that gave the Browns a 3-0 lead.

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