They kept it interesting for awhile but the Browns (0-9) ultimately fell to the Detroit Lions (5-4) by a final score of 38-24.
The team fought but when DeShone Kizer left the game late in the third quarter after a hard hit to the ribs, the team’s spirit was gone and Detroit capitalized on it.
Kizer played arguably his best game as a professional before the injury and had a major part in the Browns offense today.
He finished the game 21-37 for 232 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception which wasn’t his fault due to Ricardo Louis giving up on the final offensive play for Cleveland.
Another miscue by Kizer was at the end of the first half which many are putting on Hue Jackson but it was on Kizer.
It was 2nd and goal at the two yard line with 15 seconds left in the first half. Kizer called an audible and tried to sneak it up the middle but made no gain on the play. The clock kept rolling and the Browns couldn’t call another play.
Jackson took the blame after the game but you can tell the frustration was hitting him after the play as well as Duke Johnson who slammed his helmet and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The running game showed up in a major way for Cleveland and is what kept them in the ball game for a majority of the contest. 201 yards on the ground today and each runner contributed greatly (Crowell-90, Kizer-57, Johnson-54). Crowell and Kizer each had a rushing touchdown.
Kenny Britt showed up and contributed with 2 catches for 38 yards including a 19 yard catch and run for a touchdown early in the first quarter. Seth DeValve led the receiving attack with 4 catches for 70 yards.
Matthew Stafford started out slow for Detroit but came back strong in the second half with three touchdown passes (one each to Theo Riddick, Eric Ebron and Golden Tate). Stafford finished 17-26 for 249 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
The Lions rushing attack which came in 29th in the league gashed the Browns who were giving up around 85 yards per game (4th in NFL) for 104 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.
The Browns defense made four sacks (two from Emmanuel Ogbah, one each from Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert) and also made an interception by Jamie Collins who got injured on the play and never returned with a knee injury.
However, the defense failed in the second half giving up 21 points including big touchdowns to Ebron and Tate. It’s the fifth time this season the Browns have given up 30 or more points in a game.
Right tackle Shon Coleman left the game with a concussion and didn’t return.
Tight end Randall Telfer left the game with an eye injury and didn’t return.
The Browns will head back to Cleveland to battle with the 6-3 Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday. Jacksonville has one of the toughest defenses in the NFL and will be a major test for Kizer and the Browns offense.