The Cleveland Browns hosted the winless Detroit Lions and while they won, it lacked excitement as it was a low-scoring affair. They barely come out with a win. This team lacked “spunk” as they did not have many contributors in this game. Plenty of fans are ready to throw in the towel on this season, given the inconsistency of the team’s performance. Time to dive into the game, shall we?
A hobbled Baker Mayfield played terribly, as he overthrew his receiver and was intercepted by a Lions defender. While I understand the coaches believe in Baker Mayfield, any fan could sense he is not himself. Baker has admitted he has never been this banged up before, though fans are tired of mediocracy as the Browns have struggled for a significant amount of time. The Lions started a no-name quarterback in Tim Boyle, as starting quarterback Jared Goff was sidelined with an oblique injury. Browns linebacker Malcolm Smith came up with an interception around the four-minute mark.
At the start of the second quarter, Jarvis Landry sparked the crowd as he lined up in the wildcat formation. Landry rolled to his left, looking to throw the ball. Once Jarvis Landry could not find anyone open, he rushed for a 16-yard touchdown run that put the Browns up 7-0. The Browns defense did an excellent job as they caused Detroit to punt the ball and had limited Boyle to 21 passing yards. On the Browns’ next possession, they moved the ball in large part to their running game. Unfortunately, kicker Chase McLaughlin pushed a kick wide to the right, thus coming up empty-handed.
Near the end of the first half, Baker Mayfield led the team down the field. Baker rolled out to his left and threw a short pass to Nick Chubb for a 5-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was blocked, which made it a 13-0 lead for Cleveland. The Browns’ defense continued to shine as they caused another turnover, as cornerback Denzel Ward picked off Tim Boyle. It was tremendous coverage as Ward ran neck and neck with the receiver and made an excellent grab leaping over the receiver. However, the defense would get torched on a big touchdown run by Lions running back D’Andre Swift. The 57- yard touchdown run closed the gap, as at that point, the Browns were up 13-7. The Lions would tack on a field goal by Aldrick Rosas to make it a 13-10 game, which ended up being the final score of the game.
It was huge for the Browns to get Nick Chubb back from the COVID list, as he rushed for 130 yards on 22 carries. This team needs to hand the keys to Case Keenum as he is healthy and would give the Browns a better chance to win. If Baker is a true leader, he will do whatever is best for the team and support Keenum. Baker will not like it, but it is the right choice to make. As we all know, any professional athlete wants to play as that is in their nature. All they know how to do is to compete at a high level. The Browns are now 6-5 and are in 4th place in the AFC North. The Browns will travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens on Sunday night in a must-win game.