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Sunday, October 13, 2013

2013 Game 6 - Detroit Lions @ Cleveland Browns


Good Enough

The Detroit Lions beat the Cleveland Browns on the road 31-17. That brings the Lions up to 4-2, good enough to keep their 1st place division record intact.

Matthew Stafford was 25 of 43 for 248 yards 4 TDs and 1 INT. Weeden 26 of 43 for 292 yards 2 TDs and 2 INTs. Weeden is the older player by far, but with far less experience in the NFL. Many of the stats for the two teams were similar to each other, but once again the Lions won the turnover ratio and that, along with an improved run game, was good enough to win the game.

Undrafted free agent tight end Fauria had a big night. He only had 3 catches for 34 yards but that was good enough for 3 touchdowns. Reggie Bush had 135 all purpose yards with a TD, and the injured Calvin Johnson had 3 receptions for a total of 25 yards and no scores, but his just being in the game was good enough... it kept the Brown's occupied allowing other members of the team to get the job done.

Another interesting stat... Linebacker DeAndre Levy had 2 interceptions this game, 4 on the year, which is a tie for most in the league.

The Lions were the only team to score in the 1st, 3rd and 4th quarters. The Browns only scored in the 2nd quarter. Even though the Lions struggled mightily in the first half, they really turned it around in the second half, and by all accounts following a very good half time speech by MLB Tulloch.

Early on the receivers were experiencing a bad case of the drops, most of them were on said receivers. But a number were still on Stafford, as were some catches that the receivers bailed him out by making difficult catches. Other plays were so far off the mark there was no chance at all. This has been an on going problem this season and unlike last year, it's hard to point at his mechanics as the issue. If you watch the plays in super slo-mo you can see that ball placement is a real struggle much of the time... perhaps it's just getting the timing down... perhaps it's more then that, it's something that will have to be monitored as the season progresses, for now, Stafford has played good enough for a division leading 4-2 record (with a LOT of help from his teammates).

Coming up are two home games in a row against the Cincinnati Bengals and the Dallas Cowboys. The week after these two games is the Lions bye week. The Cincinnati Bengals are 4-2, 1st in the AFC Northern Division and the Dallas Cowboys are 2-3, 2nd in NFC Eastern Division, but leading the Washington Redskins by 2 scores in the Sunday night game as I type this. It'll take a team effort for the Lions to win either of these games, let's hope the Lions are good enough.

My prediction for next week is a loss to the Bengals, 27-24. At least, that is what my mind says, my heart is screaming that the Lions will win this one by the same score. Should I listen to my mind or my heart? Can the Lions win the turnover battle at home? Perhaps. Sorry Lions fans, but perhaps isn't good enough, I'm going with my brain on this one, Lions lose 27-24.

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