The Cleveland Browns entered the second half of Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions with a 10-point lead. But what transpired over the game’s final 30 minutes spoiled what could have been a four-game winning streak as the visiting Lions left FirstEnergy Stadium with a 31-17 win over the Browns.
In the first half, the Lions netted 109 total yards, but in the third quarter, Detroit’s offense came alive.
On 18 offensive plays, the Lions registered 125 yards, 59 on the ground and 66 through the air. It was in the third quarter where Detroit drew to within three points of the Browns, 17-14. Then, in the fourth, the Lions continued to find the end zone as quarterback Matthew Stafford twice found tight end Joseph Fauria for touchdowns.
“We weren’t able to close the game out in the second half,” coach Rob Chudzinski said. “That’s something we need to learn and do, and be able to do, take the game when we have the opportunities and be more consistent in that way. I expect it will improve and get better and do the things that we need to do better in the game to take control and finish in the second half.”
For Chudzinski, the message remains consistent. He wants the team continue to “learn and grow.”
“That’s what we’ve been able to do this season,” Chudzinski said. “I think that we’re getting better and we’ll have to look at the tape. I’m confident the guys will come in and take it as a learning opportunity to get better.
“Obviously, it’s disappointing. You hate to lose, especially when you have a lead. It’s something that we can’t let happen.”
It was in the third quarter that the Browns gave up the Lions’ longest play of the game.
On the Lions’ first possession of the second half, Bush took a handoff from Stafford on second-and-10, and ran behind right guard Larry Warford for a gain of 39 yards. Later in the drive, Bush turned a screen pass into an 18-yard touchdown for the Lions.
“We just know that we have to hold our weight up on defense,” Browns defensive lineman