DETROIT, Mich. – The Detroit Lions mounted comebacks in both halves to overcome the winless Cleveland Browns 38-24 at Ford Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Lions entered the game as 10.5-point favorites over the Browns, who were coming off their bye week.
On Sunday, Cleveland got on the scoreboard first on its initial possession. After a 38-yard pass completion from quarterback DeShone Kizer to Sammie Coates, Zane Gonzalez booted a 23-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 11:30 to go in the opener.
After Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was intercepted, the Browns soon upped the gap to 10-0 on a 19-yard scoring strike from Kizer to Kenny Britt with 8:39 showing on the clock.
Detroit closed to within 10-3 with exactly 6:00 left in the initial period on Matt Prater’s 46-yard field goal. That score stood until the first break.
The Lions then knotted the score at 10-all when Ameer Abdullah bulled up the middle from 9 yards out with 10:25 remaining until intermission.
Detroit took its first lead at 17-10 with 3:55 to go in the half when cornerback Nevin Lawson picked up a fumble and scampered 44 yards into the end zone.
The first half ended with the Browns running out of time at the Lions’ 2-yard line and Detroit still in control 17-10.
Cleveland came out of the locker room inspired for the second half, and quickly deadlocked the score at 17-17 on an 85-yard drive culminating in Isaiah Crowell’s 7-yard run around the left side at the 11:01 juncture of the third period.
Then, after a 35-yard pass to tight end Seth DeValve pushed the ball to the 1-yard line, the Browns retook the lead at 24-17 on Kizer’s quarterback sneak with 2:23 to go in the third.
The Lions then put together a 75-yard drive of their own that ended with Theo Riddick’s 8-yard catch of a Stafford aerial to deadlock the score at 24 with just 52 seconds left in the third quarter.
Cleveland’s backup quarterback, Cody Kessler, entered the proceedings on the final play of the third frame after Kizer departed with an injury. The rookie from Notre Dame eventually returned to action late in the contest.
Detroit soon regained control 31-24 on a 29-yard scoring strike from Stafford to tight end Eric Ebron with 10:46 to go in the game.
The Lions then went up 38-24 when Stafford connected with Golden Tate on a 40-yard TD pass with 4:28 remaining.
The Browns were driving as time elapsed when Detroit’s Darius Slay intercepted Kizer in the end zone to set the final score.
The Lions are now 5-4 entering next Sunday afternoon’s trip to meet their longtime rival, the Chicago Bears, at Soldier Field on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Cleveland dropped to 0-9 going into a home date with the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium.