Detroit Lions

5 Numbers That Tell the Story Of the Lions-Browns Game

Photo Credit: Scott Galvin (USA TODAY Sports)

The Detroit Lions traveled to Northeast Ohio in search of their first win under head coach Dan Campbell. There was real optimism within the organization that the banged-up Cleveland Browns presented a great opportunity to finally put a W on the board.

Instead, the Lions played largely uninspired football behind first time starter Tim Boyle, and fell completely flat against Kevin Stefanski’s team. While they did manage to cut the lead to three points in the middle of the fourth quarter, Cleveland was able to salt the game away behind their Pro Bowl running back, Nick Chubb.

Here are five numbers that tell the story of the Lions-Browns game.

7

The offensive line continues to be one of the bright spots in this lost season. They only allowed seven pressures against the Browns. Cleveland’s defense is predicated on their ability to get to the quarterback, with Myles Garrett, Takkarist McKinley, and Jadeveon Clowney as significant threats off the edge. This week, the trio combined for no sacks and only two QB hits, both of which came courtesy of Garrett.

This team doesn’t have the talent at the skill positions that Lions fans would like to see. But they have skill on the offensive line. When this team finds their quarterback of the future, he will be protected and afforded plenty of time when he drops back.

5.1

The success that the Lions had on the offensive line didn’t translate to the defensive line. They allowed 5.1 yards per carry. Getting the ball moving through the air was a struggle for Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield, who posted a less than stellar 8.6 quarterback rating. So instead of moving the ball through the air, the Browns could alter their game plan and ride Chubb to victory.

When you face a team with a quarterback who is banged up and isn’t playing at 100%, you think that the No. 1 priority would be selling out against the run and daring him to beat you one on one. Instead, the Lions could not stop the run and allowed the Browns’ offense to keep churning forward.

6.7

Speaking of subpar quarterback play, Tim Boyle’s first career start was not what the former Eastern Kentucky QB would have had in mind. He somehow posted a worse quarterback rating than Mayfield, with a 6.7 rating.

Boyle struggled all game, going 15 for 23 with 77 yards and two interceptions. He generally looked out of his depth for his first-ever start. Even with the running game going well, Boyle could not get any momentum going through the air. Even with clean pockets, Boyle wasn’t able to hit his targets very often.

Though Lions fans have been harsh on current starter Jared Goff, after seeing the alternative, I think that they will be a bit more forgiving to Goff’s quarterback play when he returns.

9.7

Despite the Lions’ inability to move the ball in the passing game, D’Andre Swift was incredible while running the ball today, putting up 136 yards on 14 carries (9.7 average).  Swift scored Detroit’s only touchdown of the day on a 57-yard run, and he also showcased an ability to elude defenders as he made three would-be tacklers miss.

Swift posted five explosive rushes of 10 or more yards in the game. Given that Swift performed so well, it was curious that he wasn’t as involved in the Lions’ last drive of the game. With Swift and the offensive line being the lone bright spots, it makes no sense that you don’t run the ball earlier on the last drive on the game, and instead, your lone run comes on a third-and-14.

350

As another loss goes by, it has officially become 350 days since the Lions last won a game. Sadly, this isn’t the lowest of the lows in modern Detroit Football, as the first-ever 0-16 team is still fresh in the minds of some. While 0-16 was hard to watch, somehow 0-16-1 seems a bit more embarrassing.

This loss marks the fourth losing season in a row for the Lions. While we all knew that this rebuild would take some time, I can’t imagine that any of us thought that life after Stafford would be this bad.

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