Detroit Lions vs. Cleveland Browns: Play-by-Play Analysis

Disclaimer:  This time around, I was able to get back to the game tape a little quicker.  My analysis that follows is based on my second viewing of the game as I did not take notes during the initial viewing.  My emphasis will be on the details of the play versus simply commenting on my reaction to the play.  That said, there is only so much free time I have and I won't be charting formations, etc.

What better way to spend a Sunday evening before getting back to the weekly grind than to rehash the dysfunction that took place on Saturday night in Cleveland.  From the amount of bashing that Stafford has taken today, it will be quite interesting to see what really took place last night.  I find it very interesting how someone can go from savior to goat in the course of a week.  Anyway, I think my findings will show that this was a group effort and that it took everyone working in perfect dysfunction to lose this badly.  But in all seriousness, I'm really hoping to find that there were more than a few bright spots in an otherwise gloomy performance.

So here we go...

1st Quarter

Cleveland Browns at 15:00

1-S.Waters kicks 65 yards from DET 30 to CLE 5. 16-J.Cribbs for 95 yards, TOUCHDOWN NULLIFIED by Penalty. PENALTY on CLE-26-A.Elam, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at CLE 36.

This return would not have happened without the holding.  There were at least two instances of holding as far as I could see.  That gives me a little comfort.

1-10-CLE 26

(14:47) 3-D.Anderson pass deep middle to 11-M.Massaquoi to 50 for 24 yards (32-A.Henry).

Avril, Smith, Jackson and Hunter are the starters.  I thought it was odd that Dewayne White didn't come into the game until much later.  Lions blitzed which was completely picked up by Cleveland.  This is why Massaquoi is so open over the middle.  Good hit by Henry.

1-10-

(14:08) 31-J.Lewis left tackle to DET 49 for 1 yard (71-S.Smith).

Good push by Grady Jackson.  Entire defense read run and came to the line quickly.  Good play by the defense.

2-9-DET 49

(13:29) 3-D.Anderson pass incomplete deep left to 17-B.Edwards.

Even though it was incomplete, Buchanon was beat badly on this play.  Defense got little push on the line and Anderson had too much time. 

3-9-DET 49

(13:22) (Shotgun) 3-D.Anderson pass short middle to 16-J.Cribbs to DET 29 for 20 yards (31-P.Buchanon). Penalty on DET-50-E.Sims, Defensive Offside, declined.

Good pass rush... Hunter nearly got the sack and Anderson was in the gun.  But it was a good throw over Avril who dropped back into coverage.  Not sure I saw the offsides here and it wasn't on Sims.

1-10-DET 29

(12:57) (Shotgun) 3-D.Anderson pass short right to 88-M.Furrey to DET 15 for 14 yards (32-A.Henry).

Quick screen by Cleveland that was set up perfectly.  Almost a hold on King who was the only Lion in position to keep the play from developing.  Just good blocking and execution from the Browns.

1-10-DET 15

(12:19) 31-J.Lewis right tackle to DET 4 for 11 yards (97-I.Alama-Francis).

Detroit not showing any different looks at the line.  Detroit not shedding blocks well.  Sims takes one step too many to the inside and gets caught in a block.  The offensive line is already through the defensive line and blocking into the second level by the time Lewis hits the hole.  Great block by Braylon Edwards as well.  Lewis got an additional 4 yards or so by poor tackling.

1-4-DET 4

(11:40) 31-J.Lewis left tackle for 4 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Same basic look from Lion's defense.  Entire defense reads run right away and swarms to the line of scrimmage.  Peterson overpursues to the inside and the offensive line gets a great push on the left side of the defense.  Bottom line was that the defense got manhandled by the Cleveland blocking.

4-P.Dawson extra point is GOOD, Center-64-R.Pontbriand, Holder-15-D.Zastudil.

DET 0    CLV 7    Plays: 7    Possession: 3:25

Detroit Lions at 11:35

4-P.Dawson kicks 66 yards from CLE 30 to DET 4. 36-A.Cason to DET 20 for 16 yards (56-K.Maiava). PENALTY on DET-52-D.Bing, Illegal Block Above the Waist, 8 yards, enforced at DET 17.

1-10-DET 9

(11:30) 9-M.Stafford pass short right intended for 17-A.Jennings INTERCEPTED by 24-E.Wright at DET 20. 24-E.Wright to DET 5 for 15 yards (66-S.Peterman). PENALTY on CLE, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, 15 yards, enforced at DET 5.

Okay, so I've been waiting to break down this play, so here goes.  Trips to the right, singleback set.  Cleveland is in base 3-4 defense.  Man coverage on the outside.  Felton into motion back to offset I-formation.  Play-action, Stafford rolls out to right.  Downfield view is not clearly seen on tape until replay, but Jennings is coming left to right on a shallow crossing pattern.  On the replay, Wright appears to read Stafford and breaks off his coverage onto the ball.  Stafford just telegraphed that pass too well and stared down what appeared to be his first read.  Not a good pass.

Cleveland Browns at 11:14

1-10-DET 20

(11:14) 3-D.Anderson pass incomplete to 17-B.Edwards.

Man coverage again.  Just a bad pass.  Braylon may have taken that one all the way had he caught it - had Henry beat off the line easily.

2-10-DET 20

(11:12) 31-J.Lewis left guard to DET 20 for no gain (24-K.Pearson).

Good push by the line, especially Grady Jackson.  No doubt he has a presence.  Nice job by the defense recognizing run.

3-10-DET 20

(11:12) (Shotgun) 3-D.Anderson scrambles up the middle to DET 15 for 5 yards (67-J.Hunter).

Cleveland in shotgun, Detroit in zone.  Grady with another nice push and had a hand on Anderson.  Defensive ends got pushed way wide and well behind the quarterback.  Anderson took off because Jackson was nearly on him.  Actually, a good defensive series for Detroit (3 plays, 5 yards).

4-5-DET 15

(9:52) 4-P.Dawson 33 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-64-R.Pontbriand, Holder-15-D.Zastudil.

DET 0    CLV 10    Plays: 4    Possession: 1:26

Detroit Lions at 09:48

4-P.Dawson kicks 70 yards from CLE 30 to end zone, Touchback.

Can't understand why Cason is still back there returning kicks.  Makes absolutely no sense.

1-10-DET 20

(9:48) 34-Kv.Smith right tackle to DET 24 for 4 yards (90-K.Coleman).

I-formation.  Offensive line, especially Cherilus, got stood up by the defense.  Smith did a good job hitting the only available hole... right behind Felton. 

2-6-DET 24

(9:17) 34-Kv.Smith right guard to DET 28 for 4 yards (95-K.Wimbley).

Defensive line collapsed the middle easily, minimizing any decent running lanes.  Smith does a good job of finding the smallest crease and squirts through for a decent gain.  I'd say Cleveland 2, Detroit 0 on the line battle.

3-2-DET 28

(8:40) 9-M.Stafford pass incomplete short left to 45-J.Felton.

I-formation again... both receivers to the right of the formation.  Play-action... Stafford's progression is left (flats) to right, but Loper quickly loses his battle and it sends Stafford scrambling.  He makes a mistake by taking his eyes off his progression to look at the defender and then comes right back to his first read, which is Felton.  Instead of throwing this away, he tries to throw a bullet on the run and nearly gets picked again.  A few minor errors on Stafford's part and poor line play from Loper.  Time to punt.

4-2-DET 28

(8:34) 2-N.Harris punts 56 yards to CLE 16, Center-48-D.Muhlbach. 16-J.Cribbs for 84 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Levy takes a really bad angle and should have had Cribbs at the 20.  Detroit players out of position and running into each other.   Another really bad angle... this time it was Roberson.  Cribbs left Roberson's jock at midfield.  The last big mistake is Bing's missed tackle.  Usually, he is a much better tackler than this.  Cribbs is really, really fast!  Also, I see that Ernie Sims is on Special Teams... what the hell?

Detroit Lions at 08:14

4-P.Dawson kicks 69 yards from CLE 30 to DET 1. 36-A.Cason to DET 28 for 27 yards (56-K.Maiava).

Once again... Cason.  Can't understand it.  Where is Aaron Brown?  Actually, not bad blocking.  Cason just doesn't have any moves.

1-10-DET 28

(8:08) 34-Kv.Smith left tackle to DET 28 for no gain (51-A.Hall, 22-B.McDonald).

Felton didn't follow through on his block.  Actually, the left side of the line (Backus, Loper & Heller) gets a real nice seal on the end.  Felton just allowed his guy to easily shed and take down Smith for no gain.  Very nice block by Heller, though.

2-10-DET 28

(7:37) 34-Kv.Smith right tackle to DET 29 for 1 yard (95-K.Wimbley).

Line just got beat that time - Heller especially (playing on the right side).  Nowhere to go for Smith. 

3-9-DET 29

(6:58) (Shotgun) 9-M.Stafford pass short right to 16-J.Standeford to DET 33 for 4 yards (26-A.Elam). Penalty on DET, Illegal Formation, declined.

First time in Shotgun for Stafford tonight.  He's got a nice pocket to deal with, but takes his first progression short of the first down.  Penalty aside... they wouldn't have picked up the first. 

4-5-DET 33

(6:41) 2-N.Harris punts 53 yards to CLE 14, Center-48-D.Muhlbach. 30-G.Lawson to CLE 27 for 13 yards (24-K.Pearson). DET-24-K.Pearson was injured during the play. His return is Probable.

Nice punt by Harris as usual.

Cleveland Browns at 06:30

1-10-CLE 27

(6:30) 3-D.Anderson pass deep left to 17-B.Edwards to DET 39 for 34 yards (31-P.Buchanon).

Grady looks lazy at the line.  Hunter gets some push, but far too much time for Anderson.  Both DTs a good five yards from Anderson and both are double-teamed.  Basically, the safety went with the tight end leaving Braylon one-on-one with Buchanon.  Buchanon did leave himself enough of an angle to make the tackle, but the field was too wide open.  Braylon will beat that coverage every single time.  That one might be on Delmas.  Hard to tell if he was supposed to cover the tight end or not.

1-10-DET 39

(5:54) 3-D.Anderson pass incomplete deep right to 11-M.Massaquoi. PENALTY on DET-32-A.Henry, Defensive Pass Interference, 17 yards, enforced at DET 39 - No Play.

Avril almost got to Anderson on that one.  Henry got beat by the rookie off the line and had to hold from keeping this one from being a touchdown. 

1-10-DET 22

(5:49) 31-J.Lewis left guard to DET 20 for 2 yards (55-L.Foote, 26-L.Delmas).

Showing a little different look.  Pearson playing right up near the line of scrimmage.  Showing blitz from the right (Peterson).  Lewis had a nice hole on the right side, but both Larry Foote and Louis Delmas quickly closed it.  Good play and nice block shed by Foote. 

2-8-DET 20

(5:12) 31-J.Lewis right tackle to DET 17 for 3 yards (32-A.Henry).

Again, Pearson playing up near the line.  Grady Jackson gets a huge pop at the line and knocked the center on his can with a quick push.  Lewis is nicely forced to miss a big hole off the right tackle.  Another good play against the run.

3-5-DET 17

(4:29) (Shotgun) 3-D.Anderson pass incomplete deep left to 84-R.Royal [55-L.Foote].

Lions blitz both Foote and Sims at the snap.  Cleveland picks up the blitz, but the left side breaks down and pressure forces Anderson to get rid of it in a hurry.  I tell you what... Cliff Avril cleanly beats Joe Thomas one-on-one on this play.  With a Reggie White style swim move, he throws Thomas to the side easily and should have had the sack.  Very, very impressive.

4-5-DET 17

(4:23) 4-P.Dawson 34 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-64-R.Pontbriand, Holder-15-D.Zastudil.

DET 0    CLV 20    Plays: 5    Possession: 2:10

Detroit Lions at 04:20

4-P.Dawson kicks 67 yards from CLE 30 to DET 3. 36-A.Cason to DET 22 for 19 yards (44-B.Costanzo).

1-10-DET 22

(4:15) 34-Kv.Smith right guard to DET 26 for 4 yards (50-E.Barton).

Offensive line just didn't win this one.  Nowhere for Smith to go.

2-6-DET 26

(3:42) 9-M.Stafford pass incomplete deep left to 16-J.Standeford.

Again with the play-action... Stafford had lots of time.  Threw this one a little high and knew it.  But still... Standeford should have caught this ball.

3-6-DET 26

(3:42) (Shotgun) 9-M.Stafford pass short middle to 34-Kv.Smith to DET 35 for 9 yards (39-B.Lockett).

With Smith sneaking out into space, the blitz comes freely by Cleveland.  Stafford had to get rid of it quicker than he would have liked, but it was complete.  Not executed as designed, but a completion nonetheless.

1-10-DET 35

(3:05) 34-Kv.Smith left tackle to DET 44 for 9 yards (52-D.Jackson).

Smith's best run of the night.  Backus could have held his guy for a moment longer, but still a good block and just enough time for Smith to bounce it outside.  Smith has good vision and seems nice and shifty this year.  Wide receivers not helping much in the blocking game, though.

2-1-DET 44

(2:32) 9-M.Stafford FUMBLES (Aborted) at DET 44, recovered by DET-34-Kv.Smith at DET 44. 34-Kv.Smith to DET 42 for -2 yards.

Not much to say here.  Smith just drops it.  Gotta clean that stuff up before it counts.

3-3-DET 42

(2:32) 9-M.Stafford pass incomplete to 17-A.Jennings.

This one is on Jennings.  Just drops it.  Probably not a first down, though.  Definitely should have been a completion.

4-3-DET 42

(1:50) 2-N.Harris punts 42 yards to CLE 16, Center-48-D.Muhlbach. 30-G.Lawson to CLE 33 for 17 yards (10-B.McMullen, 92-C.Avril).

Again... why the heck is Avril on Special Teams... without a helmet, no less???

Cleveland Browns at 01:37

1-10-CLE 33

(1:37) 3-D.Anderson pass deep right to 82-S.Heiden to DET 47 for 20 yards (32-A.Henry).

Grady Jackson has played nearly every snap so far.  He's dogged it on a couple though.  Getting consistent double-teams because, for the most part, Jason Hunter is being handled one-on-one by the right tackle.  This looks like it's on Larry Foote in coverage.  He starts out covering Heiden, but lets up.  Not sure if he was supposed to allow the safety to take the coverage over the top, but it left the tight end open in a coverage hole.

1-10-DET 47

(1:01) 31-J.Lewis left tackle to DET 45 for 2 yards (26-L.Delmas).

Nice job shedding a block by Avril.  The defense has done well against the run for the most part.

2-8-DET 45

(:22) 3-D.Anderson pass short left to 84-R.Royal to DET 38 for 7 yards (99-D.White).

Finally, Dewayne White in the game.  Wonder if it's because of the pregame fight?  Left side was open because they brought Peterson on the blitz.  The blitzes have hurt more than helped tonight, I think.  The coverage hasn't been able to handle them... sound familiar?

END QUARTER 1

2nd Quarter

Cleveland Browns continues ...

3-1-DET 38

(15:00) 10-B.Quinn sacked at DET 45 for -7 yards (67-J.Hunter). #10 Quinn in as QB

Quinn just basically fell down as Hunter approached on a weird play-action.  Strange play.

4-8-DET 45

(14:44) 15-D.Zastudil punts 45 yards to end zone, Center-64-R.Pontbriand, Touchback.

Detroit Lions at 14:35

1-10-DET 20

(14:35) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 34-Kv.Smith right tackle to DET 21 for 1 yard (95-K.Wimbley).

Heller and Backus didn't hold up well as the defensive line crashed left and closed any holes for Smith.  Browns read the run well.

2-9-DET 21

(14:35) (No Huddle) 9-M.Stafford pass incomplete deep right to 16-J.Standeford.

Stafford had a lot of time, but again threw this one too high.  This one looked to be on Stafford.  The one thing that's hard to tell is whether or not Stafford is throwing it there because it's the only place the defender can't get it.  I don't know.  Doesn't look like the ball is getting away from him at all.

3-9-DET 21

(13:57) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 9-M.Stafford pass to 16-J.Standeford to DET 33 for 12 yards (26-A.Elam). FUMBLES (26-A.Elam), RECOVERED by CLE-23-H.Poteat at DET 29. 23-H.Poteat to DET 29 for no gain (70-D.Loper). Detroit challenged the fumble ruling, and the play was REVERSED. (No Huddle, Shotgun) 9-M.Stafford pass to 16-J.Standeford to DET 33 for 12 yards (40-R.Hood).

Good job by the line with pass blocking here.  Stafford had plenty of time and fired a rocket to Standeford.  This was clearly not a fumble as everyone except for the refs could see that.

1-10-DET 33

(13:47) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 9-M.Stafford pass incomplete short right to 17-A.Jennings (50-E.Barton).

This was one Stafford shouldn't have thrown.  Jennings didn't have a clean break on his route and Barton jumped it anyway.  Could have been picked.  That looked to me like a poor pre-snap read by Stafford.

2-10-DET 33

(13:43) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 9-M.Stafford pass incomplete short right to 16-J.Standeford [50-E.Barton].

Another ridiculous drop by Standeford.  Tell me again why so many people like this guy?  Cleveland blitzed straight up the middle and Stafford sat and took the shot.  Not sure who should have picked up the blitz, but they missed!

3-10-DET 33

(13:39) (No Huddle) 9-M.Stafford pass short left to 12-D.Williams to DET 45 for 12 yards. PENALTY on DET-17-A.Jennings, Offensive Pass Interference, 10 yards, enforced at DET 33 - No Play.

Good catch by Williams.  The ball was thrown slightly behind him, but probably the only place it could have been caught.

3-20-DET 23

(13:15) 9-M.Stafford pass to 34-Kv.Smith to DET 27 for 4 yards (39-B.Lockett).

Can't see downfield because of camera view, but Stafford is forced to check it down.  I assume that receivers are simply not getting open.  The nice thing is... Stafford's eyes go through his entire progression before checking it down.  Obviously, 4 yards is not enough on 3rd and 19.

4-16-DET 27

(12:37) 2-N.Harris punts 54 yards to CLE 19, Center-48-D.Muhlbach. 30-G.Lawson to CLE 26 for 7 yards (54-D.Levy).

Cleveland Browns at 12:26

1-10-CLE 26

(12:26) 10-B.Quinn pass deep middle to 80-B.Robiskie to 50 for 24 yards (31-P.Buchanon).

This one is on the coverage.  Defensive line got good pressure on Quinn, but he stood tall in the pocket and found a soft spot under the coverage shell.  Boy, I hate zone sometimes.

1-10-

(11:44) 28-J.Davis left guard to DET 47 for 3 yards (50-E.Sims).

Nice tackle by Sims.  By my count, that's the first nice play by him tonight.  Far too quiet.

2-7-DET 47

(11:13) 28-J.Davis right guard to DET 45 for 2 yards (55-L.Foote).

Good tackle by Foote.  I think to this point, the Lions have played very well against the run tonight.  The linebackers have had some issues in coverage, but run recognition has been very good.

3-5-DET 45

(11:13) (Shotgun) 10-B.Quinn pass short right to 88-M.Furrey to DET 32 for 13 yards (26-L.Delmas). PENALTY on CLE-78-J.St. Clair, Illegal Formation, 5 yards, enforced at DET 45 - No Play.

Big shot by Delmas, who has been pretty quiet tonight as well.  Furrey was the one who made the catch.  Would have been a nice play had Delmas got there the same time the ball did.

3-10-

(11:13) (Shotgun) 28-J.Davis right tackle to DET 44 for 6 yards (24-K.Pearson, 50-E.Sims).

Good job by Pearson to come up and make the tackle.  The offensive line had a nice lane and a solid block on Julian Peterson.  This was a big gain if Pearson doesn't come up and make the play.

4-4-DET 44

(9:36) 15-D.Zastudil punts 44 yards to end zone, Center-64-R.Pontbriand, Touchback.

Detroit Lions at 09:27

1-10-DET 20

(9:27) 9-M.Stafford pass incomplete deep right to 17-A.Jennings.

Play-action, Stafford with lots of time.  Sets up and throws a beautiful ball about 2 yards too far.  To be fair, Jennings comes off his route a litte and starts to cut to the inside.  I think that ball might have been catchable had he kept his sideline route tighter.  We'll never know.  I think Stafford would rather have that one back over the pick.

2-10-DET 20

(9:20) 36-A.Cason right guard to DET 23 for 3 yards (71-A.Rubin).

Everyone's favorite, Aveion Cason.  Just too slow and no burst.  Got caught from behind by a DT.

3-7-DET 23

(8:42) (Shotgun) 9-M.Stafford pass short middle to 87-D.Looker to DET 28 for 5 yards (29-C.Ivy).

Looker should have broken that tackle for the first down.  Play went as designed, I believe - just a lucky tackle.

4-2-DET 28

(8:01) 2-N.Harris punts 46 yards to CLE 26, Center-48-D.Muhlbach. 30-G.Lawson MUFFS catch, and recovers at CLE 28. 30-G.Lawson to CLE 28 for no gain (35-L.Hicks).

Cleveland Browns at 07:50

1-10-CLE 28

(7:50) 10-B.Quinn pass short middle to 28-J.Davis to CLE 37 for 9 yards. PENALTY on CLE-78-J.St. Clair, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at CLE 28 - No Play.

Avril still working hard out there.  Playing pretty well.

1-20-CLE 18

(7:25) 10-B.Quinn pass incomplete deep middle to 16-J.Cribbs (59-J.Peterson).

Should have been completed.  Quinn had too much time to throw.  I think that this defense is going to struggle with a pass rush (no surprises there).  They need to find a way to generate something more consistently and I'm not sure blitzing is always the key.  Kevin Carter.... where are you?

2-20-CLE 18

(7:19) 28-J.Davis left tackle to CLE 32 for 14 yards (55-L.Foote).

Refs missed a huge hold that allowed this play to happen.  Joe Thomas had to hold Shaun Smith to keep him from making the play.  Safety whiffed on the play, though... couldn't tell who it was.

3-6-CLE 32

(7:19) (Shotgun) PENALTY on DET-92-C.Avril, Neutral Zone Infraction, 5 yards, enforced at CLE 32 - No Play.

3-1-CLE 37

(6:28) 28-J.Davis right guard to CLE 39 for 2 yards (71-S.Smith).

Hill and Smith collapse the hole.  Both have a nice presence, but just not much for moves.  Hill simply bull-rushes every time.  He does well with that when he doesn't get stood up.  This play was a good example of him winning the play.

1-10-CLE 39

(5:57) 10-B.Quinn pass incomplete deep left to 17-B.Edwards [35-L.Hicks].

Pressure right in Quinn's face up the middle.  Wonder why Braylon is still in the game with the 2's?  Looks like Hicks that came up on the safety blitz.

2-10-CLE 39

(5:50) 10-B.Quinn pass short left to 31-J.Lewis to CLE 38 for -1 yards (71-S.Smith).

Lewis just slips.

3-11-CLE 38

(5:07) (Shotgun) 10-B.Quinn pass short right to 88-M.Furrey to CLE 44 for 6 yards (38-R.Robinson).

Nice job by Ramzee Robinson to shed his block and bust up the screen pass.

4-5-CLE 44

(4:30) 15-D.Zastudil punts 42 yards to DET 14, Center-64-R.Pontbriand, out of bounds.

Detroit Lions at 04:22

1-10-DET 14

(4:22) 45-J.Felton left guard to DET 19 for 5 yards (95-K.Wimbley). #11 Culpepper in at QB

Nice to see Felton running the ball.

2-5-DET 19

(3:49) 45-J.Felton left guard to DET 23 for 4 yards (52-D.Jackson, 57-D.Veikune).

Yawn.... O-line getting stood up.  Felton is definitely just a straight-line guy.  Not going to juke his way to a lot of yards.

3-1-DET 23

(3:12) 45-J.Felton right guard to DET 25 for 2 yards (95-K.Wimbley, 20-M.Adams).

Felton's definitely a powerful dude.  Good short yardage back.

1-10-DET 25

(2:33) 11-D.Culpepper pass deep left to 87-D.Looker pushed ob at DET 45 for 20 yards (40-R.Hood).

Nice pass by Daunte.  Had lots of time.  Offensive line doing a much better job with the pass blocking versus run blocking tonight.  Looker could end up being a keeper.  I like him better than Standeford.  Defense playing a very soft zone here.

1-10-DET 45

(2:09) 36-A.Cason right guard to DET 48 for 3 yards (90-K.Coleman).

Blah.  Cason for a couple.

Two-Minute Warning

2-7-DET 48

(2:00) (Shotgun) 11-D.Culpepper pass incomplete to 87-D.Looker. PENALTY on CLE-24-E.Wright, Illegal Contact, 5 yards, enforced at DET 48 - No Play.

1-10-CLE 47

(1:55) 11-D.Culpepper pass short right to 47-D.Gronkowski pushed ob at CLE 43 for 4 yards (26-A.Elam)

Quick dump, first read pass.

2-6-CLE 43

(1:48) (Shotgun) 11-D.Culpepper pass short middle to 18-E.Fowler to CLE 36 for 7 yards (95-K.Wimbley).

Nice play by Daunte.  This is where the veteran presence is felt best - directing the young players and sniffing out the coverage disguises.  Nice pass and good gain.

1-10-CLE 36

(1:13) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 11-D.Culpepper pass incomplete short right to 12-D.Williams.

Culpepper flushed from the pocket.  But instead of keeping his eyes downfield, Daunte looks down at the ground as he's running.  Not much he could do here, really.

2-10-CLE 36

(1:13) (Shotgun) 11-D.Culpepper pass incomplete deep left to 87-D.Looker.

Nice pocket movement, but the pass should have been intercepted.  Threw into double coverage.

3-10-CLE 36

(1:13) (Shotgun) 11-D.Culpepper pass short right to 18-E.Fowler pushed ob at CLE 27 for 9 yards.

Daunte looks good on the move, but the receiver wasn't past the first down marker.  Dink & dunk... come on, guys.  Not looking downfield.

4-1-CLE 27

(:55) 36-A.Cason left guard to CLE 28 for -1 yards (26-A.Elam). Penalty on DET-76-J.Backus, Offensive Holding, declined.

Horrible job blocking by the left side... Backus and Looker.  Can't come up with a better fourth down play than Cason off guard?  C'mon Linehan... I know it's only preseason, but let's use a little of that creativity.

Cleveland Browns at 00:49

1-10-CLE 28

(:49) (Shotgun) 3-D.Anderson pass short left to 28-J.Davis to CLE 37 for 9 yards (38-R.Robinson). #3 Anderson in at QB

Defense playing soft zone and letting Cleveland have the underneath stuff.

Timeout #1 by CLE at 00:41.

2-1-CLE 37

(:41) (Shotgun) 3-D.Anderson pass short right to 28-J.Davis to CLE 39 for 2 yards (38-R.Robinson).

1-10-CLE 39

(:41) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 3-D.Anderson pass incomplete short right to 28-J.Davis.

2-10-CLE 39

(:41) (Shotgun) 3-D.Anderson pass short right intended for 28-J.Davis INTERCEPTED by 41-W.James at CLE 41. 41-W.James to CLE 33 for 8 yards (88-M.Furrey).

Right place, right time.  Tipped ball... not much skill involved.  But that's football.  Luck sometimes swings your way.

Detroit Lions at 00:05

1-10-CLE 33

(:05) (Field Goal formation) 1-S.Waters 51 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-48-D.Muhlbach, Holder-2-N.Harris.

DET 3    CLV 20    Plays: 1    Possession: 0:05

3rd Quarter 

Detroit Lions at 15:00

4-P.Dawson kicks 71 yards from CLE 30 to DET -1. 21-A.Brown to DET 20 for 21 yards (44-B.Costanzo).

1-10-DET 20

(14:55) 36-A.Cason left guard to DET 23 for 3 yards (90-K.Coleman).

Ho-hum... still not much push up front on running downs.

2-7-DET 23

(14:17) 11-D.Culpepper pass incomplete short right to 45-J.Felton.

Good play-action fake, but another short attempt incomplete.

3-7-DET 23

(14:17) (Shotgun) 11-D.Culpepper pass short right to 18-E.Fowler to DET 30 for 7 yards (30-G.Lawson).

Shotgun.  Nice, quick decision for a short gain.

1-10-DET 30

(13:33) 36-A.Cason left guard to DET 35 for 5 yards (69-C.Mosley).

Decent run by Cason.  Is it just me or does Linehan dial things back completely when Culpepper and Cason are in there?  The offense just seems to slow to a crawl and get ultra-conservative.  It feels even more like that when watching for the second time.

2-5-DET 35

(13:02) 36-A.Cason left tackle to DET 37 for 2 yards (71-A.Rubin, 99-C.Williams).

3-3-DET 37

(13:02) (Shotgun) 11-D.Culpepper pass to 36-A.Cason to DET 44 for 7 yards (29-C.Ivy). FUMBLES (29-C.Ivy), RECOVERED by CLE-20-M.Adams at DET 49. 20-M.Adams ran ob at DET 48 for 1 yard.

Shotgun again for Culpepper.  Good play call, but Cason with the fumble.  I agree with most PODers that I just don't see Cason's value.

Cleveland Browns at 12:15

1-10-DET 48

(12:15) 28-J.Davis right guard to DET 45 for 3 yards (96-A.Fluellen). #5 Ratliff in at QB

Boy, Brady Quinn didn't play long. 

2-7-DET 45

(11:49) 28-J.Davis right tackle to DET 42 for 3 yards (35-L.Hicks).

Darby hasn't played in the first half in either of the games.  He must be on the bubble.  Sammie Hill got stood upright on that play.  Pad-level, boy... pad-level.  Where's Marinelli when you need him?

3-4-DET 42

(11:18) 28-J.Davis left guard to DET 40 for 2 yards (91-C.Darby).

D-Line did just enough to hold and clog the line.  Hill again didn't get much push.

4-2-DET 40

(10:35) (Punt formation) 15-D.Zastudil punts 31 yards to DET 9, Center-64-R.Pontbriand, fair catch by 87-D.Looker.

Detroit Lions at 10:27

1-10-DET 9

(10:27) 11-D.Culpepper pass short left to 36-A.Cason to DET 22 for 13 yards (23-H.Poteat).

Culpepper had forever in the pocket and chose to dump it off short again.  Look, the play resulted in a first down and moved the chains, so I can't complain too much.  I wish I had an endzone view so I could see if the coverage downfield is really so good that he has to dump off short each time.

1-10-DET 22

(9:49) 36-A.Cason right tackle to DET 22 for no gain (99-C.Williams).

2-10-DET 22

(9:13) 36-A.Cason right guard to DET 30 for 8 yards (39-B.Lockett).

Felton back in the game.  Very nice block by Manny Ramirez to create a good hole.  Cason actually hit it pretty hard there.  Oh yeah... Gerberry needs a fricken' haircut. 

3-2-DET 30

(8:32) (Shotgun) 11-D.Culpepper pass short right to 87-D.Looker ran ob at DET 44 for 14 yards.

Linehan is starting to put Daunte on the move.  I like that.

1-10-DET 44

(8:13) 21-A.Brown left guard to DET 45 for 1 yard (20-M.Adams).

"Talk-of-the-town's" first run... 1 yard.

2-9-DET 45

(7:40) 11-D.Culpepper pass incomplete short right to 87-D.Looker (25-C.Francies).

3-9-DET 45

(7:35) (Shotgun) 11-D.Culpepper pass short right to 12-D.Williams to DET 45 for no gain (23-H.Poteat). FUMBLES (23-H.Poteat), and recovers at DET 45.

That was a bad call by Culpepper on the line.  He saw the blitzer come up on the right, so he checked off to Williams on the stop route.  Williams, even if he didn't drop the ball, wouldn't have gotten a first down.  At the risk of being redundant, Culpepper is playing way too conservatively.  I feel like Mooch is over there calling the plays.  We're not running the West Coast again, are we?

4-9-DET 45

(7:02) 2-N.Harris punts 46 yards to CLE 9, Center-48-D.Muhlbach. 88-M.Furrey to CLE 22 for 13 yards (35-L.Hicks).

Cleveland Browns at 06:50

1-10-CLE 22

(6:50) 28-J.Davis left guard to CLE 22 for no gain (57-J.Dizon).

Again, beautiful play recognition by the defense.  Nice play by Dizon.

2-10-CLE 22

(6:14) 5-B.Ratliff pass incomplete short left to 9-L.Leggett.

3-10-CLE 22

(6:09) (Shotgun) 5-B.Ratliff pass incomplete short right to 28-J.Davis.

Nice hustle by Sammie Hill.  The big man can move when he wants too.  Hopefully, Gunther can keep him motivated.  He hasn't looked like that all night.

4-10-CLE 22

(6:05) 15-D.Zastudil punts 63 yards to DET 15, Center-64-R.Pontbriand. 12-D.Williams to DET 15 for no gain (56-K.Maiava, 39-B.Lockett). PENALTY on CLE-94-L.Williams, Illegal Formation, 5 yards, enforced at CLE 22 - No Play.

4-15-CLE 17

(5:52) 15-D.Zastudil punts 36 yards to DET 47, Center-64-R.Pontbriand, downed by CLE-56-K.Maiava.

Detroit Lions at 05:39

1-10-DET 47

(5:39) (Shotgun) 11-D.Culpepper pass incomplete short right.

Pressure by the Browns.  They brought the blitz.

2-10-DET 47

(5:35) 11-D.Culpepper pass short right to 21-A.Brown to CLE 48 for 5 yards (56-K.Maiava).

Brown looks a little more hesitant this week.  Open it up, son. 

3-5-CLE 48

(4:50) (Shotgun) 11-D.Culpepper pass incomplete deep right to 10-B.McMullen [94-L.Williams].

Finally, Culpepper takes a shot.  But it was more a product of the blitzer in his face than anything else.  Daunte has played it very safe again tonight.

4-5-CLE 48

(4:42) 2-N.Harris punts 48 yards to end zone, Center-48-D.Muhlbach, Touchback.

I think this was down inside the 1.  Should have challenged it, IMO.

Cleveland Browns at 04:30

1-10-CLE 20

(4:30) 5-B.Ratliff scrambles left tackle to CLE 25 for 5 yards (57-J.Dizon).

White almost got to him.  DTs didn't get much push.  Good job by Dizon to come up and make the tackle.  Dizon looks a little more sure of himself this year... better tackling from him so far.

2-5-CLE 25

(3:51) 5-B.Ratliff sacked at CLE 22 for -3 yards (96-A.Fluellen). CLE-68-F.Weary was injured during the play. His return is Questionable.

Just noticed that Andre Fluellen is playing defensive end.  This was a nice play by all four down lineman.  White got there first, but Fluellen and Hill where right there to finish him off.  Wonder how long Fluellen has been lined up at left end?  Have to keep an eye on that... hard to see the numbers sometimes.

3-8-CLE 22

(3:29) (Shotgun) 5-B.Ratliff sacked at CLE 16 for -6 yards (99-D.White). FUMBLES (99-D.White), RECOVERED by DET-96-A.Fluellen at CLE 20. 96-A.Fluellen to CLE 20 for no gain (74-G.Foster).

You can tell that Dewayne White is so much better than the 2nd and 3rd stringers he's playing with right now.  Fine play and great burst off the line by White.

Detroit Lions at 03:23

1-10-CLE 20

(3:23) 5-D.Stanton pass deep right to 46-C.Butler for 20 yards, TOUCHDOWN. #5 Stanton in at QB

What a nice, nice play by Drew Stanton.  Actually stays in the pocket (has time, for once) and goes through the progression of receivers.  Good post route run by Butler.  Stanton threw straight up the seam flawlessly.  Good looking ball, too.   At least one of our QBs can get into the endzone.

1-S.Waters extra point is GOOD, Center-48-D.Muhlbach, Holder-2-N.Harris.

DET 10    CLV 20    Plays: 1    Possession: 0:07

Cleveland Browns at 03:16

1-S.Waters kicks 69 yards from DET 30 to CLE 1. 30-G.Lawson to CLE 21 for 20 yards (36-A.Cason). PENALTY on CLE-44-B.Costanzo, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at CLE 21.

1-10-CLE 11

(3:12) 28-J.Davis left guard to CLE 13 for 2 yards (57-J.Dizon).

Another nice play by Dizon.  He's sniffing ‘em out tonight.

2-8-CLE 13

(2:34) (Shotgun) 5-B.Ratliff pass short left to 80-B.Robiskie to CLE 20 for 7 yards (57-J.Dizon).

Okay, so we've got Darby and Fluellen at DE and Hill and White at DT... not stunting, mind you... but lining up there.  They are definitely experimenting a bit tonight.  Another nice tackle by Jordon Dizon.

3-1-CLE 20

(1:57) 5-B.Ratliff scrambles up the middle to CLE 21 for 1 yard (58-Sp.Smith).

1-10-CLE 21

(1:15) (Shotgun) 5-B.Ratliff pass incomplete short right to 87-A.Walker (54-D.Levy).

White back at DE.  Very nice play by Levy.  Showing good awareness in coverage.

2-10-CLE 21

(1:11) 28-J.Davis right guard to CLE 19 for -2 yards (57-J.Dizon, 96-A.Fluellen).

Great play by Fluellen from his DE position - has been playing there this entire quarter so far.  Shed his block and crashed down on the runner.  Very nice play.

3-12-CLE 19

(1:11) (Shotgun) 28-J.Davis left guard for 81 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Okay, so Ramzee Robinson recognized the run right away and comes flying back to the line, but... there's always a "but" with the Lions... he over-pursues, taking a bad angle and blows the play.  There's one more missed tackle by Hicks (another bad angle) and a missed holding call on Roberson and then Davis is sprung... no catching him.  Multiple chances for the Lions to make a play on that 81 yard run... no dice.  Gotta clean up that junk.

4-P.Dawson extra point is GOOD, Center-64-R.Pontbriand, Holder-15-D.Zastudil.

DET 10    CLV 27    Plays: 6    Possession: 3:01

Detroit Lions at 00:15

4-P.Dawson kicks 72 yards from CLE 30 to DET -2. 12-D.Williams to DET 11 for 13 yards (33-N.Herron).

1-10-DET 11

(:08) 45-J.Felton right guard to DET 14 for 3 yards (67-A.Hoppel).

END QUARTER 3

4th Quarter 

Detroit Lions continues ...

2-7-DET 14

(15:00) 45-J.Felton right guard to DET 16 for 2 yards (49-M.Benard).

3-5-DET 16

(14:28) 5-D.Stanton scrambles up the middle to DET 23 for 7 yards (56-K.Maiava).

Back in his element... scrambling.

1-10-DET 23

(13:53) 45-J.Felton right guard to DET 26 for 3 yards (67-A.Hoppel). FUMBLES (67-A.Hoppel), and recovers at DET 27.

Felton getting quite a few carries tonight.  To me, he looks like just a straightline, short-yardage guy.  No nifty-ness to him at all.

2-6-DET 27

(13:13) (Shotgun) 21-A.Brown right guard to DET 30 for 3 yards (93-L.Leonard).

Again, Brown looks a little hesitant tonight.

3-3-DET 30

(12:32) (Shotgun) 5-D.Stanton pass deep right to 14-D.Boldin ran ob at 50 for 20 yards.

Nice job by Stanton here.  Good decision... he let the play unfold without getting fidgety in the pocket.  I think we are seeing the maturation of Drew Stanton before our very eyes.

1-10-

(12:01) 21-A.Brown left guard to CLE 45 for 5 yards (39-B.Lockett).

2-5-CLE 45

(11:31) 21-A.Brown right guard to CLE 41 for 4 yards (30-G.Lawson).

Line didn't get a good push there.  Brown made a nice move to avoid a tackle for loss.  Very quick, shifty little guy.

3-1-CLE 41

(10:57) 5-D.Stanton up the middle to CLE 39 for 2 yards (56-K.Maiava).

1-10-CLE 39

(10:23) 5-D.Stanton pass incomplete short left to 46-C.Butler.

Stanton had a lot of time.  Butler just drops it.

2-10-CLE 39

(10:17) 5-D.Stanton pass short right to 21-A.Brown ran ob at CLE 40 for -1 yards (39-B.Lockett). PENALTY on CLE-30-G.Lawson, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at CLE 39 - No Play.

Dink.  Dunk.  Dink.  Dunk.  That must be how Linehan's watch ticks sometimes.

1-10-CLE 34

(9:56) (Shotgun) 5-D.Stanton pass to 14-D.Boldin to CLE 30 for 4 yards (30-G.Lawson). FUMBLES (30-G.Lawson), and recovers at CLE 30. 14-D.Boldin to CLE 30 for no gain (30-G.Lawson).

Stanton looking more comfortable in the pocket.  Not completely... but more.

2-6-CLE 30

(9:56) (Shotgun) 5-D.Stanton pass incomplete short right to 12-D.Williams.

Ah... just throw that away Drew.  Don't try to force things that aren't there.

3-6-CLE 30

(9:56) (Shotgun) 21-A.Brown left tackle ran ob at CLE 27 for 3 yards (94-L.Williams). PENALTY on DET-73-M.Brown, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at CLE 30 - No Play.

Definite hold by Brown.  Boy, Milford Brown is a big dude.  Wonder what his knock is... technique?  Can't be size...

3-16-CLE 40

(9:56) (Shotgun) 5-D.Stanton pass incomplete short right to 47-D.Gronkowski [36-B.Anderson].

Big time blitz.  Drew did not expect this at all.  Gotta make those pre-snap reads better.  Dangerous throw... sometimes it's better to take a sack.

4-16-CLE 40

(8:42) 2-N.Harris punts 31 yards to CLE 9, Center-48-D.Muhlbach, fair catch by 2-J.Norwood. PENALTY on CLE, Defensive Offside, 5 yards, enforced at CLE 40 - No Play.

4-11-CLE 35

(8:36) 1-S.Waters 53 yard field goal is No Good, Short, Center-48-D.Muhlbach, Holder-2-N.Harris.

I miss Jason Hanson.

Cleveland Browns at 08:32

1-10-CLE 43

(8:32) (Shotgun) 13-R.Bartel pass incomplete deep right to 9-L.Leggett. #13 Bartel in at QB

Our DBs were completely beat on that play.  Good thing this Bartel guy sucks.

2-10-CLE 43

(8:25) 33-N.Herron left tackle to CLE 46 for 3 yards (61-S.Conover).

3-7-CLE 46

(8:25) (Shotgun) 33-N.Herron right guard to CLE 46 for no gain (61-S.Conover, 97-I.Alama-Francis).

Nice plays by both Jordon Dizon (who I've definitely noticed a lot tonight) and Alama-Francis (who I'm not sure has played yet tonight).

4-7-CLE 46

(6:59) (Punt formation) 15-D.Zastudil punts 49 yards to DET 5, Center-64-R.Pontbriand, downed by CLE-44-B.Costanzo. PENALTY on CLE-33-N.Herron, Ineligible Downfield Kick, 5 yards, enforced at CLE 46 - No Play.

4-12-CLE 41

(6:49) 15-D.Zastudil punts 41 yards to DET 18, Center-64-R.Pontbriand. 30-D.Wynn ran ob at DET 25 for 7 yards (58-B.Bell).

Detroit Lions at 06:38

1-10-DET 25

(6:38) 45-J.Felton right guard to DET 39 for 14 yards (25-C.Francies). CLE-25-C.Francies was injured during the play. His return is Questionable.

Offensive line did a great job opening that one up for Felton.  Nothing fancy, just a quick move to hit the hole, then run until someone tackles you.   Nice block by Jansen... who is at RT.

1-10-DET 39

(6:08) 5-D.Stanton pass short right to 21-A.Brown ran ob at DET 46 for 7 yards (36-B.Anderson).

Nice job by Stanton to get what he could.  O-line not giving enough time.

2-3-DET 46

(6:08) (Shotgun) 5-D.Stanton pass short right to 14-D.Boldin to CLE 39 for 15 yards (56-K.Maiava, 25-C.Francies).

Fourth quarter and the Browns are still actively blitzing.  Nice catch and run by Boldin.

1-10-CLE 39

(6:08) (Shotgun) 5-D.Stanton pass incomplete short left to 87-D.Looker.

Stanton never took his eyes off Looker.   He had two defenders on him as well.

2-10-CLE 39

(6:08) (Shotgun) 5-D.Stanton pass incomplete deep right to 46-C.Butler [57-D.Veikune].

First really ugly pass by Stanton tonight.  He had pressure in his face and the pass got away from him.  Lucky he wasn't picked.

3-10-CLE 39

(6:08) (Shotgun) 5-D.Stanton pass incomplete short right to 21-A.Brown (36-B.Anderson).

Meh... busted screen.  Stanton not in control like he was last week... no take charge type of attitude.  Gotta admit, he looks a little more confident in the pocket, just not as aggressive.

4-10-CLE 39

(4:40) (Shotgun) 5-D.Stanton pass incomplete short right to 14-D.Boldin (36-B.Anderson).

Didn't matter... he was short of the first anyway.  Man, that irks me.

Cleveland Browns at 04:36

1-10-CLE 39

(4:36) 41-C.Ali right guard to CLE 41 for 2 yards (39-S.Schweigert).

Finally calling Schweigert's name.  He had a much better night last week.

2-8-CLE 41

(3:55) 33-N.Herron right guard to DET 25 for 34 yards (54-D.Levy). PENALTY on CLE-63-K.Quarterman, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at CLE 41 - No Play.

Good thing there was a hold, because there were a lot of missed tackles on this play.

2-18-CLE 31

(3:45) 8-P.Raymond right end to DET 47 for 22 yards (54-D.Levy).

Wow, is DeAndre Levy fast!  Watched this play about five times (man, I love DVR).  He stops, reverses field, then just bolts to the sideline to make the tackle.  Wonder what his forty time was because he just blazes on this play.  Very impressive.

1-10-DET 47

(3:00) 33-N.Herron right guard to DET 41 for 6 yards (57-J.Dizon). PENALTY on DET-98-L.Cohen, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at DET 41.

This is the first time I've seen Landon Cohen today.  What the hell?  I guess Schwartz really means it when he says there is no depth chart.  Last week, Cohen started.   This week he's with the third team.  White didn't start and really didn't play until the end of the second quarter.  I guess we really don't know who is going to make this team.  I haven't got a clue, that's for sure.

1-10-DET 36

(2:54) 33-N.Herron left tackle to DET 36 for no gain (54-D.Levy, 33-C.Roberson).

Detroit shows blitz... Levy again on the tackle.  Very quick to get behind the line of scrimmage for a nice stop.

2-10-DET 36

(2:12) 8-P.Raymond right end to DET 38 for -2 yards (54-D.Levy).

Levy again... beautiful play.  He is showing some great speed and decision making ability.  He's got great change of direction and has been a very sure tackler tonight.

Two-Minute Warning

3-12-DET 38

(2:00) 33-N.Herron left guard to DET 31 for 7 yards (58-Sp.Smith).

4-5-DET 31

(1:17) 13-R.Bartel left end to DET 25 for 6 yards (33-C.Roberson).

Cleveland tricked everyone, including me on that one.  Had to watch it twice to see where the ball went.

1-10-DET 25

(:32) 13-R.Bartel kneels to DET 25 for no gain.

That's it.  Another one in the book.

END GAME

 

Okay, so I feel better watching this one a second time.  The defense wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was the first time around.  They actually played well against the run for the most part.  They still have some zone issues and allowing too many yards on the soft underneath stuff.  The defensive line is hit and miss and just doesn't get enough pressure for the zone coverage to be effective.  They got burned when they blitzed early, because the line didn't do it's part.  Still, most of the points came in the early moments on either special teams gaffes or when turnovers allowed for a short field.

The quarterbacks... my favorite subject.  I'll say this... Stafford didn't play well.  His first game was much, much better than this game.  Culpepper looked okay, but nowhere near great.  From the second viewing compared to the first... Stafford played about the same as I thought and Culpepper played worse than I remembered.  He had a command at the line, but simply didn't move the ball.  There was no continuity with either quarterback.  All the Stafford hating by the Culpepper proponents today was unwarranted.  Think I'm wrong?  Watch the game tape again.  Culpepper did nothing special in this game at all.  Stafford has a lot to prove the next game, but I feel the competition is a wash right now.  Stafford had one good outing and one bad outing.  Culpepper has had two average outings in a row.  To me, that's a wash.  I'll be very interested in what happens in game three.

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