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Lions vs. Browns: What Just Happened?

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A collection of thoughts on the Lions’ Week 10 game.

Cleveland Browns v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Well, that was fun. Not the whole time, but it was still fun in the end. Maybe it’s because I was in the building for Sunday’s 38-24 win over the Cleveland Browns. It was an eventful day. I got to meet Sandman and we got to ride on a school bus in a way we’ve never had a chance to before.

Anyhow, as always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts.

A win is a win, but it sort of felt wrong

Look, the Lions went out there and won the game. That’s all that matters in the end. But this game could have easily slipped the other way. The Browns may not be a good football team, but this is a team that really wants to win. You got that sense all game long. The Lions figured that out midway through the second quarter.

The Browns will not go 0-16 this year. Or maybe the Lions just made them look that way?

Golden Tate is just the best

No hyperbole here, I don’t know where the Lions would be without Golden Tate. He’s always there to make a big play in a jam. His six receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown made him my MVP pick on Sunday. The way he’s played all season makes him my mid-season MVP for the entire team.

Run game shows flashes of life early

The Lions actually had some success in the first half. Both Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick were getting chunk yards that the team really needed. Both running backs had runs go for over 20 yards.

While things did cool down later in the game, you gotta have a tiny glimmer of hope, and I mean the tiniest glimmer of hope. Perhaps Taylor Decker’s return had something to do with it.

Lions have trench issues

The Lions had problems in the trenches on both sides of the ball all day long. Matthew Stafford got sacked four times yet again. No surprise there. The Lions have yet to field a completely healthy offensive line.

But where it really hurt was the defensive side of the ball. The Lions had a hard time getting pressure on DeShone Kizer. Most of their four sacks came against Cody Kessler, and that’s because Kessler refused to get out of the way. What’s worse is that the Lions allowed over 200 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

If the Lions aren’t playing the Browns, they likely lose this game. With Jordan Howard next week, this could get ugly.

Jamal Agnew is still awesome

He’s even more awesome to see in person. He had a huge return in the fourth quarter that he nearly took to the house. Sadly, Nevin Lawson got called for a block in the back and the run was called back. But then Agnew busted a 29 yarder on the next try. This set up Golden Tate’s 40-yard touchdown. The Lions special teams unit really needs to be talked about more. They’re generally killing it.

I see you, Ebron

This is the only “you had to be there” moment of the day. This city has been riding this guy all year long. They booed him every opportunity they could on Sunday. Then Eric did this. We all watched Eric break away from the defender and grab the ball on his way to the end zone.

The reception Eric received was truly awesome. It was like watching your kid walk for the first time. He reveled in the moment too. He even kept the ball. It wasn’t his first touchdown obviously, but it felt like he needed this.

I’ve maintained that Ebron’s issue has been a mental thing on his part. He’s played pretty well the last two games—at least in the small spaces he’s been used. Him being named captain for this game has to show you that he’s taking things seriously and working hard. Let’s hope this was a big confidence moment for Eric.

Browns fans are loud and Ford Field has to stop playing DMX

Ford Field threw on some Ruff Ryders Anthem and then hilarity ensued. It’s not weird for people to dance to music. It is weird to hear “Stop! Drop! Shut ‘em down, open up shop” while the video board almost exclusively shows children and babies dancing. Perhaps DMX should consider a children’s album. Those kids certainly know that “this is not a game. This is not a {expletive} game. “

We got lucky enough to sit directly in front of some very loud Cleveland Browns fans on Sunday. They spent the entire game yelling into my ear and barking like dogs. Again, there was a strong DMX presence in the building.

They were sure they were going to get their first win on Sunday. I simply told them to cool it now.