Friday, November 10, 2017

Browns Preview 11/10/17: Cleveland Browns @ Detroit Lions

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

The winless Cleveland Browns travel to Detroit to take on the (4-4) Lions this week. The Browns are coming off of their bye week and what an eventful bye week it was. A botched trade which would have sent AJ McCarron to Cleveland and the reinstatement of Josh Gordon (who isn't eligible to play until week 13). The Lions on the other hand beat the Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football 30-17.

Browns Offense vs Lions Defense

It should be interesting to see how Kizer reacts going forward. The potential trade for McCarron only proves that the Browns aren't sold on Kizer being the future for this team. It doesn't mean he can't improve but he has a lot to prove in the next eight weeks.

The game plan should be simple. Run the ball and throw quick passes. Just like the Browns last game vs the Vikings the game plan was to get the ball out of Kizer's hands as fast as possible. Whether it was on a screen pass or quick drag routes to the receivers it seemed to have worked. Kizer didn't have a turnover that steps.

The running game on the other hand had its ups and downs. Crowell had a solid game for the first time this year but had a costly fumble to start the second half. The game plan of giving Crowell the ball more than Duke Johnson probably won't change unfortunately. What we can hope for is Crowell to have some type of game like he did last week. That's the only way the Browns can have success against the Lions, and keep this game relatively close. 

Browns Defense vs Lions Offense

The Lions are lead by one of the best quarterbacks in the league, Matt Stafford. The Lions offensive revolves around the passing game. Golden Tate is their leading receiver with 50 catches, Marvin Jones is second with 33 and Theo Reddick is third on the team with 29 catches. Reddick is predominantly their third down back and isn't a huge threat to run the ball with only 27 attempts on the season. The Lions passing offense ranks 7th and they are 8th when it comes to points per game.

The Browns defense on the other hand has had issues when it comes to pass defense this year. But which Myles Garrett coming back this week, along with Jabrill Peppers and potentially Jason McCourty the Browns defense might be able to limit the powerful passing game of the Lions.

The running game for Detroit is non-existent. They rank 29th in the league with Ameer Abdullah as their leading rusher with just over 400 yards on the season. The Browns rank in the top five when it comes to rush defense so their is going to be a lot of passes thrown in this game.

Five Guys To Watch

1. DeShone Kizer: I'm curious to see how he plays going forward. Kizer is playing for his opportunity to start in 2018.

2. Myles Garrett: Garrett is exciting to watch...when he plays. He should be as close to 100% missing the London game with a concussion. Expect Garrett to play majority of the snaps this week.

3. David Njoku: Another young rookie who has played well this year. The Browns need to use him as a third down/red zone threat. He's a big target for Kizer and has pretty good hands.

4. Christian Kirksey: Kirksey will be in charge of covering Reddick out of the backfield. It is extremely important for the Browns to keep the Lions passing game in check this week. They can't afford to let backs break free while checking down to the receivers.

5. Spencer Drango: Drango is taking over for the injured Joe Thomas at left tackle. This week he is going up against Ziggy Ansah, who is without a doubt one of the better pass rushers in the league. Drango had a solid game against the Viking and their elite pass rush. Hopefully he can continue to build on the solid outing.

Weather: Dome

Injury Report:

Betting Line (as of 11/9/17)
Detroit -10

Prediction: Lions 28 Browns 13

This game could be close for the majority of the game. But in the forth quarter is when the Lions pull away. The Browns offense will continue to struggle with the lack of playmakers and fans will be patiently waiting for Corey Coleman to get back (next week vs JAX) and the return of Josh Gordon. 

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