Ahead of Sunday’s game between the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns, Free Press sports writer Dave Birkett looks at the biggest factor for each team to win, and highlights the game's key matchup. The Lions will win if … they score 19 or more points. That doesn’t seem like too tall a task for the league’s eight-ranked scoring offense, but it’s no gimme considering the Lions’ red-zone problems. The Browns have topped 18 points in just one of their eight games this year, when they got two late touchdowns in a 31-28 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Cleveland doesn’t have much of a downfield passing game and can’t really run the ball, so as long as the Lions take care of the football and maximize their possessions, they should come away with a victory. The Browns will win if … they force three turnovers. The Browns aren’t a very good team, and they’ll need some help to get their first victory of the year. But they do have a fairly solid run defense and a couple good pass rushers, so maybe – maybe – they can harass Matthew Stafford and the Lions into turnovers. Stafford did commit five turnovers in a loss to the New Orleans Saints last month, but the Lions have just five other giveaways on the year.
Detroit Lions' keys to victory vs. Browns: Show up, pass to Eric Ebron
Detroit Free Press | Nov 12