TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Detroit Lions At Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions
Cleveland Browns
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 15: Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions looks for a pass during the first half against the Cleveland Browns of a preseason at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 15, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 24: Brandon Weeden #3 of the Cleveland Browns passes the ball during the preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 24, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
(credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner There was a noticeable lack of efficiency and effort from the Lions’ offense in their Week Five loss at Green Bay. That’s got to be troubling for quarterback Matthew Stafford, who simply can’t do it by himself. While he has a quick release and a strong arm, his execution is just decent and if he doesn’t have Calvin Johnson (knee) and the running game isn’t working, Stafford is just ordinary.
The Browns had apparently found a legitimate quarterback in Brandon Hoyer, but his Cinderella story ended when he suffered a season-ending knee injury vs. the Bills in Week Five. That means the Browns turn once again to Brandon Weeden, who can perform adequately as long as he gets decent blocking.
Offense
The Lions will have big problems as long as Johnson continues to miss games. Johnson has size, speed, great hands and the ability to overpower nearly any defensive back in the league. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew is stepping up his game as he has improved hands and can usually get open. Running back Reggie Bush is a brilliant athlete who doesn’t always play hard.
Winner The Browns liked what they saw from Willis McGahee in their Week Five win over the Browns. He carried the ball 26 times, ran hard on every play and he did not get hurt or dinged up. Josh Gordon is a solid wide receiver who knows how to get open and can also catch the big pass downfield. Tight end Jordan Cameron is a bona fide red zone weapon.
Defense
Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is a game-changing stud in the middle of the defensive line and Nick Fairley is nearly as good. Outside linebacker DeAndre Levy was one of the few Lions to bring it against the Packers and he finished with 14 tackles. Stephen Tulloch is a dependable middle linebacker who has excellent range.
Winner The Browns have been a hard-hitting and enthusiastic defensive team since the start of the season. Much of their success is based on their team speed and their solid fundamentals. Take a good look at defensive end Ahtyba Rubin as perhaps the most unsung player in the league. He had 8 tackles and 1.0 sack in the Week Five win over Buffalo. Buster Skrine is a fine cover corner.
Special Teams
Winner The Lions have been ordinary in their kickoff and punt coverage, but Micheal Spurlock is a solid return specialist. Placekicker David Akers has made his last five FG attempts and is regaining his confidence. Sam Martin had a huge day against Green Bay, averaging 51.8 yards on six punts.
Winner The Browns have become one of the worst coverage teams in the league. Their coverage units lack dependability and don’t always stay in their lanes. Travis Benjamin shocked the Bills with a 79-yard TD return. Billy Cundiff is an ordinary placekicker.

The Winner Is

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 24: Brandon Weeden #3 of the Cleveland Browns passes the ball during the preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 24, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Winner Cleveland Browns
3 out of 4

The Lions remain an inconsistent team under head coach Jim Schwartz. While their every-other-game personality would indicate a good game this week, the hungry and improving Browns may not be willing to oblige them.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Tight end Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammate quarterback Joe Flacco #5 after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to throw a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

    The Ravens and Patriots meet again in Gillette in what should be another great game.

  2. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott #21in the first half of the game agains the Minnesota Vikings on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

    The NFC East rivals meet again in the Meadowlands as the Cowboys look to avenge their only loss of the year.

  3. SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during warmups before a game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field on December 4, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 04:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is pressured by Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans during the first half of a game at Lambeau Field on December 4, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers

    The Seahawks travel to Lambeau for a match-up with the resurgent Pack.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Detroit

Best Christmas Light Displays
Best Holiday Drink Ideas
Top Hidden Destinations

Watch & Listen