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Sunday, October 13, 2013
Three halftime thoughts on Lions

By Michael Rothstein

CLEVELAND -- This was not a pretty half for the Detroit Lions. Not at all. Here are three quick thoughts on what has been going on.

1. Front four struggling badly: Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden is slow. He takes forever to throw the ball. And he's getting enough time that if he wanted to, he could dig up some dirt, plant some seeds for flowers and potentially watch them grow before finding an open receiver. The Lions have been really good at getting pressure with their front four in every game this season, even against Green Bay last week, but they have basically let Weeden go untouched most of the day. The Browns also have a season-high 115 yards rushing ... and it's the first half.

2. Calvin Johnson isn't 100 percent and the other Lions receivers aren't helping: Johnson has two drops in the first half, which is very uncharacteristic for him, and has not been on the field for his typical amount of plays. The other Detroit receivers, meanwhile, can't catch the ball. Sure, some of them are high on the degree of difficulty scale -- including a diving one for Patrick Edwards -- but quarterback Matthew Stafford is hitting his receivers in the hands a lot of times and they just aren't holding on to the ball. It's not a good look for a team still without a healthy Johnson.

3. Why not more Reggie? Reggie Bush has been used fairly infrequently in the offense so far. He has not been thrown to at all and has seven carries for 14 yards. The lack of carries kind of makes sense because Cleveland is doing a good job up front, but being unable to get him involved in the passing game is surprising.