Sunday, October 13, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cleveland Browns
By Pat McManamon
CLEVELAND -- A few thoughts on the Cleveland Browns' 31-17 loss to the Detroit Lions at FirstEnergy Stadium:
What it means: The feel of a season can change in a hurry. The loss means the Browns drop back to .500 and now face two very tough road games in a row. They also have a ways to go to compete with the good teams in the league, such as Detroit. And it means that one quarter does not make a game -- as the Browns played well in the second quarter but were badly outplayed by the Lions the other three.
Stock watch: Brandon Weeden's stock will drop -- and among the fans in Cleveland, it will drop precipitously. He had some good moments, but even though the defense gave up 24 points in the second half, the offense's struggles during the third and fourth quarters will stand out. Weeden's backhanded lob that was intercepted in the game's final minutes will live for a long time. Weeden had a very good first half, a very bad second half and a very, very bad play that secured the win for the Lions.
Inside issues: The Browns' inside linebackers and safeties had a rough second half. Evidently the Lions noticed something, because they came out in the third and fourth quarters and took advantage of matchups, especially with Reggie Bush and the tight ends against linebackers. Bush had more than 20 touches in the second half, and Joseph Fauria had three touchdown catches, the second in front of the safeties and over inside linebacker Craig Robertson. Give the Lions credit. They obviously noticed something and took advantage to win.
What's next: The Browns face a very tough road test as they travel to Green Bay to face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The trip is the first of two tough away games, as the Browns travel to Kansas City the following week.