GAME IN REVIEW: Inspiring halftime boosts Lions to a 31-17 win at Cleveland

Posted Oct 14, 2013

Players give LB Stephen Tulloch credit for an impassioned speech at the half to light a fire under the Lions

After a disappointing loss at Green Bay, the Detroit Lions were poised for victory at Cleveland.

The first half, however, didn't quite reflect that.

Though the Lions had receiver Calvin Johnson in the lineup, they struggled after taking the lead 7-0 late in the first quarter. Johnson wasn't 100-percent (he was targeted five times with only one catch in the first half) and was limited in his playing time.

"It was just how he felt," said head coach Jim Schwartz after the game. "We knew that if he was going to have a certain number of snaps, we would rather have them in the second half so we limited his snaps a little bit in the first half."

Detroit managed just 109 total yards in the first half compared to Cleveland's 250. Correlating with those numbers was Detroit's 26 rushing yards compared to the Browns' 115.

"We were trying to prepare ourselves to go out and win the second half of the game," said Schwartz of the locker room at halftime.

Safety Louis Delmas said the team was inspired by words from defensive team captain, Stephen Tulloch. Delmas said the entire team -- coaches included -- gathered around Tulloch who delivered an empassioned speech.

"I can't really pinpoint what he actually said," said Delmas. "The locker room is much more different the general public. What he said was very positive and very motivational; he definitely got his point across.

"While he was talking, every individual in this locker room thought that, that one person was talking to them, including myself. I knew that I had to go out there with a chip on my shoulder and not let him down. Not letting him down meant that I had to go out there and do my job."

Whatever Tulloch said, it did the trick. The Lions shut out the Browns in the second half and went on to win 31-17.