TWENTYMAN: Huge second half propels Lions to 31-17 win on the road in Cleveland

Posted Oct 13, 2013

The Lions scored 24 points in the second half after trailing 17-7 at halftime in a game that was a true tale of two halves

It cost the Lions five yards, but I don’t think coaches will harp on quarterback Matthew Stafford too much for his delay of game penalty in the third quarter.

After scrambling for a first down on a 3rd-and-6 play, an uncharacteristically fired up Stafford spiked the football and mouthed some encouragment to his teammates.

"It was time to go," Stafford said of the play after the game.

Whatever he said, they listed.

"That was huge," Reggie Bush said of the play. "It gets us fired up when you see your quarterback go get a first down for us on a key drive like that that I think could have been a defining drive for us in the game.

"It really pumps you up and gets the team going and I think it energized the sideline a little bit."

Bush had a 39-yard run on the next play and scored on an 18-yard pass from Stafford four plays later. From there on, an anemic Lions offense in the first half was off and running in an eventual 31-17 Lions victory.

The Lions scored 24 points in the second half after trailing 17-7 at halftime in a game that was a true tale of two halves.

Whatever adjustments the Lions made at halftime, they pushed all the right buttons.

Stafford finished the game 25-of-43 passing for 248 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.

Stafford set a franchise record with his 13th game with three-plus touchdown passes. It broke Bobby Layne's record of 12.

Rookie tight end Joseph Fauria was on the receiving end of three of those touchdowns. Fauria was getting an expanded role with Tony Scheffler inactive (concussion), and he made the most of it.

He’s the first Lions receiver to have three touchdowns in a game since Calvin Johnson did it in 2010. It’s also the first time a Lions tight end has gone for three scores since the merger in 1970.

He now has seven catches on the season and five have gone for touchdown.

Just call him touchdown Fauria.

The Lions wracked up 257 yards of offense in the second half after having just 109 in the first half.

The defense came to play in the second half, too, holding the Browns scoreless in the final 30 minutes.

Linebacker DeAndre Levy had another terrific game on that side of the football for the Lions, recording two interceptions.

He’s the first Lions linebacker to have at least four interceptions since Jimmy Williams had five in 1989.

The win pushes the Lions record to 4-2 on the season and they remain in first place with the Chicago Bears (4-2).

It’s also the second win for the Lions on the road this season as they improve their mark to 2-2 on the road with two home games against Cincinnati and Dallas the next two weeks.