LIONS INSIDER

The good and the bad from Sunday's win in Cleveland

Posted Oct 14, 2013

There was plenty of bad football in the first half for the Lions, but the amount of good in the second half outweighed the bad in end

The Detroit Lions regrouped after failing behind 17-7 in Cleveland on Sunday and came away with huge 31-17 win on the road.

It was certainly a tale of two halves for the Lions. After being thoroughly outplayed by the Browns in the first 30 minutes, the Lions flipped the script in the second half and completely dominated the game to the tune of a 24-0 score.

There was plenty of bad football in the first half for the Lions, but the amount of good in the second half outweighed the bad in end. Detroit improves its record to 4-2 after the win with home games vs. Cincinnati and Dallas next on the docket.

Here’s a look at the good and bad from Sunday’s win.

THE GOOD …

ROLE PLAYERS

The Lions certainly have their share of star power in Calvin Johnson, Ndamukong Suh, Reggie Bush and Matthew Stafford, but good teams get great contributions from role players, and that’s exactly what the Lions got Sunday.

Linebacker DeAndre Levy, tight end Joe Fauria, punter Sam Martin and receiver Kris Durham all had a big impact in Sunday’s win.

Consider this:

  • Fauria’s three touchdowns set a franchise single-game record for touchdown receptions by a tight end. His three touchdown grabs marked the first time a Lions tight end registered two-plus in a game since tight end David Sloan recorded two vs. Cincinnati Oct. 28, 2001.
  • Levy’s two interceptions increased his season total to a career-high four this season. Levy became the first Lions linebacker with four interceptions in a season since Jimmy Williams had five interceptions in 1989. Four interceptions tie for the fifth most in a single-season in franchise history by a linebacker.
  • Martin is the first Lions punter to record five-plus punts, 47.0-plus net average, three-plus punts inside the 20 and no touchbacks in a game since net punting became an official statistic in 1976.
  • Durham set career highs with eight catches and 83 yards in Cleveland. In fact, his eight receptions match his total from the previous five games combined.

JOHNSON IMPACT

It was questionable if Johnson would play or not with that sore right knee. He was active, and though he only had three catches for 25 yards, he impacted the game.

He played 38 total snaps, with the majority coming in the second half. All three of Fauria’s touchdowns came with Johnson on the field and 121 of Bush’s 135 total yards came in the second half, when Johnson played a majority of his snaps.

RUN REGGIE

Speaking of Bush, he amassed 135 total yards, which gives him at least 135 in three of the four games he started and finished this year.

He averaged 4.6 yards per carry on 17 attempts as the Lions rushing attack racked up 118 total yards on the ground.

Bush is averaging 127.4 yards per game this season, which is exactly what the Lions envisioned when they made him a Day 1 free-agent target.

THE BAD …

DROPSIES

It’s been an issue all year, but particularly in the first half of Sunday’s game. Drops are a debatable statistic, but I counted five in the first half and six for the game.

The Lions entered the game dropping 11.3 percent of Stafford’s passes and were third in the NFL with 16 total, according to Stats, LLC.

Drops are a part of the game, but the Lions have to find a way to limit them moving forward, especially the drive killers on third down.

BIG PLAYS

The Lions gave up a 45-yard run on an end-around to receiver Travis Benjamin.

Through six games, they’ve given up four runs of 40-plus yards this year, which are the most in the NFL. No other team in the league has given up more than two.

They've also given up four passing plays of 40 yards, which are the seventh-most in the NFL.

SPECIAL TEAMS PENALTIES

The Lions punt return unit was flagged twice in the game for holding, which cost them a total of 27 yards in field position.

For the year, the Lions are tied with Kansas City and St. Louis for the league lead with five holding penalties by their punt teams.

The Lions have been very good covering kicks this year, but their return units, especially the punt-return unit, can’t seem to get out of it’s own way.