CLEVELAND – Running back D’Andre Swift did his best to try and help the Detroit Lions to their first victory of the season.
Swift racked up 136 rushing yards on 14 carries, including a 57-yard touchdown in the third quarter, but it still wasn't enough to propel the Lions to victory, as they fell to Cleveland, 13-10, despite his effort.
Coming off a career-high 130-yard performance last week in Pittsburgh, Swift became the first Detroit Lions player to rush for at least 100 yards in back-to-back games for the first time since Kevin Jones in 2004.
Swift's touchdown run off right tackle in the third quarter trimmed the Cleveland lead to 13-7 at the time. Detroit got to within 13-10 early in the fourth quarter on a 43-yard Aldrick Rosas field goal with 9:07 left, but that's as close as they'd get.
Swift was held to just 10 yards rushing in the first half, but exploded for 111 in the third quarter.
Detroit's defense had a chance late in the game to get off the field and give the offense a chance to try and tie the game or take the lead, but Cleveland was able to run for a few first downs to milk the final three minutes off the clock. Detroit falls to 0-9-1 with the loss.
After trading punts on their first possessions, Detroit and Cleveland traded interceptions the second time each team had the ball. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield threw high to wide receiver Jarvis Landry and into the arms of Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye and the Lions had the ball at midfield.
Lions quarterback Tim Boyle returned the favor, though. Boyle, who was making his first career start for the injured Jared Goff, threw behind Swift and into the arms of linebacker Malcolm Smith at the Cleveland 15-yard line.
The Browns took advantage of the Lions turnover by driving eight plays and 84 yards capped off by a 16-yard run by Landry to take a 7-0 lead.
Cleveland increased their lead to 13-0 right before halftime on a 5-yard pass from Mayfield to running back Nick Chubb. Cleveland was aided on the scoring drive by three Lions defensive penalties, including an illegal hands to the face call on Oruwariye on a 4th and 2 play that resulted in an incompletion.
Detroit had the ball with just over three minutes remaining and faced a 3rd and 14 at their 36 yard line. They called a draw to Swift that gained just five yards. They were forced to punt it away and never saw the ball again.
It wasn't a bad defensive effort by the Lions in this one, they just simply couldn't make the plays late to get off the field.
QB comparison: Boyle finished his first career start by completing 15-of-23 passes for 77 yards with two interceptions. He had a 34.1 passer rating.
Mayfield completed 15 of his 29 pass attempts for 176 yards with a touchdown, two interceptions and a 53.2 passer rating.
Key moment: Trailing 13-7 early in the fourth quarter, the Lions faced a 3rd and 2 at the Cleveland 26-yard line. Detroit ran Swift off the right side, but he was tackled after a gain of just one yard, setting up a 4th and 1 at the Browns' 25-yard line with about nine minutes remaining in the game.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell has been one of the more aggressive coaches on fourth down in the league this year. The Lions have gone for it 23 times on fourth down, the most in the NFL. They've converted 10 times.
But Campbell opted to kick the field goal in this situation to trim the Browns' lead to 13-10. Detroit would never cross midfield the rest of the game to have a chance to tie or win.
Injury report: Right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai left the game in the second quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. He never returned to the contest. Tommy Kraemer took over the rest of the way.
Defensive end Da'Shawn left the game in the third quarter with a groin injury and cornerback AJ Parker left in the fourth quarter after hurting his ankle. Neither player returned.
Up next: vs. Chicago (Thanksgiving)