Five things to know about the Lions’ loss to the Browns

Game in, game out the Detroit Lions excel at shooting themselves in the foot. They did it again on Sunday in a 13-10 loss to the Browns at Cleveland.

With the loss, Detroit falls to 0-9-1 and must make a quick turn-around to face the Bears (3-7) on Thanksgiving.

First things first.

All the blame for the loss can not be placed on quarterback Tim Boyle. It was his first career start in the NFL. Penalties and befuddling play-calling played a huge role in the loss. 

“I’m sure there were a lot of people who thought I was too conservative and maybe I ought to throw it a lot more but I’m not ready to do that with where we are here. … I think you’ve got to go where the game takes you,’’ coach Dan Campbell said.

The defense, however, came up big, shutting down the Browns in the second half. “I thought our defense played their hearts out,’’ Campbell said.

Five things to know:

1. The Lions had a chance to pull out a win. With 5:16 left in the game and down 13-10, the Lions had the ball on their own 40 after a beauty of a catch by T.J. Hockenson which was good for 24 yards. Then on first down, Jamaal Williams gets nothing, on second down Campbell calls a screen pass that did not fool the Browns defense and the Lions lose 4 yards. On third-and-14, it was a draw play for D’Andre Swift and he only gathered 5 yards. Game over once the Browns got the ball back and Nick Chubb just kept running.

2. The Lions finished with seven penalties for 67 yards. It was not just the number of penalties, on a Browns’ second-quarter drive Lions’ penalties on third and fourth downs kept their drive alive ending in a touchdown pass to Chubb. Oh, and between the third and fourth quarters Jonah Jackson was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. So the Lions were at first-and-25 instead of first-and-10 to start the fourth. Campbell said Jackson said something about somebody’s mother. He wasn’t more specific, but said there was a lot of talk going on.

3. The defense knew they had to stop running back Nick Chubb. The guy is a load, no doubt, but he carried the ball 22 times for 130 yards and scored with a touchdown reception. Detroit defense did keep the Browns off the scoreboard in the second half. Amani Oruwariye and A.J. Parker intercepted Baker Mayfield. 

4. Tim Boyle gained some momentum as the game wore on, finishing 15 of 23 for 77 yards and two interceptions. This was his first NFL start and it showed. Campbell said it’s unclear if Jared Goff, who has an oblique injury, will be ready to play on Thursday. If he’s ready he will play. If Boyle gets the start again, the coach said he’ll be better noting how he improved between the first and fourth quarters. “He ran the offense well, we had no communication errors. … I’m not disappointed in the kid,’’ Campbell said, admitting Boyle was rusty since he hadn’t played since August.

5. D’Andre Swift was a machine again. The Lions’ only touchdown came when he broke open for a 57-yard run into the endzone in the third quarter. He had 14 carries for 136 yards. He became the first player in team history to produce a TD rush of 50-plus yards and TD reception of 50-plus yards in a season since Barry Sanders in 1997. He’s also only the fifth Lion to ever produce 125-plus rushing yards in consecutive games. Swift had 130 rushing yards last week in the tie with the Steelers.

UP NEXT: The Lions (0-9-1) host the Bears (3-7) on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. The Bears lost 16-13 to the Ravens on Sunday.

(Photo courtesy of Detroit Lions)

Five things to know as Lions prepare to face Browns

You know the Lions are in bad shape when the best thing that can be said is they haven’t lost a game in November. First they had a bye week, then last Sunday they tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Still looking for their first win, the Lions (0-8-1) face the Browns (5-5) on Sunday in Cleveland. The Browns are coming off a 45-7 loss to the Patriots.

Coach Dan Campbell said the team had a good week of practice.

“There again, we know this is an opponent that’s going to be ready to go. They’re back home, very talented. So we’ve got to be ready, but I like where we’re at right now,’’ Campbell said on Friday.

Five things to know:

1. Quarterback Tim Boyle is expected to get his first career start with Jared Goff listed as doubtful with an oblique injury. Boyle has been on injured reserve since he underwent surgery for a broken thumb in the preseason. He spent the past two seasons in Green Bay backing up Aaron Rodgers. He’s ready to prove himself. “Opportunities, especially in the NFL, come very few times unfortunately, but that’s the beauty of the NFL. It’s so competitive. It’s been a long journey, just kind of reminiscing on my story of starting football when I was six years old and here I am as a 27-year-old still blessed to have this opportunity,’’ Boyle said.” it really is. It’s about preparation and always staying ready. I’ll be ready to go.”

2. The Lions signed rookie kicker Riley Patterson from the Patriots practice squad after Ryan Santoso missed a 48-yard game-winning field goal in overtime and an extra point earlier in the game at the Steelers. Austin Seibert will miss at least two more games.

3. After a bit of a scare this week with an elbow injury, left tackle Taylor Decker should be ready to go for his second straight start. He’s officially listed as questionable. “I think he’s good. I think it was not as bad as we thought it could be. So, I think it is – I think we’re fine. I think he’s going to be good to go. Look, he’s tough, man. He’s going to handle this well. He got it checked out and should be good,’’ Campbell said.

4. The defense will be tested by Browns’ running back Nick Chubb. “I would say it’s very similar to talking about Najee Harris last week. This team, they’ll try to run this offense through Chubb,’’ Campbell said. “I think he’s a special player. I think he’s – if there is such a thing as being underrated, he is maybe one of these underrated backs in the League. You can argue he’s the best or top two or something. I just think this guy is – he is, he is a special back. And so, we know they’re going to give him the ball, he’s going to carry the load.’’ Chubb is averaging 103 rushing yards per game and 6.0 yards per carry. 

5. While the Lions had to settle for a tie a week ago, there were good signs with the defense (after the first quarter) and the run game which finished with 229 yards. Campbell would like to see the team build on that. “You’d like to think that it’s something that we can continue to do that – there is something to be said about that recipe giving you the best chance to have success. I bring this up again, our defense came up with turnovers, too,’’ Campbell said. “That’s got to be very much a part of this. We have to have some turnovers and we’ve got to protect the football just like we did last week offensively. That’s as big of a part as anything is in all of this.”

INJURY UPDATE: OLB Trey Flowers (knee), RB Jermar Jefferson (knee/ankle) and T Matt Nelson (ankle) will not play.

PREDICTION: Browns 27, Lions 14