DETROIT (0-8-1) at CLEVELAND (5-5)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, Fox
OPENING LINE: Browns by 11 1/2, according to FanDuel SportsBook.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Lions 5-4; Browns 5-5.
SERIES RECORD: Lions lead series 19-5.
LAST MEETING: Lions beat Browns 38-24 on Nov. 12, 2017 at Detroit.
LAST WEEK: Lions tied Steelers 16-16; Browns lost to Patriots 45-7.
LIONS OFFENSE: OVERALL (28), RUSH (20), PASS (25), SCORING (30)
LIONS DEFENSE: OVERALL (28), RUSH (30), PASS (16), SCORING (30)
BROWNS OFFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (T1), PASS (26), SCORING (18)
BROWNS DEFENSE: OVERALL (5), RUSH (5), PASS (11), SCORING (T20)
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Lions minus-1; Browns minus-1.
LIONS PLAYER TO WATCH: D’Andre Swift. The second-year running back had career highs with 130 yards rushing and 33 carries last week. Swift has a career best with 50 receptions and 420 yards receiving, leading all RBs in receptions and ranking second in yards receiving.
BROWNS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Jarvis Landry. The three-time Pro Bowler wants more touches and coach Kevin Stefanski might try to feed him. Landry has been slowed by a knee injury that kept him out for four games.
KEY MATCHUP: Lions TE T.J. Hockenson vs. Browns LBs and secondary. Hockenson (48 catches) is one of Detroit’s primary offensive weapons, so he’ll get plenty of attention from Cleveland’s defense, which has struggled against tight ends. Rookie LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has shown he can cover and could draw the assignment.
KEY INJURIES: Lions QB Jared Goff (oblique) missed practice time this week after getting hurt against the Steelers and is doubtful. … S Tracy Walker (concussion) and CB Jerry Jacobs (groin) were also injured against the Steelers. … Browns QB Baker Mayfield was rested this week in hopes of getting shoulder, foot and knee injuries better healed. Mayfield has shown his toughness in playing through injuries, but it’s been impacting his play. … Browns RB Nick Chubb returns after missing last week’s game following a positive COVID-19 test. … Browns RB Kareem Hunt (calf) isn’t quite ready to return and will miss his fifth game.
SERIES NOTES: The Lions have won four straight and lead 16-4 in regular-season matchups. Their .800 winning percentage against the Browns is their highest against any opponent. … Detroit and Cleveland played for the NFL title four times with the Lions winning in 1952, 1953 and 1957. The Browns won the the league championship in 1954. … Cleveland’s last win over Detroit came in 2001.
STATS AND STUFF: Detroit is the NFL’s only winless team and has a 13-game streak without a victory, dating to Dec. 6, 2020. … The Lions have been in games only to let them slip away. Five of their losses are by 10 points or less. … With Goff possibly sidelined, backup Tim Boyle worked with the starting offense. Boyle, who spent two years as Green Bay’s No. 2 QB behind Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, was activated from injured reserve after suffering a broken thumb in the preseason and undergoing surgery. Boyle has played in 11 NFL games, but attempted just four passes and never started. … Hockenson was held without a catch for the first time in nearly two years at Pittsburgh, a week after he had a career-high 10 receptions. He leads all NFC tight ends in receptions and ranks second with 448 yards receiving. After scoring a TD in each of the first two games, Hockenson hasn’t scored since. … Detroit’s kicking issues continue. The Lions waived Ryan Santoso after he missed two key kicks last week, including a 48-yarder in overtime for the win. To replace him, rookie Riley Patterson was signed off the Patriots’ practice squad. … Lions OT Taylor Decker made his season debut last week, returning after being out with a finger injury. … Lions CB Amani Oruwariye forced a fumble for the first time last week, defended two passes and had seven tackles. … The Lions are the only team to have six players have a run of at least 20 yards. … Cleveland’s postseason hopes are getting fainter by the week. The Browns have been wildly inconsistent, beating Cincinnati by 25 two weeks ago before getting dismantled by New England. … Despite being without Chubb and Hunt, the Browns’ running game remains one of the league’s most potent. D’Ernest Johnson rushed for 99 yards last week in his second career start. … The Browns’ passing game remains an enigma. Cleveland hasn’t thrown for more than 217 yards in its last five games and has just two 300-yard games this season. … DE Myles Garrett leads the league with 13 sacks and is one from tying the club’s single-season record (Reggie Camp, 1984). … The Browns are first in the AFC with 29 sacks and are tied with the Minnesota Vikings for the league lead. … Garrett seemed to call out defensive coordinator Joe Woods after last week’s loss, saying the Browns didn’t make any adjustments. Stefanski said he spoke with Garrett about his comments.
FANTASY TIP: The pressure is building on Mayfield to deliver some quality performances to not only help keep the Browns in the playoff race, but convince them he’s worthy of a contract extension. He’s played his best with his back to the wall, and that’s the case again — assuming he’s healthy enough to go.
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