Cleveland Browns vs Detroit Lions: Week 10 Q & A with Detroit Jock City

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: The Cleveland Browns make their way out onto the field prior to the NFL International Series match between Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns at Twickenham Stadium on October 29, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: The Cleveland Browns make their way out onto the field prior to the NFL International Series match between Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns at Twickenham Stadium on October 29, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images) /

Coming off of their bye week, the Cleveland Browns will attempt to play a complete game in Week 10. They did better overseas prior to the bye, so hopefully progress is seen versus the Detroit Lions.

The Cleveland Browns are now in the second half of their schedule for the 2017 season. Over in London, England we saw the best gameplan for quarterback DeShone Kizer. Perhaps that will be seen again this week.

For more insight, I discussed the upcoming game with Detroit Jock City‘s Site Expert Zac Snyder.

FoS: While one could say Detroit’s offensive line has done well, how much are they truly missing LT Taylor Decker? Will his absence on Sunday be even more evident against a talented Browns’ front seven?

DJC: I wouldn’t say the Lions offensive line has done well. The protection for Matthew Stafford has been a lot better the last two games but they gave up 17 sacks in the three games before that. While the protection is better, the running game is still a mess and that can mostly be attributed to a lack of running room for the backs to work with.

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There have been breakdowns at times all over but the Lions have certainly missed Taylor Decker. The improvement in line play has coincided with Brian Mihalik replacing Greg Robinson, who was waived-injured on Friday.

Decker remains on PUP as of early Friday afternoon, but I’m not convinced he doesn’t play against the Browns. The Lions have until Saturday to make the move and Decker returned to practice last week, now giving him two weeks of practice.

FoS: Should the Lions’ duo of quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Golden Tate be the most concerning for Cleveland?

DJC: That’s the most consistently dynamic duo for the Lions offense but Marvin Jones has played really well the last three games. Jones got off to a fast start last year while Tate got off to a slow start. Then Jones faded and Tate came on strong.

It was the opposite this year with Jones not producing a whole lot through the first five games but we’re just now seeing the first stretch of games in which both Jones and Tate are producing at a high level. Both guys should feel good coming into this week’s game given their recent success.

FoS: The Lions were 0-16 in 2008. Are fans, media, etc., rooting for Cleveland to join them in that unfortunate unique honor? What would also be the reaction if Cleveland were to win and this week is their only W?

DJC: It isn’t a topic I’ve seen come up in the media but I think it is definitely on the minds of Lions fans who remember that 2008 season.

As the saying goes, misery loves company and though you might find the occasional fan that doesn’t want a fanbase to go through what Lions fans went through in 2008, I think most would like to see the Lions no longer carry the label as the only team in NFL history to go 0-16.

If the Lions were to lose against the Browns we’ll hear a lot of the phrase “same old Lions” that pops up any time the Lions do something bad. People remember the 2008 Lions for going 0-16 but the 2009 Lions lost a home game to the St. Louis Rams who went on to finish 1-15.

I don’t think the Browns will actually go 0-16 because I think there is a lot more talent on the field than the 2008 Lions had but yes, I will be rooting for it to happen.

FoS: What can Kizer do outside of turning the ball over and decision-making to have a good day against the Lions’ defense?

DJC: He’ll have to post a completion percentage higher than his season average. The Lions have been very good at coming up with turnovers but if you’re taking decision-making off the table, it will be all about sustaining drives for the Browns.

The Falcons moved the ball at will against the Lions but it was the turnovers that kept the Lions in the game to set up that wild ending. With the Lions sometimes struggling to score touchdowns, just keeping drives going to set up as many scoring opportunities as possible will be the key for the Kizer-led Browns offense.

FoS: Cleveland has not covered TEs well at all this season. Would it be surprising to the Lions’ fanbase if they saw their TE Eric Ebron be the leading receiver given the number of options Stafford has at his disposal?

DJC: It would, but not only because of the other options. Eric Ebron is in a tough spot in Detroit.

There are a number of fans who were never on board with the team taking him with the tenth overall pick in the 2014 draft and that has only magnified with Ebron dropping passes while guys like Aaron Donald and Odell Beckham have gone on to stardom as picks behind Ebron at positions of need for the Lions.

While Ebron’s career got off to a slow start, he had shown marked improvement over his first three seasons. That gave the believers something to hold off the doubters but Ebron’s production has taken a step back in year four and at times has been completely absent in the offense.

Next: Week 10 predictions vs Detroit

FoS thanks Zac for providing insight into Week 10’s game. Cleveland may be on their way to joining the 2008 Lions but a lot still has to be played out.