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Cleveland Browns vs. Detroit Lions - Official Game Thread

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The Browns game is blacked out this week...for Detroit Lions fans. This game is considered "the joke game," but all of us are still pulling for a win today, right?

CLEVELAND BROWNS (1-8) WEEK 11 DETROIT LIONS (1-8)
VS.
Date: November 22, 2009 Location: Cleveland, OH
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Stadium: Browns Stadium
TV: CBS
Favorite: Lions by -3½
Radio: WTAM, 1100 AM Over/Under: 37½
SBN Coverage: Pride of Detroit Announcers Don Criqui & Randy Cross

We're underdogs to last year's 0-16 and this year's 1-8 Detroit Lions. If that doesn't tell you how our season has gone, then crawl out from under the rock and watch today's game.

Let's start off this week's preview with the overall team statistics heading into Week 11...

OFFENSE

Category Browns Lions
Points Scored 8.7 (32nd) = Push 15.9 (26th)
Passing 116.2 (32nd) = -1 190.8 (21st)
Rushing 98.1 (26th) = -1 103.1 (21st)
Total Offense (yards) 214.3 (32nd) = Push 293.9 (26th)

DEFENSE

Category Browns Lions
Points Scored 25.0 (28th) = Push 29.3 (32nd)
Passing 228.3 (20th) = +5 271.7 (32nd)
Rushing 165.8 (30th) = +1 114.6 (19th)
Total Defense (yards) 394.1 (32nd) = Push 386.2 (31st)

CLEVELAND BROWNS Position DETROIT LIONS
Besides Buffalo, this might be the only team we can be labeled as "even" at the quarterback position.
- QB - Matthew Stafford hasn't had a good season, but a rookie gets time to take his lumps with a bad team.
We don't want to give the ball to Jamal Lewis a lot. We don't want to give it to Jerome Harrison at all. Chris Jennings is being sprinkled in. Someone needs to carry the load.
RB - Kevin Smith has had a poor yards-per-carry average this season (3.4), but has three touchdowns and has done "ok" given the circumstances.
If our receivers can't get off of press coverage today, then we might have to worry about the prospects of Massaquoi or Robiskie contributing next year too.
WR - Calvin Johnson is still a star in the making. For the Lions' sake, hopefully they don't trade their best receiver again, because they'll just draft another one.
The offensive line looked a little bit shaky against the Ravens last week, but against the 32nd ranked Lions defense, it's hard to believe they'll be tested the same.
-
OL Their offensive line is so bad, Yahoo Sports doesn't even show them as having a right guard. OK, they aren't horrible, but the Browns have the edge at youth in Joe Thomas and Alex Mack.
Shaun Rogers might have a little extra motivation to play well today against his former team.
- DL The Lions don't have any stars on their line, much like the Browns with little to go on in terms of youth.
Kaluka Maiava and David Bowens have done very well at inside linebacker the past two weeks, with Jason Trusnik on the outside. Why does it seem more stable than when Jackson and Barton played the middle?
LB - Julian Peterson is getting up their in age, but with veterans Larry Foote and Ernie Sims to go along with them, the unit has the experience to sit back and defend Quinn's short passing approach.
Brandon McDonald hasn't shown enough that he will be a starting cornerback this year, but Eric Wright has held steady for the second year in a row.
-
DB The Lions are ranked worst in the league against the pass. It'll be another epic tail if Brian Daboll chooses not to exploit that.
Joshua Cribbs is expected to play today despite last week's cheap shot taken on him.
- ST I miss Dennis Northcutt at the receiver position. That's how bad it's been for us.


I preached this week that the expectations should be downgraded to "nothing" on offense. But, maybe I should hold off on that projection for a week. Every team the Browns have faced this season besides two of them are ranked in the top half of the league defensively. Our offense might not break out this week with long drives, but I believe our defense can set up Brady Quinn with a few short drives by creating turnovers.

FINAL PREDICTION: Cleveland Browns 13, Detroit Lions 10.
CHRIS' RECORD IN PICKING BROWNS GAMES: 8-1
CHRIS' OVERALL NFL PREDICTIONS RECORD: 103-42

This is the official gameday thread for the Cleveland Browns in Week 11 as they face the Detroit Lions. All comments regarding the game should be posted in this thread. Enjoy the game, and GO BROWNS!!!