LIONS LEFTOVERS: Plenty of anxiety in Detroit Lions victory over Cleveland Browns

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Lions Leftovers is the weekly post-game commentary from Detroit Sports Nation contributor Rob Otto. The opinions are his own, and not necessarily those of Detroit Sports Nation.

The end of the day is all that counts, and by 4:30 on Sunday, the Lions beat the Browns 38-24. Detroit crawled above .500 and knocked Cleveland down to 0-9. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Wouldn’t it be nice to just sit back and enjoy a Lions game from start to finish without ever having a doubt as to who is going to win? Instead, it is more like this:

After an emotional win Monday night in Green Bay, it seemed like Detroit was just not ready to play this game. Perhaps they believed their own hype and thought they could just throw their helmets onto the field and the win would be easy. Nope. The Lions let the lowly Browns jump out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.

That is not a position Cleveland fans were used to.

It is almost as if the Lions were letting them run away with it. Hmmm…

Eventually, the Lions woke up and came roaring back (see what I did there?), with a little help from their defense.

The Browns didn’t crumble though and got the ball down inside Detroit’s two-yard line near the end of the half. Then…this…

I think this sage scribe said it best:

Who is that genius? Oh yeah, it was me. Give me a moment while I pat myself on the back.

The Browns tried to make up for the screw-up in the third quarter, and just drove the ball right down Detroit’s throat. Twice.

Then this happened, and the entire game changed:

Without DeShone Kizer in the game, the wheels fell off the Browns’ offense. By the time he came back, it was too late, especially thanks to the quick feet of Golden Tate.

It all ended with a 14-point victory, which, in the end, is all that matters.

However, with fans believing this team is going to run the table and win the NFC North, the Lions cannot have this much trouble from a winless team. They are going to need to figure out how to play much better than we saw on Sunday if they are going to stay in the playoff race.

Now, two final images to help illustrate Sunday’s game.