On December 29, 1957, the Detroit Lions annihilated the Cleveland Browns 59-14 in the NFL Championship Game. Ever since that game, you can bet the Browns and their loyal fans have been waiting for sweet revenge, the kind of revenge that only comes in a meaningless fourth preseason game. After all, it must have been embarrassing to live in Ohio at that time.
Well, on Thursday night, the Browns came out of the tunnel with a look that clearly said, “never forget.” Even in pregame warmups, not a single Cleveland player was smiling. Warmups were crisp and it was clear the team was on a mission, a mission to take out the Lions.
The Lions, on the other hand, treated the game like it was just practice. Matthew Stafford, who sat this one out, joked around on the field with his receivers prior to kickoff, almost as if he did not have the ’57 matchup on his mind. New head coach Matt Patricia seemed more worried about getting a final look at some players who were on the bubble of making the roster than he was beating the Browns.
Well, champagne bottles will be popping in the Browns locker room and Cleveland fans will be dancing in the streets and flipping over cars because their team did get sweet revenge for the ’57 debacle. In fact, the Browns jumped out to a 25-0 first-half lead before putting things in cruise control for the remainder of the game.
When all was said and done, the Browns defeated the Lions, at Ford Field nonetheless, 35-17, in a game that most likely ruined the Lions chances of any regular season success.
Obviously, we are just having a little bit of fun here. Lions fans, if you are following things on Twitter, you may believe the sky is falling. Don’t believe everything you read, even from the beat writers and bloggers, IT IS JUST THE PRESEASON! Plenty of teams have looked like absolute garbage in the preseason and flipped the switch by the time Week 1 rolled around.
*By the way, yes, we know this is not the first time the Lions and Browns have met since that 1957 matchup. In fact, they have played 17 times in the regular season since that game with the Lions winning 13 of those matchups.
Sorry, Browns fans, the Lions still own you!
NOTE: The most important takeaway from this game is that Jake Rudock outplayed Matt Cassell (at least statistically speaking) in the battle to see who will win the backup quarterback position. Other than that, get a good night’s sleep and start counting down the days until the regular season begins!