Cleveland Browns vs. Detroit Lions Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Cleveland Browns (1-8 3-6 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (1-8 2-6-1 ATS) Ford Field, Detroit, MI, Week 11 NFL, 1 PM EST Sunday November 22, 2009 on CBS
by Jason Green at

Point Spread: Browns +3.5 / Lions -3.5
Over/Under: 38.5

Oh man, what a HUGE match up, as the Detroit Lions host the Cleveland Browns. The loser of this game has absolutely zero chance to end the season .500, but they may end up the winner since they have a better chance to get the #1 pick in the upcoming draft. Neither teams had any expectations coming into this season and both have lived up to those, oh so lofty, expectations since each team is in the basement of their respective division with a grand total of 1 win. The Lions have lost 3 in a row and the Browns have lost 5 in a row. At least the Lions may have their QB of the future in Matthew Stafford while the Browns have changed their starting QB a few times already this season. Cleveland has the distinction of having the worst rated offense and defense in the league, but Detroit is not much better ranked 2nd to last on defense and 26th on offense. Why the hell is this not a Monday night prime time game?

Last week the Browns lost 16-0 to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night and the Lions lost to the Minnesota Vikings 27-10.

In their loss to the Vikings the Lions offense played decent, but their horrid D showed through, as they gave up 492 total yards (152 rushing yards 340 passing yards). The Lions were crushed in the game even though the Vikings played a sloppy game with 2 turnovers and were penalized 13 times for 91 yards. The Lions simply could not run the ball, as they only had 93 rushing yards and 28 of those yards came from QB Stafford. The Lions’ D allowed Brett Favre to throw for 344 yards and average 11 yards per pass. The Lions were underdogs by 17 points and since they lost by 17 points it was a push and the posted total of the game of 47.5 points was not surpassed.

In the Browns Monday night loss to the Ravens, Cleveland had fewer passing and rushing yards than Baltimore and also committed 2 turnovers. The Browns have the league’s worst ranked defense, but they did not play that bad against the Ravens. The Browns’ rushing game was a joke, as they only averaged a paltry 2.4 yards per carry against the Ravens and the leading rusher Jamaal Lewis only had 36 yards. QB Brady Quinn had another bad game going 13/31 for 99 yards with 0 TD and 2 INT for a horrid QB rating of 23.5. The Browns were underdogs in the game by 11 points so they did not cover the spread the posted total of 39.5 was nowhere near being reached.

It looks as if Brady Quinn is still the starting QB, but he has done nothing this season except for tease Cleveland fans by passing for 205 yards in their 1st game.

The Lions have more per game averages of total yards, passing yards, and rushing yards than the Browns this season and they are home.

The Lions have some hope for the future while the Browns are just a mess. The Lions need to cut down on the turnovers and if they do that they should win this game.

The Lions’ secondary is on pace to become the worst in the history of the league in terms of passer rating, but facing the Browns weak offense should help. However, if Quinn has a decent game and can find his targets they may win this game since the Lions cannot stop opposing teams’ QB’s from tearing them apart.

The Browns did play decent D in their recent loss to the Ravens and they have to do so again in this game since their offense has scored the fewest points in the NFL this season.

Stafford does have a gun, but he cannot turn the ball over in this game. Stafford has 12 INT’s and only 6 TD’s this season. Main target Calvin Johnson gives Stafford a legit target and he may have a big game against Cleveland.

In the Browns last 13 games they are only 3-10 ATS and the Lions are only 3-10 ATS in their last 13 home games.

Jason’s Pick: OK, both teams suck, but at least in Detroit there may be a silver lining with the young talent they have. The Lions should easily cover the spread against the Browns at home and notch their 2nd win of the season.