Lions escape against winless Browns but must be better to reach playoffs

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The Lions (4-4) struggled with protection issues in the season's first six games, but have played better as an unit since returning from the bye.

Free Press sports writers Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez predict the Lions-Browns game on November 9, 2017.

According to the CBS broadcast, the rookie had his ribs injured. In 3 quick plays the Browns cashed in on a Kizer to Kenny Britt 19-yard TD. Before the injury, Kizer completed 15 of 24 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown. After running for 4 yards on second down, Kizer overthrew tight end David Njoku in the back corner of the end zone allowing Zane Gonzalez to kick a 23-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 11:30 left in the first quarter.

Backup quarterback Cody Kessler wasn't able to generate any points in Kizer's absence, and Stafford was too much for the defense to handle. They marched 85 yards in 8 plays capped by a 6-yard touchdown run by Isaiah Crowell to tie the game at 17.

Second Half Stops The Browns defense gave up 3 touchdown drives in the second half.

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What I liked: Until he hurt his ribs early in the fourth quarter, Kizer had his best game of the season. And that was a real possibility when the Browns scored on the first possession of the second half to take a 24-17 lead. He had run for 20 yards to convert a third down on the drive, and hit tight end Seth DeValve with a 35-yard pass to the 1. But at least this time they showed some signs of life.

Along with Abdullah, the Lions featured a steady diet of running backs on the game-tying drive.

Garrett has four sacks in just three games this year, and was considered one of the best pass-rushing prospects in recent years coming out of Texas A&M.

Lions defensive back Nevin Lawson stripped the Browns ball carrier, broke a tackle and took it all the way back for a touchdown, making it 17-10 Lions in the second quarter. Matthew Stafford had a pass intercepted. DeShone Kizer opened with a 38-yard completion to receiver Sammie Coates up the far sideline to set up a first-and-goal.

Collins' departure marked a huge blow for the Browns, who had their full starting lineup for the first time this season.