The Browns have held a lead going into halftime for all five of their games before today. They continued that streak with a strong second quarter.
The Lions’ big weapon Calvin Johnson was active, but played in probably a third of Detroit’s plays. He had one reception in the half for seven yards.
Detroit got a penalty aided first down in the red zone when Joe Haden was flagged for a phantom pass interference penalty on Calvin Johnson. Haden followed that with an actual pass interference in the end zone giving the Lions the ball on the one. The Lions got on the board first when Matthew Stafford threw a 1 yard touchdown pass to TE Joseph Fauria.
Travis Benjamin broke a huge run on an end around late in the first quarter. The 45 yard carry was Cleveland’s longest on the season. The Browns followed up with Brandon Weeden rolling out to his right and finding Davone Bess. After Josh Gordon made a nice grab and fought for the first down, Weeden threw to a wide open Chris Ogbonnaya for the tying touchdown. The drive was 8 plays and 74 yards.
The Browns defense really clamped down on Detroit after the first quarter. Several times the Lions went three and out.
A potential momentum killing interception from Weeden came on a pass down the sideline targeting Chris Ogbonnaya. It was a terrible pass, but the Browns defense got the momentum back on the next Lions possession. T.J. Ward knifed through and caught Reggie Bush in the backfield. After Durham made an acrobatic catch against Joe Haden, Ward knocked a pass loose from Calvin Johnson forcing a Lions punt.
The Browns then moved down field, going 84 yards in 9 plays culminating in a Greg Little two yard touchdown catch. The drive featured a little bit of everything including Weeden with big completions to Gordon and Barnidge. Willis McGahee had a nice run. MarQueis Gray took a direct snap run for a first down. The Browns led 14-7 after the score.
Detroit came up empty on three straight pass attempts giving the Browns another shot at a score before the half. Josh Gordon had a big catch to set the Browns up in striking distance. After a Billy Cundiff field goal, the Browns had a 17-7 halftime lead.
The big difference in the first half was the Browns ability to run the ball, as opposed to Detroit’s struggles. Cleveland eclipsed the 100 yard mark in the first half for the first time all season.
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