Time: 1:00 pm, Sunday, November 22, 2009
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Network, Announcers: CBS- Don Criqui and Randy Cross.
Line: Detroit by three.
Team W/L Records: Cleveland is 1-8; Detroit is 1-8.
Coaches: Eric Mangini is 24-33 overall, 1-8 with the Browns; Jim Schwartz is 1-8 in his first season with the Lions.
Last Week for the Browns: Suffered through their fifth consecutive sub-200-yard offensive performance in a 16-0 loss to the Ravens.
Last Week for the Lions: Lost their sixth in a row and 25th out of the last 26 games in a 27-10 thumping at the hands of the Vikings.
All-Time Series: Lions lead, 17-5.
Last Meeting- October 23, 2005: Ex-Brown Jeff Garcia came back to haunt his old team with 210 passing yards and a one-yard touchdown plunge as the Lions came from behind to edge the Browns in CBS, 13-10. This meeting of losers is notable for only one thing: it was the scene of Josh Cribbs's first return touchdown as a pro. The rookie from Kent State took a kickoff 90 yards to the house in the second quarter.
Out or Questionable for Detroit: S Kalvin Pearson (hamstring), G Stephen Peterman (ankle) and LB Ernie Sims (hamstring) are out; LB Zack Follett (neck), DE DeWayne White (toe) and WR Derrick Williams (hip) are questionable.
Out or Questionable for Cleveland: WR Joshua Cribbs (neck), G Rex Hadnot (knee), RB Jamal Lewis (ankle) and RB Lawrence Vickers (shoulder) are questionable.
What to watch for the Lions: Detroit does have a victory in the ledger this season, unlike in 2008, but otherwise these have been the same old Lions, with six double-digit losses. They're not necessarily beating the teams they're supposed to beat, either- they handed the St. Louis Rams their first and only victory of the season in Ford Field three weeks ago. After this week the Lions run out of teams they'll have a chance to beat, with the possible exception of a visit from the Bears on the final weekend of the season. Losing at home to the Rams was bad; losing at home to a reeling Browns team on a short work week would be a travesty. Detroit has to win this one. Look for the Lions to play with urgency and purpose on Sunday, although they're so bad it might not matter.
What to watch for the Browns: I won't bore or horrify you with the statistics; you've been watching the games and know, along with everyone else, just how awful this Cleveland offense is. Well, the resistable force is about to meet the movable object. Detroit is 31st in the NFL in total defense (ahead of only the Browns), 32nd in scoring defense and 32nd against the pass. The Lions have allowed 20 touchdown passes, second-most in the NFL, and are giving up 7.3 yards per pass attempt, the highest in the league. If Cleveland's offense is ever going to show any sign of life, it's going to be this Sunday in the Motor City.
Good Past Win over the Lions- September 11, 1983: The Browns overcame an 80-yard Eric Hipple-to-Leonard Thompson touchdown bomb, a 66-yard punt-return score by Alvin Hall and a safety to overcome the Lions at the Silverdome, 31-26. Cleveland forced five turnovers and got 137 rushing yards from Mike Pruitt and four touchdown passes by Brian Sipe to eek out the win over a Detroit team that would go on to win the NFC Central. It is the only time the Browns have ever won in Detroit.
Bad Past Loss to the Lions- November 23, 1989: Rookie Barry Sanders ran for 145 yards and Cleveland's offense and kicking game struggled in a 13-10 upset at the hands of the Lions, who entered the Thanksgiving Day proceedings with a 2-9 record. The Browns got just 70 rushing yards against Detroit's defense, while Matt Bahr was wide on a 44-yard field-goal attempt that would have tied the game in the fourth quarter. Two turnovers and ten penalties also hurt the Browns, who dropped to 7-4-1 with the gut-wrenching loss.
Next Week for Both Teams: The Browns head to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals; the Lions host the Packers.
Trivia: Including postseason games, the Browns have a franchise record of 1-10 in Detroit.