Detroit Lions vs. Cleveland Browns: Lions edge Browns 13-12 in preseason thriller


Aug 9, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) runs with the ball after getting away from Detroit Lions linebacker Kyle Van Noy (95) during the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 preseason kicked off Saturday night with the Detroit Lions vs. Cleveland Browns at Ford Field in Detroit. It was one of the most-hyped preseason games in recent memory with the debut of Johnny Manziel of the Browns being the hot story coming in.

The Lions offense took the field first with decent field position after a good return from Jeremy Ross to open the game. The first-team offense was able to drive down the field but would end up settling for a Nate Freese 37-yard field goal. The end of the possession would mark the end of the evening for Stafford as well.

Matthew Stafford stat line: 2-3, 16 yards, 0 TD’s

Former Michigan State Spartan, Brian Hoyer lead the Browns on to the field for their first drive of the game. Hoyer would drive Cleveland to the Detroit 40 yard line before being forced to punt after failing to convert on a third and eight.

Dan Orlovsky would take over for the Lions on their second possession. After a couple of penalties, a sack, and a botched attempt at a screen, the Lions were forced to punt.

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  • Hoyer would take Cleveland down the field on the Browns second possession. The drive would eventually result in a Billy Cundiff 43 yard field goal to tie the game with 1:43 left in the first quarter.

    The score would remain 3-3 at the start of the second. Hoyer would drive the Browns down the field again however and Cleveland would take the lead off a 26 yard, Cundiff field goal with 11:12 remaining in the first half.

    Brian Hoyer stat line: 6-14, 92 yards, 0 TD’s

    After another Lions possession that would end in a punt, Johnny Manziel would take the field with 7:32 remaining in the second.

    The result of Johnny Football’s first professional series?

    Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

    An underwhelming three and out, (Much to the pleasure of Lions fans in attendance).

    The Lions would use a very heavy dose of running backs, Mikel Leshoure and George Winn for the remainder of the first half as well as a few nice completions to the often-injured Ryan Broyles. Freese would eventually tie the game up with a 32 yard field goal at the end of the second quarter.

    Orlovsky’s stat line at the half: 9-15, 64 yards, 0 TD’s

    The score at the half: 6-6.

    Manziel led the Browns back on the field for the start of the third quarter.

    Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan kept the play calling in Manziel’s favor as Johnny Football would take every snap from the pistol formation. The Browns would manage yet another field goal on this drive, this time from 41 yards out making the score 9-6, Browns.

    Manziel would come to life on the Browns second possession of the second half, driving down to the Detroit 30 yard line. A fumble by Terrance West would negate everything however as the Lions would regain possession. Recovery by Chris Redding.

    Manziel stat line: 7-11, 63 yards, 27 yards rushing. 0 TD’s

    Kellen Moore would see his first action of the night with :28 seconds remaining in the third. Moore would show us some good things in his first series including a 15 yard completion to Andrew Peacock on third down. The next play however would see a fumble by Winn give the ball back to the Browns with 11:31 remaining in the fourth.

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    Billy Cundiff would kick his fourth field goal of the night, this time from 41 yards to make the score 12-6, Browns with 6:52 left in regulation.

    Moore would bounce back and lead Detroit back down the field. After a 28 yard completion to Steven Miller the Lions found themselves at the Cleveland 25 with less than four minutes remaining in regulation.

    Then with a first and goal, Moore would do the one thing that could cost him a spot on the Lions roster, he turned the ball over.

    Redemption would come however.

    With 1:05 left in the game Moore would throw a 21 yard strike to Corey Fuller to put the Lions up 13-12.

    Final Score: Detroit 13 Cleveland 12

    Key take aways for Detroit:

    Broyles looked good, not only catching, but finishing plays

    George Winn ran hard, and looked good up until the fumble

    Slay did a nice job on Josh Gordon

    The return game looked promising

    Kellen Moore may prove to be the best option at No. 2

    Lions second preseason game is Friday 8/15 against the Raiders.