The Detroit Lions look to continue their playoff push when they host the winless Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Detroit throttled Green Bay 30-17 on Monday night in a dominant performance where it never punted to snap a three-game slide.
Matthew Stafford connected on 26 of 33 passes for 361 yards and two touchdowns to Marvin Jones in the win at Green Bay. Detroit has a favorable schedule in the second half of the season, facing just one team (Minnesota) with a winning record the rest of the way. Rookie DeShone Kizer expects to be back under center for Cleveland, which ranks 31st in the league with an average of 14.9 points and has scored more than 20 points just once this season. Kizer hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in his last four games, including last time out when the Browns fell apart in the second half on the way to a 33-16 setback against the Vikings in London.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Lions -12. O/U: 43.5.
ABOUT THE BROWNS (0-8): Not that the Browns have a bevy of stars, but those they do have are battling injuries. All-purpose back Duke Johnson left the last game with a concussion and is listed as questionable, but defensive end Myles Garrett has cleared concussion protocol and is expected to play. Defensive back Jabrill Peppers is uncertain to play after missing the past two games with a toe injury for Cleveland, which hasn’t won on the road since Oct. 11, 2015, when it defeated Baltimore 33-30 in overtime.
ABOUT THE LIONS (4-4): While beating up on the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers didn’t prove much, the Lions are in solid position to challenge for the NFC North title, especially with a win over the division-leading Vikings already in hand. Detroit continues to struggle to run the ball with Ameer Abdullah leading the squad with 417 yards on 122 carries but he did score a touchdown last week. Golden Tate has shrugged off shoulder issues to lead the receivers with 562 yards on 50 catches and Jones has five touchdowns on the season.
1. Browns WR Josh Gordon returned to the team during the week but isn’t eligible to play until Dec. 3.
2. Detroit rookie WR Kenny Golloday, who caught two touchdown passes in his NFL debut, is expected to return from a hamstring injury against the Browns.
3. Stafford’s first scoring pass to Jones was the 200th touchdown pass in 117 career games for Stafford, the sixth-quickest in NFL history to reach the milestone.
PREDICTION: Lions 30, Browns 10