The Lions were thoroughly outplayed in all three phases of the game, but maybe most disturbing -- that included all three of the team’s first-team units.
“There’s plenty to go around, that’s for sure,” Schwartz said afterward when asked which part of the game was most discouraging for him.
“We played poorly in all three phases. We played poorly on offense. We dropped balls and didn’t execute. We didn’t move the ball or have any explosive plays. We didn’t score any touchdowns.
“Defensively we made critical errors. We didn’t tackle very well and had some key penalties.”
The offense was particularly sluggish, which makes it two games in a row for the starters.
The Lions punted after three plays on their first three possessions and the unit put up just three points and 88 total yards in five first-half possessions.
“Today was a function of a few things,” Stafford said of that unit’s struggles. “We had some physical errors and some mental errors that we shouldn’t have had and honestly haven’t had all camp.”
The starters on offense finally got things going a little bit on their fifth and final possession of the first half, thanks to running back
Bush finished the game with 15 rushing yards on eight attempts, but caught five passes for 44 yards. He’s expected to be a big part of the Lions’ passing attack this season.
Without Megatron, Stafford completed a pass to only one receiver –
Stafford finished 11-of-16 passing for 74 yards with a quarterback rating of 78.6.
“It’s something we have to fix,” Stafford said. “We have to get back to playing assignment sound and playing fast.”
The Akers field goal put the Lions on the board, but not after the Browns had amassed a 17-0 lead on a pair of Brandon Weeden touchdown passes to tight end Jordan Cameron.
It was the second-straight shaky performance by a Lions secondary playing without safety
The Browns’ starters on offense scored on three of their first four series and racked up 204 total yards. Weeden was 8-of-12 passing for 117 yards and those two scores, good for a quarterback rating of 137.8. There were too many holes in that secondary.
Browns running back Trent Richardson gained 33 yards on five carries (5.5 average) and fellow running back Dion Lewis also had 33 yards on five carries (6.6 average), as the defense failed to take proper angles and tackle in the open field.
“They ran the ball against eight-man fronts, which is another unacceptable thing,” Schwartz said. “We had eight guys in the box and they shouldn’t be able to run.”
Things didn’t get much better for the second and third-team units for the Lions. Those players were outscored 7-3 in the second half.
The only Lions points in the second half came on a 33-yard
It’s only the preseason, and the Lions were extra vanilla against the Browns Thursday since they'll face them in the regular season, but it had to be discouraging for Lions coaches to see their players lose both mentally and physically in Cleveland.