2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Stafford sparks Lions to 31-17 win over Browns

By TOM WITHERS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-14 02:50

CLEVELAND (AP) - Matthew Stafford's four touchdown passes were impressive. None, though, may have meant as much as the ball he fired into the ground.

With star receiver Calvin Johnson slowed by a knee injury, Stafford spread his passes around and threw three of his TDs in the second half to rally the Detroit Lions to a 31-17 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Down 17-7 at halftime, the Lions (4-2) outscored the Browns 24-0 after halftime to pull out a win that seemed unlikely after the first 30 minutes.

On Detroit's first possession of the third quarter, Stafford scrambled from trouble on a 3rd-and-6 play and picked up seven yards. He popped to his feet after picking up the first down and spiked the ball at his feet, drawing a 5-yard penalty for delay of game.

While out of character, Stafford's outburst ignited the Lions.

``I knew it was going to take something to spark people,'' Stafford said. ``That wasn't false. I was happy to be getting that first down and to be down on the ground safe after a run. I just wanted to get the guys going. It was time to go.''

And off the Lions went.

Stafford connected on three touchdown passes with rookie tight end Joseph Fauria, who celebrated each of the scores with familiar flair. On two of the TDS, the 6-foot-7 Fauria broke out some of his awkward, if not comical, dance moves and on the other he dunked the ball over the goal post.

Fauria has seven catches this season, five for TDs. Not bad for an undrafted free agent from UCLA.

``He's tall as heck,'' Lions coach Jim Schwartz said describing Fauria. ``But there are a lot of tall guys that aren't good players.''

No one for Detroit stood as tall as Stafford, who completed 25 of 43 passes for 248 yards. In the second half, he went 15 of 21 for 165 yards and made sure he got the ball to Reggie Bush, who finished with 135 total yards.

``Matthew is a tremendous quarterback, football player, guy and teammate,'' Fauria said. ``It's an honor to play with him, help him out and develop that trust.''

For the Browns (3-3), the loss stopped a three-game winning streak and raised more questions about their quarterback situation.

Brandon Weeden, back in the starting lineup with Brian Hoyer out for the rest of the year with a torn knee ligament, threw two TD passes. But his ill-advised, backhanded flip in the fourth quarter that was intercepted by Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy ended any chance of a Cleveland comeback.

``Just a bone-headed play,'' Weeden said.

Here are five more things we learned from the Lions' turnaround victory.

CALVIN HOBBLED: Johnson returned after missing last week's game with a right knee injury but was less than 100 percent.

The man they call ``Megatron'' had three catches for 25 yards but was slower than normal coming off the line and didn't cut with his usual precision and power. Still, his presence put the Browns' defense on edge and enabled Detroit's other receivers to get open.

``He helped tremendously,'' Fauria said. ``One of the greatest of all time, being lined up next to him is a trip. Having him on top opens things up for guys like me.''

SHUTDOWN: The Browns had a season-high 115 yards rushing - at halftime.

Cleveland's offensive line pushed Detroit's ferocious front foursome all over the field in the first half. But it was a different story after halftime as the Browns gained just 11 yards on the ground. It didn't help that Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner abandoned the running game, placing more pressure on Weeden.

BUSH PUSH: Almost non-existent in the first half, Bush was a matchup nightmare in the second half for the Browns.

The versatile back picked up 121 total yards in the third and fourth quarters, and it was his 39-yard run in the third - on the play after Stafford's scramble and spike - that really got the Lions going.

JACKED RABBIT: In his first game after setting Cleveland's team record for punt return yardage, Travis Benjamin got bottled up by the Lions.

Nicknamed ``Rabbit,'' Benjamin was held to minus-10 yards on three punt returns. In Cleveland's Oct. 3 win over Buffalo, Benjamin had a 79-yard TD return and 179 yards, but the Lions did an exquisite job of taking him out of the game.

NO EVIDENCE: The Lions appeared to catch a break when Weeden's long pass - on 2nd-and-25 - to wide receiver Greg Little down the sideline in the fourth quarter was ruled out of bounds. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski challenged the call, but it was upheld and Cleveland lost a timeout.

``I had a pretty good view of it. I thought he got his second foot down,'' Chudzinski said. ``Obviously, that's why I challenged it, but he didn't. We didn't win the challenge and they didn't reverse it.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

Terrelle PryorApr 19 01:02p

The Oakland Raiders will release QB Terrelle Pryor if they are not able to trade him by Monday, April 21.

LaMichael JamesApr 19 12:22p

The Kansas City Chiefs could consider pursuing San Francisco 49ers RB LaMichael James if he could become a slot receiver. The team likely would not have interest in James [ More ]

Matt HasselbeckApr 19 12:22p

Indianapolis Colts QB Matt Hasselbeck plans to retire after the 2014 season.

Asa JacksonApr 19 12:12p

Baltimore Ravens CBs Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson are expected to compete for the No. 3 cornerback job during training camp. If the team takes a cornerback in one [ More ]

Michael FordApr 19 11:32a

The Chicago Bears probably will select a running back in the later rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft to compete with RB Michael Ford for the No. 2 running [ More ]

Jordan PalmerApr 19 09:52a

The Chicago Bears could target a quarterback in the late rounds of the NFL Draft or in free agency to provide competition for backup QB Jordan Palmer.

Cam NewtonApr 19 09:32a

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (ankle) remains in a walking boot about a month after ankle surgery. The team is hopeful Newton will be ready to go for training camp.

Michael RobinsonApr 19 12:02a

The Seattle Seahawks have not tried to re-sign free-agent FB Michael Robinson this offseason.

Russell AllenApr 18 11:42p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen (concussion) after he failed a physical.

Kendrick LewisApr 18 08:32p

Houston Texans FS Kendrick Lewis and SS Chris D. Clemons are expected to compete for the starting free safety job during training camp.

Trent RichardsonApr 18 08:22p

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said it will be important for RB Trent Richardson to participate in all of the offseason workouts so he can get more comfortable [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group