Detroit’s Dangerous Dagger Din: Browns – Lions Preview

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Detroit
Rode the fifty three.
“Forward, the Clevelanders!
Charge for the yards!” he said.
Into the valley of Detroit
Rode the six hundred.

Week 10: Cleveland Browns (0-8) at Detroit Lions (4-4)

Are the Browns favored?

I’m surprised you need to ask. No, the Browns will start Sunday’s game as 12.5 point underdogs. The bookmakers are giving first-place Detroit a lot of credit, and I can’t say I blame them.

“Forward, the Clevelanders!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the fans all knew
Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Detroit
Rode the fifty three.

Detroit leads the all-time series 18-5. The Browns and Lions collided four times in the NFL title game with Cleveland’s lone win coming in 1954. The Motor City has won three straight games in the series with the Browns’ most recent win coming in 2001. Cleveland hasn’t defeated their upstate neighbor in Michigan since September 1983; Brian Sipe threw four touchdowns that day.

Touchdowns to right of them,
Field goals to left of them,
Safeties in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Detroit,
Into the mouth of hell
Rode the fifty three.

Lions 2017 Season

The Lions opened up the campaign with three wins in their first four games with victories over Arizona, the Giants, and Minnesota, and a loss to Atlanta. Detroit dropped their next three games against Carolina, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh. On Monday night the Silver and Blue managed to best the Packers at Lambeau Field. At 4-4, the Lions are in second place in the NFC North, two games behind the Vikings and a-game-and-a-half out of the second wild card spot.

Flashed all their playbooks bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Blitzing the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wondered.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
linemen all rushin’
Reeled from the sabre stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the fifty three.

Lions Playmakers

Quarterback Matthew Stafford, the nine-year veteran from Georgia, has thrown 189-of-303 passing for 2,212 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions this season. His top targets are Golden Tate (50 receptions, 562 yards, two scores) and Marvin Jones Jr. (33 catches, 515 yards, 5 scores). Ameer Abdullah runs the ball to the tune of 417 yards on 122 attempts and two touchdowns.

Touchdowns to right of them,
Field goals to left of them,
Safeties behind them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell.
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Detroit,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of fifty three.

Fresh off their bye week, the Browns return to action halfway through a winless season. Sadly this is not unfamiliar territory for the Browns; they faced a similar situation last season. Looking ahead to the rest of Cleveland’s schedule, it appears likely that team will be an underdog in all future contests (in keeping with tradition). The best chance for a win comes at Cincinnati in Week 12, at the Chargers in Week 13, or at Chicago in Week 16. Of course anything can happen on any given Sunday, but the odds appear long for the Browns this weekend.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Clevelanders,
Noble fifty three!