Lions vs. Browns 2013 game preview: It's Brandon Weeden's turn again

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

It is back to Brandon Weeden for the Browns as they go for their fourth straight win.

Just when things seemed to be going perfect for the Cleveland Browns, quarterback Brian Hoyer went down with a season ending injury. The Lions also might be missing a key part of their offense as Calvin Johnson continues to recover from a knee injury.

The Browns scored a season high 37 points in a win over the Bills in Week 5, but it came at a big cost as Hoyer went down with a season-ending knee injury less than five minutes into the game. Johnson was a late scratch last week and his knee injury forced him to miss his first game since the end of the 2010 season.

Meet the Browns

The Browns roller coaster season continues with the injury to Hoyer. Things got off to a rocky start when the Browns traded star running back to the Indianapolis Colts and the Browns fell to 0-2. A quarterback switch from Weeden to Hoyer appeared to be the stabilizing force for the Browns as hope once again appeared in Cleveland for the first time in a long while.

Now, it is Weeden's turn to try and lead the Browns to their first four-game win streak since 2010. Weeden will need Josh Gordon to continue with his hot hands. Gordon has 18 receptions for 303 yards and two touchdowns during the three game win streak.

The Browns defense has a good matchup against the prolific Lions passing game. If All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson is injured for the Lions, the job will be that much easier. The Browns will probably harass Stafford a fair amount, hoping to add to the 18 sacks the team has on the season -- good for third in the league.

Meet the Lions

The Detroit Lions offense completely sputtered in Week 5 when they failed to score more than 20 points for the first time this season. The bounce back will be a lot easier if Stafford has his All-Pro receiver to throw to. If Johnson isn't around, the Lions will need more than they got from Reggie Bush against the Packers. Bush was electric in a, 40-32, win over the Bears in Week 4 with 173 yards from the line of scrimmage, but was silenced by the Packers in the loss.

Stafford will also need a bit more protection against the Browns if the Lions want the win. The Packers hassled and harangued Stafford for much of the night, and they flattened him to the field five times, tying a career high for five sacks. The Lions defense hasn't been one of the best this year, but the Cleveland rushing game isn't something they need to be afraid of.

Local Takes: Browns

Dawgs By Nature was a bit tentative at first, but they are chugging the juice the new Browns' owners are pouring.

And that's exactly what we've been witnessing in Berea from our new owner, front office executives, scouts and coaches; to new facilities; to new sponsors; to plans for new scoreboards, sound systems and uniforms; to a new sense of identity instilled by leadership and coaches; to the players getting amped and believing that the "buzz of change" surrounding Cleveland, this time, is real.

Local Takes: Lions

A mere five games into the season, the folks at Pride of Detroit know it is never too early to talk playoffs.

Both the NFC West and NFC North are poised to send multiple teams to the playoffs this year. The 49ers seem like a much safer bet to sustain their winning ways than the Cardinals, but both teams are currently 3-2, and Arizona does have a pretty great defense. And in the NFC North, the Lions and Bears are both 3-2 and the Packers are just behind at 2-2. It really looks like these five teams could be competing for three playoff spots (NFC North champion and two wild cards).

Follow the Fun

Be sure to check out SB Nation's team blogs, Dawgs By Nature and Pride of Detroit, for more analysis and highlights from the game.

Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:

@DawgsByNature

@PrideOfDetroit

@MaryKayCabot - Browns beat reporter

@DaveBirkett - Lions beat reporter

Prediction

Even without the prospect of Calvin Johnson playing for the Lions, the folks at SB Nation favor Detroit to pick up a win on the road.

Odds

Detroit opened as a slight favorite and the spread has expanded a bit to a field goal, according to Oddsshark.com.

Next Week

The Browns head on the road to take on the Green Bay Packers. The Lions return home to face the Cincinnati Bengals.

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