Brandon Weeden threw two touchdown passes in the 18 minutes, and Jason Campbell added a third to help the Cleveland Browns defeat the Detroit Lions handily, 24-6, during Thursday night's Week 2 preseason game.
Weeden went 8-for-12 passing for 117 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game. He found tight end Jordan Cameron for both of his scores on back-to-back offensive drives. Josh Gordon put himself on pace for a monster fantasy day, catching three passes for 72 yards in the first quarter before also finding a comfy spot on the bench. The passing game was helped by an effective running attack headed by Trent Richardson and Dion Lewis.
The Lions' starters, meanwhile, struggled to get much of anything going. The team earned just one first down until they were able to sustain a long drive beginning with 12 minutes left in the first half. The drive took elapsed 7:35 to cover 47 yards, and ended with a 48-yard field goal by David Akers to put the Lions on the board.
Calvin Johnson sat out the game with a knee contusion suffered earlier in the week. Without Johnson, the passing game suffered. Matthew Stafford was pedestrian compared to Weeden, going 11-for-16 for 74 yards and no touchdowns. Run support was nonexistent, with Reggie Bush needing eight carries to amass 15 yards. Joique Bell was better with 17 yards on four carries, but the Lions will need to improve if they hope to light up the scoreboard this season.
Second half preseason football can often be a bit, well, dull. Thursday's game saw some excitement when a streaker made his way onto the field, however. The man impressively ran 80 yards before being hauled down. Of course we got a GIF (via Instagram user sargemyyy):
The Lions added a 33-yard field goal from Havard Rugland (a.k.a., Kickalicious) in the third quarter, and Campbell hit running back Brandon Jackson on a 14-yard touchdown pass in the fourth to wrap up scoring for the night.
Fantasy studs and duds
The Browns' offense had a field day. Brandon Weeden thrived under center for the first quarter-and-a-half, going 8-for-12 passing for 117 yards and two touchdowns, both thrown to tight end Jordan Cameron. Trent Richardson had six carries for 33 yards before calling it a day, and Dion Lewis chipped in another 33 yards on five carries before getting hurt. Josh Gordon looked like an elite deep threat once again, racking up 72 yards on just three receptions.
The Lions had a much quieter day. Matthew Stafford's numbers were relatively pedestrian--11-for-16 for 74 yards. It didn't help that Calvin Johnson sat. Reggie Bush struggled on the ground--eight carries for 15 yards--but was Stafford's favorite target with five receptions for 44 yards off seven targets.
The Browns were unfortunately unable to escape the exhibition healthy. Offensive guard Jason Pinkston had to be carted off the sideline with an ankle injury in the first quarter. Running back Dion Lewis was also carted off, this time with a lower leg injury. Rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo went to the locker room with a rib injury.
The Lions were much luckier. No major injuries from the game to report, outside of the late scratches before kickoff.
Did they cover?
The Browns opened the week as 3-point favorites, so they were able to cover and then some.
Thursday, Aug. 22, 7:30 p.m. ET: Detroit vs. New England
Sunday, Aug. 24, 7 p.m. ET: Cleveland at Indianapolis