Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Detroit Lions: Three Things We Learned in Week 6 Win Against Cleveland Browns

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | Calvin Johnson returned to the lineup for the Detroit Lions, but wasn't as dominant as many had hoped.

Johnson caught just three passes for 25 yards, but the Detroit Lions relied on tight end Joseph Fauria to do the heavy lifting in a 31-17 win against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, October 13.

Reggie Bush also accounted for 135 total yards and a touchdown as the Lions were able to get a running game going, something they could not do in last week's loss against the Green Bay Packers.

Here are three things we learned in the Lions' Week 6 win against the Browns:

Lions receivers had too many dropped passes

Johnson, Kris Durham, Ryan Broyles and Kevin Ogletree combined for six dropped passes. That is way too many.

The sickening thing is the Lions still managed to score 31 points with those six dropped passes. Imagine how many more points they could have had if they hung on to the ball.

Despite the number of drops, Durham led the team in receiving with 83 yards on eight catches and was targeted a team-high 13 times. He stepped up in a big way as Johnson had a very below average game.

He could have had double digit catches if not for a couple of drops, but it's good to see him and Matthew Stafford develop some chemistry. The Lions' offense has been too predictable when Johnson is out of the lineup. Seeing Stafford connect with other receivers when Johnson was used in a limited role is a good sign the Lions won't be as one dimensional if Johnson is unable to play.

Joseph Fauria does his best Jimmy Graham impression

With Tony Scheffler out with a concussion, many thought Fauria would get the targets Scheffler would normally get.

However, Fauria was still restricted to goal-line situations, but he made the most of them. Fauria had three catches for 34 yards and a single-game franchise record three touchdowns, two of which came in the fourth quarter. Fauria has seven catches this season, five of which are touchdowns.

At 6-foot-7, 255 pounds, Fauria is a huge target, and he's got a great set of hands. This game shows he should be used in more than just goal-line situations. He would be a matchup nightmare for a number of linebackers and corners.

A three-headed tight end monster of Brandon Pettigrew, Scheffler and Fauria could do some damage for the Lions.

Lions first half offense struggled

The Detroit Lions were down 17-7 entering halftime, and the offense looked as anemic as it did against the Green Bay Packers last week.

They racked up just 109 total yards in first half (83 passing, 26 rushing) as Stafford's receivers dropped numerous passes and Bush couldn't get the running game going against the stout front seven of the Browns.

However the second half arrived, and the Detroit Lions looked like a different team. They notched 257 yards in the second half, and scored 24 unanswered points, while keeping the Browns off the scoreboard.

A halftime speech by linebacker Stephen Tulloch ignited the entire team. Generally, it's the coaching staff's job to rally the troops and get them focused on the task at hand and to forget about the past.

But Tulloch is a captain, so it's good to see him take that leadership role and use it to inspire his teammates. The old Detroit Lions lacked leadership, this team clearly does not.

The Lions have had games where they start off hot, then taper off, and games where they start off sluggish, then get hot. The next step is to play a complete 60 minutes. If they can be on the top of their game from start to finish, they can compete with any team in the NFL.

Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who covers the Detroit Lions for the Yahoo Contributor Network. He also is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can follow Tom on Twitter.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (27)