The Cleveland Browns survived a scare on Sunday, defeating the winless Detroit Lions 13-10.
It wasn’t the prettiest performance by the Cleveland Browns, but in the end, the team found a way to put away the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon 13-10. Both teams played through the unpleasant conditions of the cold and the rain, but the Browns found a few more plays, which was all the difference needed to squeak by the winless Lions team.
Although plenty looked ugly during the game for Cleveland, there were also some very good plays made on the field that helped them find the win column and move to 6-5 on the season. Plenty in the game of football will tell you that a win is a win, but without cleaning up some things, the Browns will continue to find themselves struggling down the final stretch of the season.
Here are the best players and performances from Sunday’s nail-biting victory over the Detroit Lions, as well as a few of the worst performances.
Cleveland Browns stud: Malcolm Smith
Before the season started, everyone that surveyed the Browns roster saw that the biggest position of weakness was their linebackers. Sure, they drafted rookie Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but beyond him, the roster at that position looked weak.
On Sunday afternoon, Malcolm Smith showed why they didn’t need to invest a ton of money at that position, as he was all over the field and wreaking havoc on the Detroit Lions offensive game plan. The former Super Bowl MVP for the Seattle Seahawks looked every bit the player that he was in that 2013 game, finishing the game with eight total tackles. He also had an interception, which the Browns capitalized on and scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive.
Sure, Smith isn’t the player he was, but he showed that even at the age of 32, he’s still got some good football left in him. If Smith can continue to show out as he did on Sunday at his linebacker position, the Browns can perhaps avoid spending big money at that position in 2022 and beyond.