CLEVELAND -- The Browns played great for 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, the game lasts 60 minutes and the Browns saw the Lions scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to win 31-17. The Browns led 17-7 at half time. It was the sixth-straight game the Browns held the lead at the intermission.
"I felt good about how we played in the first half," Rob Chudzinski said. "We weren't able to close the game out in the second half. That's something that we need to learn and do, and be able to do, is take the game when we have the opportunities and be more consistent in that way.
"Again, it's one game," he said. "This is a long season."
The Browns snapped their three game winning streak and drop to 3-3. They are tied with the Ravens in second place and a game behind the Bengals, who defeated the Bills in overtime to move to 4-2.
Brandon Weeden started his first game since injuring his thumb in the second game against the Ravens. He had a good first half as he was 12-of-20 for 135 yards. He had two touchdowns and one interception. He wasn't sacked and had a rating of 92.7 in leading the Browns to a halftime lead. He led the Browns to a touchdown to open the second quarter with a 74-yard drive capped with a two-yard pass to Chris Ogbonnaya. After an interception on the next possession as he tried to hit Ogbonnaya deep down the sideline, Weeden guided an 84-yard drive for a touchdown with his second touchdown pass of the half, the second to Greg Little from two-yards out.
The Browns got the ball back at their own 26 with just 50 seconds to play in the first half and Weeden led a six play, 52-yard drive to set up a 40-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff to give the Browns a 17-7 lead with just eight seconds to play in the first half.
"We played so well in the first half," Weeden said.
The second half was the opposite for the offense. Weeden and the offense started with three-straight three and outs before punting. Weeden was 14-of-23 for 157 yards in the second half. However, Weeden had 80 yards on the final drive as the Lions were in the prevent defense allowing the Browns to move down the field. Weeden was sacked twice and threw a costly interception with 4:36 to play and the Browns were driving.
"We didn't execute and it starts with me," Weeden said. "We have to play a full 60 minutes."
Meanwhile, the Lions scored 17 unanswered points to lead 24-17. However, the Browns were driving and had moved from their own 16 to the Lions' 44 after an 18-yard pass to Josh Gordon. Weeden then was pressured and tried to flip the ball over the head of Ogbonnaya and DeAndre Levy intercepted it.
"It was just a bonehead play," Weeden said. "I was just trying to avoid the sack."
Ogbonnaya said the second interception was a tough mistake to overcome.
"It was tough," he said. "Anytime you have an opportunity to score and execute and you don't get what you want, it's tough, but that's the nature of this game," he said. "We made some mistakes as an offensive group in the second half, but we'll learn from those things and get better, look at the tape and move forward."
Starting on the Browns 49, the Lions went down and put the game away as Matthew Stafford threw his third touchdown pass to Joseph Fauria to make the final 31-17.
Weeden finished 26-of-43 for 292 yards with two touchdowns, two interceptions. He was sacked twice and had a rating of 76.9.
Chudzinski was asked if his perception of Weeden changed after the second interception.
"I don't feel differently about anybody," he said. "What we need to do is learn and grow and that's what we've been able to do this season. I think that we're getting better and we'll have to look at the tape.
"I'm confident the guys will come in and take it as a learning opportunity to get better," he said. "Obviously, it's disappointing. You hate to lose, especially when you have a lead. It's something that we can't let happen."
Rushing Game Starts Well: The Browns rushing game had their best outing of the season with 126 yards on 21 rushes (6.0 avg.), including a 45-yard run by WR Travis Benjamin. RB Willis McGahee led the Browns with 10 carries for 37 yards, while RB Chris Ogbonnaya had five carries for 24 yards. However, the Browns had 115 yards in the first half. McGahee just had four yards on two carries in the second half.
"I think we had a few (running plays) called," Chudzinski said. "When you don't convert on third down and you're going into third down and you're not getting them, you just don't have a lot of plays. We obviously didn't get many runs there. We didn't get many plays there. By the time of the fourth quarter, we were obviously trying to play catch up."
The Rabbit: WR Travis Benjamin once again jump started the Browns offense with a 45-yard reverse to set up the first touchdown. Benjamin had no receptions and had three punt returns for -10 yards. His longest return was just two yards.
Flash Gordon: WR Josh Gordon led the Browns with seven receptions for 126 yards, including a long of 26 yards for an 18.0 average. He ran a reverse for no gain. WR Greg Little had two receptions for 12 yards, including a touchdown.
Busy Obie: RB Chris Ogbonnaya was busy after leaving the Bills game a week ago with a concussion. He had 85 yards total, with seven receptions for 61 yards, including a touchdown and had five carries for 24 yards rushing.
Gordon: 4 for 79 in first half. On Ogbonnaya's touchdown in the second quarter, he ran into the Dawg Pound and leaped into the front row where two to three fans in Lions' jerseys (90, 81 and 57 were. They received him, but not with open enthusiasm.
Gipson's Pick: S Tashaun Gipson intercepted a deflected pass intended for WR Patrick Edwards four-yards deep in the end zone and returned the ball 35 yards to the Lions' 30. DB Buster Skrine made a nice play as he deflected the pass with his left hand and Gipson was able to catch it.
Bush Factor: The Browns kept RB Reggie Bush under control until the second half. Bush had just yards in the first half but finished with 78 yards rushing and 57 yards receiving, including an 18-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Bush had just 14 yards total in the first half.
"Reggie Bush has really good hands and he runs very good routes," Skrine said. "He made a lot of plays."
LB Craig Robertson was victimized by Bush several times.
"They made more plays," he said. "I did a bad job, myself of making plays on our side of the ball."
Megatron: WR Calvin Johnson played and had just three receptions for 25 yards.
Lonely Sack: LB Craig Robertson had the only sack of the game for the Browns. Robertson had eight tackles to tied LB D'Qwell Jackson for second with eight. DB T.J. Ward led the Browns with 11 tackles.
Tough Back-to Back: On the Lions' first scoring drive, DB Joe Haden was called for pass interference on consecutive plays. He appeared to break up a pass to WR Kevin Ogletree at the Browns' 7 on third-and-one, but was flagged to give the Lions a first down. ON the next plays, Haden was called for interfering with WR Calvin Johnson to give the Lions a first down on the one. On the second plays QB Matthew Stafford hit TE Joseph Fauria for a one-yard touchdown.
Groves Back: LB Quentin Groves returned after missing three games with a sprained ankle. Groves had no tackles but had a big penalty late in the game as he rushed QB Matthew Stafford on third down and was called for roughing to keep the drive going and ultimately leading to another Lions touchdown. The call appeared to be questionable.
"It really doesn't matter what I think of it," Chudzinski said. "It was a play that we have to be smart and make sure we don't get those type of penalties."
Sheard Inactive; Groves Active: LB Quentin Groves was active for the first time since spraining his ankle in Week 2 against the Ravens. LB Jabaal Sheard (knee) was inactive for the third-straight game. He practiced during the week and it was thought he would play. Other inactives for the Browns: WR Charles Johnson, OL Patrick Lewis, OL Martin Wallace, OL Garrett Gilkey, TE Keavon Milton, DL Billy Winn and LB Jabaal Sheard. For the Lions: WR Nate Burleson, QB Kellen Moore, CB Jonte Green, RB Theo Riddick, G Leroy Harris, T Jason Fox and TE Tony Scheffler.
Megatron Active: WR Calvin Johnson (knee) was active after being questionable all week. He was a game-time decision.
Back to Basics: After wearing Browns pants and jerseys against the Bills, the Browns went back to their more traditional brown jerseys and white pants.