CLEVELAND (AP/WJW) — Nick Chubb caught a touchdown pass and ran for 130 yards as the Cleveland Browns held on to avoid a season-wrecking upset and keep Detroit winless with a sloppy 13-10 victory over the Lions on Sunday.
Following the game, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski showed frustration over the fact his team committed 10 penalties once again in a game.
“It is not good. It hurts you as a team,” Stefanski admitted. “The pre-snap penalties where we are jumping offside are unacceptable. We have to get it cleaned up, and we will. The players know it is just unacceptable and on the offensive side of the ball, as well. I will look at some of the other ones, as well. We will see on the other ones, but we have to play clean football, and we did not at times today.”
Chubb returning to Cleveland’s lineup after a one-game absence due to COVID-19 obviously was a major bright spot. The star running back caught a 5-yard TD pass from Baker Mayfield and then helped the Browns (6-5) run out the clock.
With Cleveland’s crowd chanting his name before every snap, Chubb gained 36 yards on the final drive as the Browns chewed up the last 2:29.
“It definitely feels good, but it is not all me,” Chubb said following the game. “It starts up front with the guys like Joel [Bitonio] blocking for me and opening up holes. It is definitely a team effort.”
Wide receiver Jarvis Landry ran for a score as the Browns barely bounced back after being blown out by 38 points last week at New England.
The Lions (0-9-1) couldn’t build off any momentum from their 16-16 tie a week ago in Pittsburgh and made some critical mistakes while growing their winless streak to 14 games. They are the league’s only winless team.
Mayfield was limited in practice this week with shoulder, foot and knee injuries. He threw a first-half interception and had other issues in wet conditions before connecting with Chubb late in the second quarter.
“The guy is tough and plays hard,” Bitonio said of Mayfield after the game. “He wants to win badly, and he is our leader. We follow that, and we have to keep protecting him and keep him upright so we can have him down the stretch.”
Landry’s 16-yard scoring run came on a gadget formation to open the second quarter. The Browns were determined to get Landry more touches, and the sure-handed receiver moved behind center with Mayfield shifting right. Landry took the snap and rolled left looking to throw back to his right.
With nobody open, Landry tucked the ball and sprinted up the middle for his second rushing TD this season.
The Browns took a two-TD lead late in the half with help from the Lions, who committed three penalties — two by cornerback Amani Oruwariye — on a 76-yard scoring drive capped by Chubb’s TD.
Overall, the win should help with the Browns’ confidence.
“Anytime you win is a big boost to what you are doing,” Stefanski said. “It does not mean that you do not make adjustments or fix some things you are not doing great. That is what we try to do with a win is not ignore some of those things. We will do that, but we also know what is in front of us.”
Landry appeared to aggravate the left knee injury that landed him on injured reserve. Stefanski said the team will have more information on Landry’s status Monday. LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah went out in the second half with a leg injury that went unannounced by the team.
Browns visit Baltimore on Sunday night for the first of two games in three weeks against the AFC North-leading Ravens.