Matthew Stafford lofted a 29-yard, tiebreaking touchdown to Eric Ebron early in the fourth quarter and the Detroit Lions went on to beat the winless Cleveland Browns 38-24 Sunday.
The Lions (5-4) rallied from first- and second-half deficits to earn consecutive victories for the first time since winning the first two games this season.
The Browns, who fell to 0-9 on the season, led 10-0 early in the game for their first double-digit lead of the season, and were up 24-17 in the third after Deshone Kizer led two consecutive touchdown drives.
Detroit is the only franchise to have a 0-16 season in 2008.
Cleveland’s chances to finally win this season were hurt when Kizer took a shot to the ribs by blitzing defensive back Quandre Diggs late in the third.
The rookie quarterback, who came back to play late in the fourth, had perhaps his best game. He completed 21 of 37 passes for 232 yards with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt in the first quarter. Kizer ran seven times for 57 yards, including a go-ahead, 1-yard sneak with 6:01 left in the third.
Kizer returned to play and converted three fourth downs with throws before getting picked off by Darius Slay in the end zone with 1:19 remaining. Browns backup Cody Kessler was 1 of 3 for 5 yards in relief of Kizer.
Matthew Stafford bounced back from a slow start to connect on 17 of 26 passes for 249 with three TD passes in the second half.
After trailing 24-17, Stafford threw an 8-yard pass to Theo Riddick for a TD, had the scoring toss to Ebron and a screen to Golden Tate that he turned into a 40-yard score to put Detroit up 38-24 with 4:36 to go. Stafford was sacked on his first snap, threw an interception on his second possession and had just 57 yards passing in the first half.
Browns: LB Jamie Collins left the game with a knee injury when he intercepted a pass early in the game and wasn’t cleared to return. RT Shon Coleman (concussion) and TE Randall Telfer (eye) were also hurt during the game.
Lions: RB Dwayne Washington left the game with a hip injury after picking up a first down on a 10-yard catch in the fourth quarter. LT Taylor Decker made his season debut, coming back from shoulder surgery.
Browns: Host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
Lions: Visit the Chicago Bears on Sunday.