After Matthew Stafford found Brandon Pettigrew for the game-winning touchdown on an untimed down that followed a defensive penalty, Browns coach Eric Mangini -- never one to shy away from controversy -- decided to accuse the Lions of faking injuries during the game.
Mangini brought it up after the game, then repeated the accusations Monday at his weekly press conference.
"There were multiple, multiple, multiple injuries throughout our no-huddle process," Mangini said Sunday.
Asked if he thought the Lions were trying to slow down the no-huddle, Mangini said, "They all came back. I have no idea."
Mangini brought up the accusation against Monday. When pressed on if he was really accusing the Lions of faking injuries, Mangini said, "I'm saying there were a lot of them."
Mangini might have a point. Studying the official play-by-play for the game, there are six instances where play was stopped for a Detroit defensive injury. Four of those times, the Browns were working without a huddle. The play-by-play listed the returns of four players as "probable," and one was "questionable."
Jim Schwartz scoffed at the notion during his Monday meeting with the media.
"He's way out of bounds on that," Schwartz said. "That couldn't be further than the truth. There was no need to do that to slow the pace down, because the officials were doing a really good job of standing over the ball for us and them.Reality is that it's hard to imagine a coach using such a tactic during a game. Schwartz is surely looking for an edge to help his team, but it doesn't make any sense to have guys faking injuries. The Browns were effective moving the ball in the first half, no matter if they used a huddle or not. After the Lions made some adjustments at halftime, they were able to hold Cleveland to a single touchdown in the second half.
"We used a lot of no-huddle also, and I thought that the crew did a really good job of making sure that substitutes were allowed to come from either side if the offense substituted. So that game was under control that way.
"There was no need to do any of that stuff. That couldn't be further from the truth."
The inability of the Browns to put the game away had more to do with their own limitations than any sandbagging being done by the Lions.