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Allen Park – The Cleveland Browns aren’t 0-8 because of their defense. That unit has played surprisingly well the first half of the 2017 campaign.

No, the Browns are winless because of an ineffective offense that can’t, for the life of them, seem to be able to hold on the ball. The team is worst in the league, turning it over 21 times.

The biggest problem has been rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer. Thrown into the fire early in his career, he’s struggled. In seven starts, he leads the NFL with 11 interceptions. He’s also fumbled three times, losing two. He’s being picked off on 5.2 percent of his throws, which will be the worst rate since 2010 if he can’t improve down the stretch.

“I don’t think I can lay it at the lap of one particular person,” Brown coach Hue Jackson said. “That’s a team issue, a unit issue. We have to continue to get better. We’ve had way too many. What I attribute to it is we have to do our jobs a lot better. We’ve got to coach better, we’ve got to play better and hopefully over these next eight weeks we can turn that around.”

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Detroit Lions safety Glover Quin, who is tied for the team lead with three interceptions, doesn’t expect Kizer to be too aggressive this Sunday.

“I mean, I feel differently about young quarterbacks and veteran quarterbacks,” Quin said. “Young quarterbacks, in order to keep it safe, they throw screens. Look what (Green Bay’s) Brett Hundley threw Monday night – screens, quick passes – he didn’t really challenge the defense that much throwing the ball downfield, going after big plays. You look at (Atlanta’s) Matt Ryan, he came out, first play of the game and threw it downfield.”

That meshes with Kizer’s stat line. He’s averaging 5. 2 yards on completions, 29th among 33 qualifying quarterbacks. But that hasn’t slowed the interceptions.

And given the way the Browns defense has played, particularly against the run, the Lions’ best shot at a win is to keep forcing Sunday’s opponent into making mistakes.

“No question,” Quin said. “Have to figure out ways to get the ball.”

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