Sunday, September 22, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Lions 27, Redskins 20
By John Keim
LANDOVER, Md. -- A few thoughts on the Washington Redskins' 27-20 loss to the Detroit Lions:
What it means: The Redskins are 0-3 to open the season for the first time since 2001, when they started 0-5 en route to an 8-8 year. But the expectations were much higher and they’re now 0-2 at home, where they faced the Philadelphia Eagles and Lions, who combined for eight wins in 2012. That can’t happen. Since 1990, of the 115 teams that started 0-3, only three made the postseason. The Redskins now face a long week and a lot more serious questions. The defense still gives up too many big plays and the offense makes too many mistakes.
Stock watch: Going up: Cornerback DeAngelo Hall did an admirable job when matched against receiver Calvin Johnson, and he returned a first-quarter interception for a touchdown. On the pick-six, Hall jammed Johnson and disrupted the timing; when quarterback Matthew Stafford threw too far out in front, Hall was there. Johnson hurt Washington, but often against zone or because Johnson is just bigger and better than most. Going down: Everything else about the Redskins. They play well in spurts and look like a much different team than at any point in 2012.
Killer mistakes: Robert Griffin III used his legs more, but it was his decision making that cost Washington on two occasions, including a crucial one in the fourth quarter. After his best run of the season, Griffin dived head-first instead of sliding. He wasn't touched, and after the ball popped free, Detroit recovered. The Lions then drove for a go-ahead field goal. On the next series, Griffin connected with Aldrick Robinson for an apparent 57-yard score that was nullified after replay showed the ball rolled out as Robinson hit the ground. Earlier in the game, Griffin made a terrible decision to throw under duress on the run deep in Lions territory. It was picked off.
Woeful D: The Redskins can’t stop anyone and allowed 441 yards on Sunday. They actually did a good job on third down, holding the Lions to 4 of 13 conversions. However, they allowed 9.0 yards per pass, a byproduct in part of more missed tackles and not enough consistent pressure.
Up next: The Redskins play at Oakland next Sunday before the now much-needed bye week. The Raiders have struggled, but the Redskins are not in position to overlook anyone -- or think that they have some sort of an easy game.