NFL Nation: 2013 Week 3 DET at WAS Rapid Reaction


LANDOVER, Md. -- A few thoughts on the Detroit Lions' 27-20 win against the Washington Redskins.

What it means: For Detroit, right now, everything. The Lions had not beaten Washington in the general District of Columbia area since the Redskins moved there in 1937. And it is Detroit’s first win on the road since Nov. 4, 2012, when the Lions beat Jacksonville 31-14. But the importance of the win is heavier because of what it signifies. A week after blowing a lead in Arizona, the Lions held on to beat a desperate Washington team. Its defensive line pressured Robert Griffin III all day. Its offense was diversified and featured both running and passing. And perhaps the biggest sign that this Detroit team is different than in years past: With a fourth-down decision up three points in the fourth quarter, Detroit coach Jim Schwartz went for it instead of taking the field goal. The Lions converted, scored a touchdown and won the game. Plays like that make a team believe.

Stock watch: Rising -- running back Joique Bell. In his first career start in place of the injured Reggie Bush, Bell gained 63 yards rushing and 69 yards receiving and scored a touchdown. He ran hard, hit holes well and broke tackles on many of his runs. Rookie tight end Joseph Fauria didn’t see a lot of opportunities, but he made plays when he did, scoring his second career touchdown and pulling off an 'N Sync touchdown dance. Falling -- cornerback Darius Slay. The rookie didn’t play at all in base defense, replaced by veteran Rashean Mathis from the first snap of the game.

Return of Burleson: Often in interviews, Nate Burleson will call himself a complementary player to Calvin Johnson and Bush. And compared to them, it is a fair assessment. But the 11-year pro out of Nevada had his first 100-yard game since Nov. 7, 2010, against the New York Jets. He had 116 yards, his most since Dec. 30, 2007, when he had 119 for Seattle.

Johnson milestones: Johnson became the third receiver in NFL history to catch 500 or more passes for 8,000 or more yards in fewer than 100 games. He now has 505 catches for 8,104 yards.

What’s next: Detroit returns home to face Chicago in an NFC North game at 1 p.m. Sunday, followed by trips to Green Bay and Cleveland.

Rapid Reaction: Lions 27, Redskins 20

September, 22, 2013
9/22/13
4:24
PM ET

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.

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