NFL Nation: Lions-Redskins week 3 wrap

Wrap-up: Lions 19, Redskins 14

September, 27, 2009
9/27/09
7:26
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert


I don’t know about you, but I was ready to pull a Van Gogh and cut off my ear the next time I heard Detroit coach Jim Schwartz talk about “carrying the burden” of the Lions’ two-year losing streak. After an offseason roster overhaul, Schwartz didn’t think it was fair for the Lions’ current players to be looped in with what had become a 19-game drought.

Sunday’s 19-14 victory over Washington ended any such connection, fair or otherwise, and saved my ear in the process. My instinct is to point out that this is only one game, and to recall that NFL history suggests everyone wins sometime. The Streak was going to end. It was only a matter of when.
 
 Scott Boehm/Getty Images
 Louis Delmas was one of the Lions players who celebrated Sunday's win with the fans.


But in my mind, the significance of The Streak is that it reminded us never to take any victory for granted. This league is based on parity, and still the Lions went almost 21 months without a win. So we should all enjoy every victory, never letting them get old, seem mundane or anything short of special.

Maybe that’s why the Schwartz sent his players out of the postgame locker room and back onto the field to celebrate in front of their fans at Ford Field.

“This celebration shouldn’t have been confined to the locker room,” Schwartz said. “This celebration should have been shared and that’s the only point I wanted to make with that. We don’t need any praise or anything like that. But I thought that the fans that have stuck with us, and I mean they’ve had a hard time and everything else, but I think they deserve to celebrate with the team after this win.”

Fans and media alike wondered if the Redskins offered the perfect opposition for a streak-ending afternoon. The Redskins’ scoring offense is anemic and their defense has been vulnerable this season. But another effect of the streak is the “Something is Bound to Go Wrong” theory. Predicting victory Sunday almost made too much sense. There’s no way the Lions would capitalize on such a made-to-order proposition, right?

So if the Lions derive anything lasting out of Sunday, let it be that they flushed the viral losing mentality from their system. Step one in building a winning mindset: Win when you’re supposed to.

“We’d like to get to a point where a regular-season win isn’t celebrated that much,” Schwartz said.

But, hey, first things first. The Streak is over.

Wrap-up: Lions 19, Redskins 14

September, 27, 2009
9/27/09
4:38
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


The Redskins have had some embarrassing losses over the years, but Sunday's has to rank near the top.

The Lions, a team that went 0-for-'08, came out and manhandled the Redskins, 19-14, at Ford Field. In the first half, the Redskins didn't even belong on the same field as the Lions, who hadn't won a game since Dec. 23, 2007. Second-year running back Kevin Smith slashed through the Skins' revitalized defensive line with ease, and rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford calmly led his team down the field.

And even when the Redskins had an opportunity to do something early in the fourth quarter, they couldn't get out of their own way. Quarterback Jason Campbell dumped off the ball to wide receiver Devin Thomas for a 15-yard gain that was wiped out when center Casey Rabach was called for holding.

Wide receiver Santana Moss had a big day for the Redskins, but the lack of a running game was their undoing. The Lions held the Skins to zero yards rushing in the first half, and Clinton Portis wasn't all that effective in the second half, either.

Thus begins one of the longest weeks of Jim Zorn's life. He will be questioned at every turn -- and there will be plenty of Redskins fans calling for his job. I think owner Dan Snyder will hold off for at least another week, but that's just a gut feeling. Snyder's made an in-season change before (Norv Turner), and I'm sure he's disgusted by Sunday's outcome.

Even when the Skins had a last-second chance to go for the win, they made a highly questionable decision to throw the ball short and then try to pitch the ball to other players. Campbell could've easily put the ball in the end zone on those last couple of plays. And they could've even gone for a quick sideline route. It was emblematic of the team's entire performance Sunday.

Maybe the hardest thing for the Redskins to stomach is the fact that they lost to a better team. That's right. The Lions didn't back their way into this win. They hit the Skins in the mouth from the start. And when the Redskins' defense desperately needed a stop in the fourth quarter, Chris Horton was called for pass interference.

Has Zorn lost the Redskins' locker room? Well, the team certainly didn't play like they wanted to save the man's job. I don't think Snyder will pull the trigger, but I wouldn't be shocked if he did. Back with much more analysis in about 45 minutes.

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