Skip to main content

Stafford's last-minute TD lifts Lions over Redskins

Matthew Stafford's game-winning touchdown pass lifted the Lions (4-3) over the Redskins (4-3), 20-17. Here's what we learned from Detroit's big win Sunday:

  1. While this game started as an absolute snooze-fest, the second half was jam-packed with excitement punctuated by Stafford's game-winning one-minute drill. Starting from his own 25, Stafford connected deep with Marvin Jones and Andre Roberts while scrambling for 14 yards to put the Lions in the red zone with 22 seconds left on the clock. Injuries in the Washington secondary set Anquan Boldin up against over-matched rookie Kendall Fuller with the game on the line. The veteran spun Fuller around and Stafford delivered a dart for the go-ahead score, putting the Lions up 20-17.
  1. Miscues and injuries will be the story of the day for Washington. Despite racking up 202 yards of offense in the first half, they went into the break with just three points. Matt Jones' fumble into the end zone and a field goal attempt that doinked off the upright took points off the board, while a botched exchange between Kirk Cousins and Jones stopped a drive that had marched deep into Detroit territory. Adding insult to injury, All Pro left tackle Trent Williams injured his leg in the final seconds and had to be helped off the field, while starting cornerbacks Josh Norman (concussion, did not return) and Bashaud Breeland (ankle) both missed important parts of the game, including the final drive for Norman.
  1. Prior to his injury, Norman shadowed Marvin Jones for most of the game, which led to Jones not even seeing a target until the third quarter. Jones' first look resulted in a 52-yard diving catch that set up Zach Zenner's 1-yard touchdown run (the first of his career). Norman suffered his concussion on the play and did not return. His status will be big next week as the now 4-3 Redskins travel to Cincinnati where A.J. Green awaits. Jones finished with 94 yards on four catches, while the absence of Theo Riddick continued to allow Golden Tate to produce. He amassed 93 yards on six catches (12 targets).
  1. Both running games left a lot to be desired, as Justin Forsett and Zenner took their 17 attempts for a whopping 62 yards (3.65 yards per carry). For Washington, Jones' fumbles (he had two, but lost one) landed him on the bench for large portions of this game, setting up Chris Thompson's career day. Thompson took his 12 carries for 73 yards (6.1 ypc) while adding 40 yards in the air on seven catches. Jones could be in danger of losing his featured job with nine fumbles (six lost) on 270 career touches. Rookie Rob Kelley also saw some run for Washington, catching Cousins' lone touchdown pass of the day.
  1. Despite missing multiple key defensive starters in DeAndre Levy and Haloti Ngata from the outset and losing Darius Slay (hamstring) in the game, the Lions unearthed a pass rush against one of the league's better offensive lines. A healthy-ish Ezekiel Ansah certainly helped, but the combination of Armonty Bryant, Khyri Thornton and undrafted rookie Kerry Hyder pushed the pocket all afternoon, contributing to eight quarterback hits and two sacks. The Lions entered this game as Football Outsider's 25th-ranked pressuring defense, but that should change after this impressive performance.
This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content