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Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013 Game 3 - Detroit Lions @ Washington Redskins


Time.

The Detroit Lions win this one 27-20 in Washington, the first time winning in that city since 1939, a 21-game streak that comes to a halt as the second longest in NFL history. That is 2 years BEFORE Pearl Harbor and the start of the USA's involvement in World War II, a very long time ago.

Mathew Stafford was 25 of 42 for 385 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT. The interception came early in the game and the Redskins took it back for a touchdown after Calvin Johnson failed to see the pass coming his way in time to make any kind of play on it. After that score the Redskins only managed to make one other touchdown. There was a second TD called back as the receiver failed to complete the process of the catch (how many times have we heard that one Lion's fans?). There was also a turn-over created by the Lions when Griffen III ran for a 1st down and dove for yards only to lose the ball, however since he was never touched the ball was still live and the Lions recovered. Some call it luck, but it was the defense that caused Griffen to take off in the first place, it was the Lions who recovered it, and it was the Lions closing in that caused him to dive... so I simply say, it was about time something abnormal in a game went the Lions way (instead of the other direction).

In this game, the play calling was better, the players executed better, there were fewer mistakes, and even the officiating crew did a better job then normal. The one negative in the game was the fact that the Lions have lost DE/DT Jason Jones for the season with a knee injury when it buckled as he drove towards the QB (it was not hit in the leg by anyone). That's not to say the Lions were perfect, they still have a ton of things to work on, but overall, the team played a better game... good enough to win in a city they haven't won in in 74 year, two years before my father was born.

In a game that saw the ball going through the air to 8 different receivers, with 4 of those receivers each having a play in excess of 20 yards, things just seemed to flow better then normal. Was it all luck? I don't think so, quite simply, the Lions put enough good plays together in various series to win the game. Something they have had a hard time doing in the past.

It wasn't a blow-out, the Redskins don't have a power house defense to feel all confident over, but the Lions also didn't do enough to lose this time, and that is progress. After all, most of their losses are their own doing. Next week sees the division rival Chicago Bears coming to town in a game that will determine who is in first place in the division, if ever there was a time to get it all together this would be it.

My prediction, assuming they can rebuild the defensive line after Jones' departure, is another close game. I'll predict the Lions over the Bears 31-28. Let's all hope I'm right, this time.

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