Do you want the good news or the bad news first? I'll cushion the blow a little bit and tell you the good news. The Lions were beating the Redskins at the half 10-6. They gave up only 3 first quarter points and looked like a real football team for a change. Unfortunately, it was inevitable that things would come crashing down and the Lions would get a dose of reality, which leads me to the bad news.
The Lions gave up 19 points in the second half and were able to find the end zone only once. Santana Moss caught a pass that resulted in a 50-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and then he returned a punt for an 80-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Detroit tried its best to make a comeback, but just as usual, they came up short. Washington held on for the 25-17 victory, handing the Lions their seventh loss of the season.
- The Redskins moved the ball effectively on the game's opening drive before the Lions' defense decided to wake up. Washington got all the way down to the 1-yard line, but Jason Campbell and Clinton Portis combined for -7 yards on 1st and 2nd down. On 3rd and goal, Portis caught a pass and was tackled a couple of yards short of the goal line. Shaun Suisham proceeded to kick a 25-yard field goal, putting the 'Skins up 3-0 early on.
- The Lions were able to move the chains only once on their first drive of the game. After the first down the Lions didn't do anything and had to punt.
- Washington was moving the ball again on its next drive, but Cliff Avril put a stop to that. Avril sacked Jason Campbell and caused a fumble that was recovered by Paris Lenon at the Redskins 49-yard line.
- The Lions' offense used the momentum created by the turnover to quickly score a touchdown. The drive actually nearly came to an end after an incompletion on 3rd and 8, but a defensive holding penalty kept it alive. Calvin Johnson caught a pass for 31 yards on the very next play, and Rudi Johnson followed it up with an 11-yard touchdown run. The Lions scored with around 13 seconds left in the first quarter, which sadly was the first time they scored all season long in the opening quarter of a game.
- Following a Redskins three and out, Dan Orlovsky quickly moved the Lions into Washington territory by finding Shaun McDonald for a gain of 25 yards. Orlovsky hit Kevin Smith for a 9-yard gain on third and short before the drive stalled. Jason Hanson came out and kicked a 43-yard field goal, though, so the Lions at least got something out of the drive.
- Washington really blew a chance to cut down the lead on its next drive. A combination of Jason Campbell, Clinton Portis, and Chris Cooley moved the ball all the way down to the Lions' 18-yard line. The Redskins had 3rd and 1, and the referees decided to do Detroit a favor.
Shaun Alexander picked up enough yards to move the chains, but Jon Jansen was called for a face mask penalty that backed the Redskins up 15 yards. The call itself was pretty weak, but the Lions really needed anything they could get. After an incompletion on third down, Shaun Suisham missed a 50-yard field goal wide right. In all, this drive took over 7 minutes off the clock and resulted in 0 points. It was definitely a victory for the Lions' defense.
- The Redskins did kick a field goal to end the first half after the Lions quickly gave them the ball back by going three and out. Washington had more than enough time to drive down the field to score a touchdown, but penalties prevented that from happening. A couple big pass plays in the final 17 seconds put the Redskins in field goal range, and Suisham hit one from 47 yards out as time expired to make the score 10-6 at the half.
- Shaun Suisham continued to cut in the Lions' lead as the second half got underway. The Lions again quickly went three and out, and a 31-yard pass to Antwaan Randle El put the 'Skins in field goal range. Suisham nailed an attempt from 45 yards out once the drive stalled, making this a 1-point game.
- The entire outlook of this game changed when the Redskins got the ball back following another pathetic possession by the Lions. Dan Orlovsky did manage to move the chains on a 12-yard pass to Shaun McDonald, but that was all he could do. Washington got the ball back at its own 5-yard line due to an illegal block in the back penalty on the punt return, but they wasted little time in getting away from their own end zone.
Chris Cooley caught a pass for 17 yards on 3rd down, giving the Redskins breathing room and keeping the drive alive. A face mask penalty by Ryan Nece added 15 yards to another Cooley reception on 3rd down before Jason Campbell gave the Redskins the lead. He stepped out of the way of a corner blitz and stayed composed in spite of the pressure. Literally seconds after the whiffed sack, Campbell found a wide open Santana Moss downfield for the catch. Moss ran by all Lions defenders for a 50-yard touchdown, putting the Redskins on top 16-10.
- The two teams traded punts to finish out a one-sided third quarter.
- A pair of holding penalties by Gosder Cherilus backed the Lions up too much to make anything of their next drive, which would prove to be costly. It was mentioned on the radio that Santana Moss was in the game to return the punt, which was strange since Antwaan Randle El was the usual returner. I honestly thought to myself something like, "Watch him come in and return it." Sadly, that's exactly what happened.
Moss fielded the punt at the Redskins 20-yard line, and we got a look at just how bad the Lions are at tackling. Moss avoided a tackle from a Lion and actually got hit by his own guy but managed to stay off the ground. Two more Lions whiffed on tackles, allowing Moss to get into open field. He simply ran by everyone to finish off the 80-yard touchdown return. The Redskins would unsuccessfully try to go for the 2-point conversion, meaning the score was 22-10.
- Needing a score to have any chance of making a comeback, the Lions went down the field in just under 5 minutes and scored a touchdown. Dan Orlovsky completed a pass to Calvin Johnson on 4th and 4, and Johnson proceeded to run around the field before finally stretching the ball across the goal line for the touchdown. Orlovsky kept the drive alive previously by throwing a pass to Michael Gaines on 4th and 1, and this time he got the ball to Calvin Johnson and let Megatron do the rest.
- Now trailing 22-17 with 6:39 left, the Lions needed to simply keep Washington out of the end zone to have a chance to tie. They did manage to hold the Redskins to a 42-yard field goal, but it came at a costly price. The Redskins ran 4:43 off the clock, leaving the Lions with only 1:56 to score a touchdown and convert a 2-point try.
- The Lions got to their own 45-yard line thanks to a few medium-range passes before the drive stalled. Orlovsky threw a couple incomplete passes, and on 4th and 3 he found Calvin Johnson for a gain of only 2 yards. The play itself was terrible, as Johnson made the catch about a yard and a half short of the first down marker. Since he was hit as soon as he made the catch, Johnson had no chance to do anything.
- The Redskins took a knee to end the game and clinch the 25-17 victory. I'm sure it was closer than most Redskins fans had hoped, but in the end it was still a win for them.
The Lions are now 0-7 this season and don't seem to be showing any signs that things will get better. Yes, they did lead at halftime and stuck around to the very end, but that doesn't mean anything. They still fell apart and gave up plays that should have never happened, which directly resulted in the Redskins winning this game. Allowing a 50-yard TD pass is one thing, but allowing Santana Moss to return a punt 80 yards for a touchdown is simply inexcusable, especially when three players had a chance to tackle him and didn't.
Detroit heads to Chicago next Sunday to play the Bears. If the first game between Chicago and Detroit this season was any indication, it is going to get ugly. The only positive thing for me is that Kyle Orton is on one of my fantasy teams. I expect another big day out of him just like we saw back on October 5 when the Bears beat the Lions 34-7. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET on FOX, and since the game is at Chicago, Lions fans will actually get to see their team play this week.