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VISITORS SKIN LIONS AFTER INTERMISSION.....Washington 25, LIONS 17, S 10/26/08
Posted on: 10-26-2008

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>>caption:  LION PUNTER NICK HARRIS
(#2) CAN'T PREVENT A PUNT RETURN
TD BY WASHINGTON'S SANTANA MOSS
(#89)<<

FORD FIELD:

    For the first time in the 51 regular
season home games the Lions have
played since Ford Field opened in 2002, the contest was not a technical sellout.
Therefore, it was the first time in Ford Field history a Detroit home game was
not available on home television.    
    That's why casual fans who caught bits and pieces of the contest on radio
or got scoreboard updates on their mobile phone alerts couldn't quite believe
the Lions were actually ahead 7-3 in the 1st-Qtr, 10-3 in the 2nd-Qtr and 10-6
at halftime.
    When these fans checked back later they got the result they expected.
The Lions fell to 0-&-7 with a 25-17 loss to the visiting Washington Redskins.
    The Skins came out after intermission to score 16 consecutive points and
take control. The go-ahead touchdown was a 50-yard pass play where
Washington QBack Jason Campbell stepped up in the pocket to avoid a sack
and found a wide-open Santana Moss for a touchdown strike to end a 6-play,
95-yard drive with 4:03 remaining in the 3rd-Qtr. Moss then followed with an
80-yard punt return TD just 3:11 into the 4th-Qtr (a 2-pt conversion try failed)
to give the Redskins a 22-10 bulge.
    All the other Washington scoring came on four field goals by Shaun Suisham of
25, 47, 45 and 42-yards.        
    Campbell continued his current NFL-best interception-free streak, starting
the game 10-for-10 passing and finishing 23-for-28 for 328-yards and a TD. However,
Campbell fumbled twice and the one he lost set up Detroit's first 1st-Qtr points of
the entire season.   
    After Paris Lenon recovered Campbell's midfield fumble, the Lions went 49-yards
in 4-plays. Rudi Johnson powered over right tackle for an 11-yard touchdown run
(his second of the season) and Jason Hanson's PAT gave Detroit a 7-3 lead with 13-sec
left in the opening frame.
    Hanson's 43-yard field goal made it 10-3 Lions with 10:28 to go in the first half.
    The only other Lion score came with 6:46 remaining in regulation at the end of a
10-play, 76-yard drive. Calvin Johnson, who had only one reception through the first
three quarters, caught a 17-yard TD toss (his fifth of the year) from QBack Dan
Orlovsky (his third).
    Before Suisham booted his clinching FG with 2-mins to play, the Lions had a chance
to change momentum when Dewayne White forced Campbell's second fumble. Both Lenon
and Cory Redding had chances to recover, but it was Michigan Wolveriune alum Jon
Jansen who fell on the ball for the Redskins. The nine yard loss turned a chip shot field
goal into a more challenging, but good 42-yard Suisham boot.
    The Lions then staged a disjointed, last-gasp drive in a futile attempt to tie and
force overtime. The Lions went 24-yards in seven plays. Orlovsky passed two yards
right to Calvin Johnson on a 4th-&-3 and the ball went over on downs for a 1-play
Campbell kneeldown to end the contest.
    Washington improved to 6-&-2 on the year with their third consecutive road win.
     NFL top rusher Clinton Portis had 126-yards in 24 carries and one reception for
6-yards. Moss caught nine balls for 140-yards and Redskins T-End Chris Cooley made
six catches for 74-yards with penalties wiping-out his bid for a near-100-yard
reception day.
    Orlovsky was 21-of-35 for 223-yards, 1-TD and no turnovers in his third pro start.
However, the spotty Lions offense had little else to highlight. More than half of Rudi
Johnson's rushing yards came on his TD and he ran for just 21-yards in eight carries.
Rookie RBack Kevin Smith ran four times for 12-yards, but caught a team-high seven
passes for 50-yards. Shaun McDonald had five grabs for 68-yards. Calvin Johnson
finished with four receptions for 57-yards and an early end-around rush for 7-yards.
    Last in the league in offensive time of possession entering the contest, the Lions
watched the Redskins post a 35:45-to-24:15 advantage in that key category.          
    Washington had 22 first downs to Detroit's 13. The Redskins were 5-of-11 on
third down conversions, the Lions only 2-of-12. At least the Lions were 2-of-3 on
fourth down conversions, but the lone miss was their last offensive play.
    Going back to mid-season of last season, the Lions have lost 14-of-15 games.

QUOTEBOOK...

LIONS H-COACH ROD MARINELLI:   "Well, we had a couple false starts, you know.
And you can't do that and we had two holds and you can't do that. (You) can't
hold; it's simple football...you've got to cut the penalties back. The time of
possession's still hurting us. Defense is on the field too long. Offense has got to
get more (possession time)...I see on the field certain things we've done in terms
of our run-defense have been good. So we've been playing that a little bit better,
and the pass-rush is getting better. I think our blitzes are coming; we've just got
to execute the blitz at the end...but the wins aren't there and I understand that."

LIONS WR CALVIN JOHNSON:   "Yeah, it's frustrating. It starts with myself and
everybody else has to know there are certain times we had to execute when we
didn't. We had penalties and stuff. We've got to try to eliminate those things...
It's real frustrating because we got ourselves in a good situation today and just
failed to execute in the second half. I had a penalty there and we just had some
mishaps in the second half and weren't able to get the ball down the field."

LIONS QBACK DAN ORLOVSKY:   "Lack of execution and failure is going to happen,
we're people. But we're making too many of them...It's hard to swallow as a competitor
...You win 14-of-15, you're great; you lose 14-of-15, it's not good. But it is what it is."

LIONS LT JEFF BACKUS:   "We need a win. No moral victories."

LIONS LBACKER PARIS LENON:   "We were in this thing until the end. Just a couple of
key plays here and there. But you know the punt return touchdown; that was just a
backbreaker. Guys came to fight...We had opportunities to make, you know, a big
play on them. You've just got to be on top of it all the time, every play. Every play is
the most important play."

REDSKINS H-COACH JIM ZORN:   "Once [Moss] gets open, he's tough to catch in
the open field...Now this is the push here where the teams begin to define
themselves halfway through the season. We're hoping that we can keep this
thing going."

REDSKINS QBACK JASON CAMPBELL:   "Santana (Moss) did a good job of running
the route (on the go-ahead TD pass). You know he's so electric after the catch.
He caught the ball and he still was able to stay in bounds and get up the sideline
and score. He is such an explosive receiver."

REDSKINS WR SANTANA MOSS:   "I see (them) getting ready to blitz and that gave
me one-on-one with the safety and it (the TD pass) was just a perfect call for that
particular coverage they ran....The guy came down, he was a safety, man-to-man,
I had the corner routing. I just gave him a move and you know, off to the races,
and perfect throw; perfect play; perfect situation."

REDSKINS RBACK CLINTON PORTIS:   "It was a grind-it-out day. We kept plugging
as a team. Things started great and finished great. Anytime you can get that
and end up with a win, it is a good day."

OVERTIME:

    Lions FBack Jarome Felton (ankle) and LOG Damion Cook (knee) got tangled
up and came out injured on the same play just before the end of the 3rd-Qtr.
    Portis joined O.J. Simpson as the only NFL running backs to have 120-or-more
rushing yards in five consecutive games on multiple occasions. Portis, who had an
equipment problem, briefly benched himself between the first and second quarter.
Zorn didn't know why Portis had come out of the game and the two had heated words
on the sidelines before Portis burried his head under a towel.
    Moss became just the fifth player since the NFL-AFL merger to gave a 50-yard
TD catch and an 80-yard punt return touchdown in the same game. 
    Campbell had a career-high 127.4 passer rating, the sixth enemy QBack in
seven games this year to post such a career-best vs the Lions defense.
    Detroit is now 10-&-27 all-time vs the Redskins including 8-&-9 at home and
0-&-2 at Ford Field.
    Announced attendance was 54,312, but there were certainly much more than
8000 empty seats at Ford Field Sunday.

COACH KURT

                                                                  ###

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