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>>caption: LIONS WR BRYANT JOHNSON
HAD THIS ACROBATIC TD CATCH OVER
WASHINGTON'S CARLOS ROGERS<<
@ FORD FIELD:
The Lions won.
THE LIONS WON !!!
The Lions led from start to finish to
snap a 19-game losing streak dating
back to two days before Christmas of
2007 as they downed the Washington
Redskins 19-14 Sunday afternoon.
It wasn't quite that simple, of course.
Detroit saw the visitors pull within 5-P
with 2:36 left on the clock and the
Redskins got the ball back with 1:05 to
play. After driving into Lion territory the Skins had their last gasp flea-flicker
stopped cold at the Detroit 23 as the clock expired.
In Lionlike fashion, hardly anybody saw the rare victory. The game was blacked-
out on local TV and the smallest Detroit home crowd in 20 years (40,896) was inside
Too bad, because it was an entertaining encounter.
Washington's first offensive possession ended when the Detroit defense stuffed
Skins RBack Clinton Portis on a 4th-&-1 run from the Lion 1-yard line on a tackle by
LBackers DeAndre Levy & Larry Foote. The Lions then marched 77-yards in 12-plays
to get a 21-yard touchdown pass from Matt Stafford to Bryant Johnson. Running along
the left sideline, Johnson went up to grab the high throw and cradled it into his body
as he sailed backward over both Washington defender Carlos Rogers and the goalline
for a 7-0 lead.
Jason Hanson booted a pair of 2nd-Qtr field goals of 39 & 26-yards to make it
13-0 Detroit at halftime.
A right sideline pattern got Washington on the scoreboard when Jason Campbell
hit Santana Moss on a 57-yard catch-&-run just 1:45 into the 3rd-Qtr to make it 13-7.
The defenses dominated again until late in the final frame when the Lions went
8-plays/85-yards including a key 47-yard pass interference penalty on Washington's
Chris Horton that placed the ball at the 1-yard line. Maurice Morris lost a yard on a run
toward right end, but took a pitch left on the next play to score a 2-yard Detroit
touchdown. A 2-point conversion attempt pass was no good, so the score remained
Lions 19 and Washington 7 with 5:31 to go.
The Redskins responded with an 8-play/72-yard drive and Campbell threw a
short right TD pass of 4-yards to Rock Cartwright. The PAT made it a 19-14 final.
Stafford played mistake-free football for the first time in his three pro starts
with no interceptions and no fumbles to complete 21-of-36 throws to nine different
receivers for 241-yards and 1-TD. Stafford also rushed twice for 23-yards.
Kevin Smith had his first 100-yard rushing game of the season and third of his two
year career with 101 on 16 carries before leaving with an injured right shoulder. Morris
gained 10-yards in eight carries.
Bryant Johnson out-shone WR mate Calvin Johnson. Bryant had four grabs for
73-yards and a TD while Calvin drew lots of double coverage and totaled five receptions
With the Redskins able to gain only 65-yards on the ground, Campbell completed
27-of-41 passes for 340-yards (second highest yardage total in his career) and 2-TDs
plus one interception (by Detroit's Ko Simpson). Campbell also had Washington's
longest rush of 21-yards on his only carry.
Moss caught 10 balls for 178-yards and a TD.
Foote led Detroit with nine tackles and five solos. Washington's London Fletcher
had game-highs of 16 tackles including 11 solos.
The decision left both teams 1-2 on the season and increased speculation Redskins
coach Jim Zorn is close to getting fired.
LIONS OWNER WILLIAM CLAY FORD: "We not only got the monkey off our back,
we got King Kong off our back. I'm hoping that this gets us over that hump and
gives us a winning attitude...I hope we didn’t get too banged up today; that’s
what worries me. We have the talent to turn it around and be a threat."
LIONS H-COACH JIM SCHWARTZ: "We got the jump on them and took an early lead
and they made some really good adjustments and made it hard on us. I don’t know
if it’s ever easy but I think that [Stafford's] command showed today. His confidence
showed; his ability to push the ball down the field showed."
LIONS QB MATT STAFFORD: "I figured I'd just let the crowd noise tell me what
happened [on the game's final play]. When it got really quiet, I couldn't take it,
so I looked up, and saw them running, and then the tackle, and then I saw the
clock was at zero...We played well on offense, defense and special teams. It
wasn’t just one part of our team that got it done today. Defense stopped them
when they needed to. We mustered up enough points in the second half to get
the job done and it’s just a tribute to everybody sticking together and pulling
LIONS WR BRYANT JOHNSON: "I was able to get some opportunities in the game
and made the most of them...If they want to double Calvin and play their coverage
toward Calvin, we have guys at other receiver positions that can make plays and
you saw that today."
LIONS WR CALVIN JOHNSON: "That was big by [Bryant Johnson], especially showing
that he can grab that deep ball. Teams can double me, but if they do, hey, Bryant's
going to make plays on the other side."
LIONS CEN DOMINIC RAIOLA: "I've never been in this situation before. No team has
been in this situation before. No one has gone 0-16 and then had to try to win a game
the next year...We went a whole season without feeling like this, so you have to take
it in and enjoy."
LIONS LB LARRY FOOTE: "“It was fun, but I was nervous...it is not over until there is
zero on the clock. We pulled it off. What a way to get your first win, especially after all
hose losses. I’m glad we fought like that and that builds character...[Levy] made a lot
of plays today. He’s a good football player. I tell people that when we pulled the trigger
on him we made a good choice. He’s a good football player, but he’s still a rookie. They
are dumb, but (he’s) less dumb than the average one...He’s tough; he can hit. Did you
see that one in the open field with [Ladell] Betts? You can’t coach hitting."
REDSKINS H-COACH JIM ZORN: "On the fourth and one play [on the Skins' first series]?
I didn’t think we would be denied getting in the end zone and we were. I didn’t think
there was no way that a team could drive 99 yards on us and they got it out and took
it all the way down and scored. I didn’t believe that would happen and that’s why I did
what I did. I wanted to score a touchdown...They converted 75-percent of their third
downs; it’s disappointing. It’s just disappointing. We have to win the one-on-one battles."
REDSKINS QB JASON CAMPBELL: "[The TD pass to Moss] was a great play. We got set up;
we did a good job moving in the pocket and the linemen did a good job moving the guys
up field, which allowed me to move up in the pocket. Santana ran a great route...When
[the INT by Simpson] happened that fast I never saw the safety just sitting right there,
and I just thought I had to get it out there. I didn’t want to take a sack and it ended up
being an interception and I just wish I would have tried to make a move on the guy, and
make him miss or something."
REDSKINS CB DeANGELO HALL: "You either want it or you don't. A lot of these guys
[on Washington's roster] don't want it."
Bryant Johnson had no receptions in the home opener last week vs Minnesota
and four grabs for 45-yards in the season opener at New Orleans two weeks ago.
Smith was hurt in the 3rd-Qtr, tried not to move the injured right shoulder as
he walked to the sideline and, after a brief exam by the Lions medical staff, went
to the locker room. The extent of Smith's injury will be determined upon evaluation
Rookie Levy was getting his first pro start in place on injured Lions LB Ernie Sims.
The Lions, who have never defeated the Redskins in Washington, improved to
11-27-0 all-time vs the Boston/Washington franchise.
Detroit's last victory was a 25-20 decision at Ford Field over the Kansas City Chiefs
on 12/23/2007 in the next-to-last game of that season.
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