It was a great weekend of football. I stormed the field in Happy Valley. The Detroit Lions (4-3) beat the Washington Redskins (4-3) with a great come from behind victory after blowing a 10 point fourth quarter lead. Matt Stafford continued his MVP march with another good day and clutch performance. Let’s take a look at game break down.
The Lions started the game with the ball but punted quickly after a 3 and out. Boldin was a yard short on an out route on 3rd and 2 after a nice 8 yard run by Zenner on second down. Martin boomed a punt 51 yards and out of bounds to pin the Redskins on their own 15. Maritn is such an underrated weapon for the Lions.
Washington drove 9 plays but ended up punting. Detroit got a 9 yard sack with good pressure on a second down. Armonty Bryant got his second sack with Detroit. The Lions got good pressure on 3rd and 19 and forced an incomplete.
Detroit got the ball and drove 10 plays in 50 yards. Stafford hit Clay Harbor for a first down and Detroit got a lucky first down off the Redskins helmet into Tate’s hands for 16 yards. Tate dropped a pass on 3rd and 6 and Detroit settled for the Prater attempt. Don Muhlbach had a high snap and threw off the timing and Prater missed the 49 yard kick.
Washington started at their own 39 yard line after the miss and drove down the field with a Chris Thompson run, strike to Niles Paul, Matt Jones first down run of seven yards and a 22 yard pass to Vernon Davis. What a weapon that Vernon Davis is. However, on first and goal from the seven, Matt Jones was trying for extra yards and fumbled the ball. Detroit recovered in their own end zone. Matt Jones had a fumbling problem his rookie year and it has continued this year.
Detroit drove 10 plays and 56 yards. Justin Forsett ran well for two Lion’s first downs. Anquan Boldin had a costly holding penalty and Andre Roberts dropped a huge pass on 1st and 20. However, a beautiful screen to Golden Tate and a great block by Riley Reiff sprung Detroit for a first down. Detroit got to a third and one but Zenner was stuffed. The Lions had to settle for the Prater 43 yard field goal.
Washington responded with an 11 play 48 yard drive. However, kicker Dustin Hopkins missed the kick and hit the ball off the top of the upright. It really is a game of inches.
Detroit should have taken advantage of the good field position after the miss. However, Detroit went 3 and out when Riley Reiff whiffed on Ryan Kerrigan and sacked Stafford on 3rd down. Martin punted 58 yards pinning the Redskins on their own 13. Such a leg.
Washington drove 10 plays and 51 yards. Detroit stopped Washington on 3rd and 3 after they gained two yards. Good tackling by Detroit and Washington kicked the field goal as the first half expired. 3-3 was the low scoring game tally.
Washington got the ball and got a few first downs but ended up punting. Two key false starts made in 3rd and 13 for Washington. Detroit stopped the Redskins short of the sticks on 3rd down.
Detroit got the ball at their own 14 and drove 86 yards on a beautiful TD drive to take control of the game. Stafford scrambled for an 18 yard first down. Stafford hit Marvin Jones on a 52 yard bomb beating Josh Norman. Jones caught another 11 yard pass for a first down setting up first and goal. Stafford missed a fade to Jones on first down but Zenner ran the tough yard for a TD. Detroit led 10-3.
Washington drove 7 plays to Detroit’s 34 yard line in response. However, Kyri Thornton crashed into the backfield and Jones/Cousins messed up the hand-off. The Lions recovered on an awesome scoop by Kerry Hyder.
Detroit responded by moving 10 plays and 52 yards into the Redskins red zone. A sack by Trent Murphy started the bad news for Detroit in the red zone, however. Luckily, Stafford recovered the strip. Taylor Decker was flagged with a holding penalty. Detroit missed in the endzone on third down to Golden Tate just out of bounds. Prater hit the field goal and Detroit had a ten point lead at 13-3.
Washington’s offense finally woke up after the Detroit field goal and finished a drive. Cousins led them 75 yards down the field and threw a TD to running back Robert Kelley. A 26 yard play to Jamison Crowder and 27 yard play to Vernon Davis highlighted the march. Washington cut the lead to 13-10.
Detroit responded with only one first down. Preston Smith sacked Stafford on second down and a deep ball to Tate on 3rd down went incomplete. The Redskins had major momentum late in the game.
Kirk Cousins looked clutch and drove the Redskins 76 yards. Cousins had a 19 yard scramble for the touchdown that fooled the Lions defense. Washington grabbed a 17-13 lead with only 1:05 to play.
No worries. Detroit has Matt Stafford. Detroit marched 75 yards on a beautiful TD drive. Stafford hit Marvin Jones for 23 yards to get to almost mid-field. Stafford scrambled for a 14 yard first down. Stafford hit Andre Roberts on a high throw for 20 yards. Roberts made an incredible leaping catch up the ladder to snag the ball. Finally, Stafford hit Anquan Boldin on 3rd down for the clutch 18 yard touchdown. Detroit held on for the 20-17 win. This is the third win in a row for Detroit and the Lions are right in the thick of the playoff race now.
The Lions are red hot and playing clutch football despite major injuries (Ngata, Levy/Bynes/Bostic, Slay, Ebron, Riddick, Abdullah). Detroit has two more road games before the bye. Detroit plays at Houston at 1 PM next Sunday. Detroit must stay hot and keep winning.