The Knee Jerk Reaction: Detroit 20 — Washington 17
By Robb Crocker
Miscues doom the Redskins as they fall to the Lions.
The Redskins played two opponents on Sunday — the Detroit Lions and themselves. Both opponents beat them.
Matt Stafford took the Lions down the field with about a minute left in the game to spoil Kirk Cousins’ homecoming as the Lions topped the Redskins, 20-17. The loss drops the Redskins record to 4-3. When all is said and done, this game will be remembered for what should have been.
"The Redskins played two opponents on Sunday — the Detroit Lions and themselves. Both opponents beat them."
A crucial Matt Jones fumble into the end zone in the first quarter, a missed field goal, and another fumble after a bad exchange between Jones and Cousins were just some of the miscues that shot the team in the foot. The red zone fumble was attributed to Jones trying to fight for extra yards. Fumbles were a concern in Jones’ rookie season; it appeared that he had the issue licked until this week.
Another concern for the Redskins is their uneven play offensively. In the second and third quarters, the offense was non-existent. Cousins didn’t seem to find his rhythm in the passing game until the end of the game.
And the bend-but-don’t-break defense broke. There will be a lot of fans second guessing the soft zone coverage the Redskins employed during the Lions’ winning drive.
The team will return home from Detroit banged up; Josh Norman suffered a concussion and Trent Williams injured his leg on the next to last play of the game.
So, what are the Redskins doing right?
Jamison Crowder is continuing to emerge as the team’s go-to receiver. He pulled down seven catches for 108 yards. In addition, Kirk Cousins passed for 301 yards and Chris Thompson accounted 113 combined yards. The offensive play calling was clutch during the last drive — it was a shame that they did not open up the playbook until their final drive.
- The loss snapped a four-game winning streak this season and also marked the team’s first road loss since Week 11 of the 2015 season.
- The Redskins gained 417 yards of offense, exceeding 400 yards for a second straight game. It marks the second time this season that the Redskins have posted back-to-back 400-yard performances (Weeks 2-3).
- The Redskins have now exceeded 300 yards of offense in 11 consecutive regular season games, dating back to last season, for the first time since a 14-game stretch across the 2012-13 seasons.
- Cousins has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 22 of 23 regular season games since assuming the starting role prior to the 2015 season, including each of the last six games dating back to Week 2.
- On a 22-yard reception in the first quarter, tight end Vernon Davis (6,064) became the 13th tight end in NFL history to record 6,000 career receiving yards.
- Davis finished the game with season highs in receptions (six) and receiving yards (79). His 79 receiving yards were his most since Week 15 of the 2013 season as a member of the San Francisco 49ers (79).
- Wide receiver Jamison Crowder recorded seven receptions for 108 yards, both season highs.
- The 100-yard receiving performance was the second of Crowder’s career and his first since Week 17 of the 2015 season.
- Running back Robert Kelley scored his first career touchdown on a one-yard reception in the fourth quarter.
- Running back Chris Thompson posted season highs with 12 rushing attempts for 73 yards in addition to a season-high seven receptions for 40 yards.
- Wide receiver Pierre Garçon extended his streak of consecutive regular season games played with a reception to 93, the sixth-longest active streak in the NFL. Sixty-five of the games in Garçon’s streak have come with Washington, the third-longest streak by a member of the Redskins since the 1970 merger.
- The Redskins have now held four straight opponents to 20 points or fewer for the first time since a five-game streak in Weeks 2-6 of the 2009 season.
- The Redskins played their only guaranteed indoor game of the 2016 season. Including postseason play, the Redskins are now 32-26 all-time in games played indoors, including games contested in stadiums with closed retractable roofs.
- Despite the defeat, the Redskins remain 30-14 all-time against the Lions, including postseason play.
The Redskins will travel to London next week to face the Cincinnati Bengals.