COMMENTARY| The Detroit Lions have finally done it.
After visiting the nation's capitol 21 times and coming away with a loss, the Lions have finally beaten the Washington Redskins on the road.
But there is always more to a game than just the result. Let's take a look at five thoughts I had after watching the Lions' 27-20 victory.
Joique Bell Can Handle the Job
Bell isn't Reggie Bush, but he doesn't have to be. He is more of a power back that gets yards after contact with enough elusiveness to make him a problem for opposing defenses.
Time and again, the Lions went to him in key spots Sunday afternoon, and he delivered. He averaged more than five yards a touch to keep Detroit's offense chugging along without the offseason's best free-agent signing.
Joseph Fauria Needs the Ball
Plenty of fans didn't understand why rookie tight end Fauria wasn't on the field much during the loss to the Arizona Cardinals. I'm sure there's a certain sense of validation for those fans after his touchdown in Week 3.
Fauria is a big target (6-foot-7) that has some serious moves, at least if you consider his post-touchdown dances. He also doesn't drop the ball like his tight-end compatriots. It'll be interesting to see if he is more involved in the game-plan going forward.
Nate Burleson Thinks I'm an Idiot
I've wondered here and on Lions Central Radio if Burleson had much left to offer. He doesn't have the ability to break tackles or get separation from defensive backs that he used to exhibit in his heyday.
But the old man can still catch the ball. In an offense that has All-Pro Calvin Johnson, that's all he really needs to do.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford looked for Burleson often. He was rewarded with 116 yards on six catches that were integral to the Lions' victory.
I'm still not sold that he's a consistent game-changer, but he can fill the role of possession receiver quite well.
Mr. Burleson, please accept my apology.
The Offensive Line is Legit
The Lions ended with 42 passing attempts balanced by just 23 rushing attempts. Yet, Stafford was sacked only once -- on the opening offensive series.
True, that was against a Washington defense that isn't renowned for its ability to create pressure, but it continues a season-long trend. The offensive line has only allowed two sacks on the season.
There was plenty of concern coming into the season regarding the three new starters joining longtime center Dominic Raiola and guard Rob Sims. Those worries have certainly subsided. Detroit is a passing team, so the line's ability to keep Stafford's jersey clean will be paramount if the Lions are going to enter the playoff fray.
We're Still Waiting for it to Click
This was a big win for Detroit. The Lions earned their first road win against the Redskins in franchise history and moved to 2-1 on the season.
But something doesn't feel right.
This team didn't score a crazy amount of points on a defense that was shredded in the first two weeks. The defense got stops, but had trouble containing the Redskins and was one Calvin Johnson-rule call away from losing this game.
Oh, and there was that wonky fumble by Robert Griffin III when the Redskins were driving.
It's one thing to win games despite your own miscues, and it's another to have it handed to you.
There were still plenty of mental errors, including unnecessary personal foul penalties and poor tackling from the secondary. This team can earn a playoff spot, but it has to take the next step.
Brandon Alisoglu has been covering the Detroit Lions for two years. He has been published at Yahoo, Bleacher Report, CNN and other websites. He also co-hosts a podcast called Lions Central Radio with Nick Kostora that can be found on ITunes and Stitcher. Follow him on Twitter for more football talk.
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