Lions-Redskins: What we learned

David Elfin, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

LANDOVER, Md. -- The streak finally came to an end on Sunday. After losing in all 21 previous visits to the nation's capital, Detroit's offense was too much for Washington's beleaguered defense as the Lions prevailed 27-20.
"I'm as proud as can be of our team," said coach Jim Schwartz, whose team improved to 2-1. "That was a tough, hard-fought battle. But we didn't carry a banner here that said, 'Remember That We've Never Won in Washington.'"
A 47-yard catch by Detroit No. 2 receiver Nate Burleson -- one of his six receptions for 116 yards on the day -- set up David Akers' field goal that broke a 17-17 deadlock with 11:08 to go.
Burleson's big grab came two plays after Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III fumbled while diving forward instead of sliding at the end of his season-long 21-yard gallop to the Detroit 29.
Griffin, who completed 32 of his 50 pass attempts for 326 yards and an interception, seemingly gave the Redskins the lead four plays after Akers' 28-yard kick, but receiver Aldrick Robinson was ruled to have failed to maintain possession of a 57-yard bomb in the end zone.
Instead, the drive ended in a punt, and the Lions (2-1) extended their lead on the following drive courtesy of an 11-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Johnson (seven catches, 115 yards).
John Potter's 21-yard field goal for the Redskins with 1:40 left got the Redskins back within a touchdown. However, they failed to recover an onside kick, and after forcing a punt could not reach the end zone

What the Lions said
"There's a lot of people that make a long, lasting career out of being the background dancer. If this is the Jackson 5, I'll be Tito." -- Lions No. 2 wide receiver Nate Burleson, who had the game's two longest catches as the Redskins focused on slowing All-Pro WR Calvin Johnson.

"I'm not known for my calm. If that wouldn't have got overruled, I would've had a conniption." -- Coach Jim Schwartz on the apparent 57-yard touchdown catch by Washington's Aldrick Robinson that was reversed after replays were checked.

What the Redskins said
"We lost the game on two calls, two judgment calls." -- Quarterback Robert Griffin III on his 21-yard run and apparent 57-yard touchdown pass to WR Aldrick Robinson that ended in a fumble and an incompletion after the officials consulted replays.

"That's as tough as it gets." -- Coach Mike Shanahan on his team's 0-3 start.

What we learned about the Lions
1. Detroit can win, and win on the road, without Reggie Bush. The elusive RB was inactive after injuring his left knee last week at Arizona. The Lions' offense stalled after Bush went out against the Cardinals, but Joique Bell stepped in on Sunday and gained 132 yards and a touchdown on 24 touches.
2. The Lions, who ended a streak of 11 years out of the playoffs in 2011, are back in contention. After finishing 2012 on an eight-game losing streak, Detroit has won as many games in three weeks as it won in the final 11 games of last year.

What we learned about the Redskins
1. Washington is in deep trouble. The Redskins are 0-3 during the seemingly easy part of their schedule. After next week's visit to Oakland and a bye, the Redskins still have to go to Denver, Atlanta, Dallas, the New York Giants and Philadelphia while San Francisco, Chicago, Kansas City, the Cowboys and Giants come to Washington.
2. The Redskins can't stop anyone even with safety Brandon Meriweather playing an entire game for the first time in his two seasons in Washington. They've been torched for 1,464 yards, the most in NFL history through three games.

What to Read Next