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(Sunday, September 27th)
Final Score: Detroit 19, Washington 14
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Detroit's 19-game losing streak is history as the Lions got their first win in over 21 months with a 19-14 triumph over the Washington Redskins at Ford Field.
The last time Detroit won a game was a 25-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on December 23, 2007. The team then dropped their next game at Green Bay and suffered through a humiliating 0-16 season last year, the first-ever winless campaign since the NFL went to a 16-game format. Detroit opened the 2009 season with a 45-27 loss at New Orleans and a 27-13 defeat to Minnesota last week at home.
"We not only got the monkey off our back, we got King Kong off our back," said Lions owner William Clay Ford. "I'm hoping that this gets us over that hump and gives us a winning attitude."
The 19-game losing streak was tied for the second-worst in NFL history, behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 26-game winless spell in 1976-77 and tied with the Oakland Raiders 19-game skid from 1961-62.
"We weren't 0-2, " said Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, who got the first win of his coaching career. "Our guys were carrying the burden of 0-19, and it was unfair to them. But this gets us off of that and puts it behind us."
Matthew Stafford, the first pick of the 2009 draft and the future of the franchise, had the best game of his young career as he went 21-for-36 with 241 yards and a score for the Lions (1-2), who had dropped their past nine games at home.
"I mean, it had the feel of a post-season win, the jubilation," said Stafford. "(We got) the monkey off the back, not only for the guys that have been here but the organization and the City of Detroit. It was well deserved."
Bryant Johnson had four catches for 73 yards and a score while Maurice Morris added a rushing touchdown in the win. Kevin Smith had 16 carries for 101 yards before leaving late in the third quarter with a right shoulder injury.
"Kevin was running extremely well," said Schwartz. "He was running physical and was giving hits, taking hits, and things like that. He's got a shoulder injury. I don't know where it's going to be. We'll have a lot of tests he'll wind up doing tomorrow but he came out of the game."
Jason Campbell went 27-for-41 with 340 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Redskins (1-2), who had won their past three games against the Lions. Santana Moss had 10 catches for 178 yards and a score.
Washington had little offense in the first half and was trailing 13-0 to start the third quarter, but the team began the second half with the ball, and on the third play, Campbell found a wide open Moss in stride near the Detroit 30, and Moss took it into the end zone on a 57-yard score.
The score remained that way heading into the fourth quarter as neither team was able to generate much offense, but Washington ended the quarter with the ball.
On 3rd-and-9 from the Redskins' 16, Campbell tucked the ball in and took it for 21 yards. On the next play, Clinton Portis took it up the middle for 14 yards to get the ball to midfield. However, the drive stalled there thanks to a couple of penalties and incompletions, and Washington had to punt the ball away.
Detroit, though, was unable to move the ball at all and had to give it back to the Redskins.
The Redskins followed suit, punting it away, and the Lions then went on a scoring drive to make it a two-possession game. Facing a 3rd-and-1 on his own 24, Stafford connected with Calvin Johnson on a nine-yard play and on the next snap again connected with his No. 1 target on an 18-yard pass. The big play of the drive, though, was on 3rd-and-9 from the Washington 48, as Stafford let loose with a bomb to Bryant Johnson, who was interfered with in the end zone by Chris Horton to make it 1st-and-goal at the one-yard line. Two plays later, Morris punched the ball into the end zone and, after the two-point conversion failed, the Lions held a 19-7 lead with 5:26 to play.
Washington quickly moved the ball down the field on its next possession, and the team needed just under three minutes to march 72 yards and made it a five- point game when Campbell found Rock Cartwright in the end zone from four yards out with 2:36 to play.
Detroit then forced Washington to burn all three of its timeouts but had to punt the ball away and the Redskins had possession at their own 22-yard line with 1:05 to play.
The team moved into Detroit territory, but on the final play a short pass that resulted in a couple of laterals went nowhere, and Stafford and the Lions were able to celebrate their first win.
After stopping Detroit's first possession of the game, Washington drove the ball methodically down the field, including 15- and 21-yard catches from Moss. However, the team stalled in the red zone and on 4th-and-goal at the one-yard line Portis was stuffed for no gain.
Stafford and the Lions then put together their best drive of the season. Starting with their backs to the goalline, the team was able to get a first down on three plays to get out of danger. Later facing a 3rd-and-10, Stafford connected with Dennis Northcutt on a 20-yard play to the Detroit 44. After Stafford ran for 21 yards on a 3rd-and-13, he put the ball out to the left side of the end zone for Bryant Johnson, who leaped over the defender for a 21-yard score and a 7-0 lead with just 1:20 to play in the first. The 99-yard drive took 12 plays and ate up almost six minutes of the clock.
"I didn't think we'd be denied getting in the end zone and we were," said Washington head coach Jim Zorn said. "But there was no way a team could drive 99 yards on us was my thought."
The Lions held the Redskins again and went on another successful scoring drive. The 11-play march covered 74 yards and ate up 5 1/2 minutes, but it stalled in the red zone, and a 39-yard field goal from Jason Hanson made it a 10-0 game with 8:30 to play in the first half.
Detroit forced another Washington punt and used another long drive to put points on the board. The 18-play drive went 86 yards and ate up the final 6:53 of the first half clock with Hanson's 26-yard boot giving the team a 13-0 lead heading into the break.
Detroit linebacker Ernie Sims (shoulder), defensive end Cliff Avril (hamstring) and cornerback Eric King all were inactive for the game...Portis finished the game with 12 carries for 42 yards as the Redskins rushing attack generated just 65 yards on 14 carries, compared to 154 yards on 36 carries for Detroit...The Lions controlled the ball for 36:48...Washington went just 2- for-10 on third down conversions while the Lions were an efficient 10- for-18...Calvin Johnson had five catches for 49 yards.
09/27 20:29:27 ET
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