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Five Takeaways: Redskins Vs. Lions, Week 12


LANDOVER, Md. -- The Washington Redskins returned to FedExField on Sunday to play the Detroit Lions and came away with their first home win of the season Here are five takeaways from the 19-16 victory:

1. Dwayne Haskins Jr. earned his first NFL victory.

Haskins got his first-career home start last week against the Jets. This week, he gave the fans at FedExField what they have been craving: his first-career win.

It took Haskins some time to get warmed up. He fumbled the ball while making a throw on the first drive of the game and missed on a pair of throws to Terry McLaurin, one of which was in the end zone.

But after the Lions took a 16-13 lead in the second half, Haskins started to find some rhythm. He directed a nine-play, 54-yard drive, completing passes to four different receivers en route to setting up the game-tying 42-yard field goal.

He followed that up on the ensuing drive after Quinton Dunbar intercepted a pass from Detroit quarterback Jeff Driskel that gave the offense the ball at its own 46-yard line. This time, it was a six-play, 33-yard drive, and his final pass of the game -- a 17-yard completion to McLaurin -- set up the game-winning 39-yard field goal to make the score 19-16.

Haskins finished the game 13 of 29 for 156 yards and an interception. But more importantly, he walked off of FedExField victorious for the first time in his NFL career.

2. Steve Sims' kickoff return gave the team a surge.

It looked as if things were going to go badly for Sims after the Lions got on the board with a 24-yard field goal from Matt Prater. He muffed the ensuing kickoff as the Lions coverage began to close in on him.

But things quickly went from near catastrophe to exuberant as soon as Sims secured the ball and took off. He followed a crease down the left sideline and outran the Lions' coverage on the way to a 91-yard touchdown.

Sims' play gave the Redskins a lead that it held for the rest of the half. It was also the Redskins' first kick return touchdown in four seasons. Sims had 124 yards on two returns.

3. The defense came up big.

The Redskins' defense was fresh off allowing the New York Jets to score 34 points against them and determined to prevent a repeat performance.

Following the Lions' field goal, the defense forced turnovers on the next two drives. The first came when Fabian Moreau intercepted Driskel's deep shot to Marvin Hall, giving the ball back to the Redskins' offense at its own 11-yard line.

The second came on the first play of the drive when Jonathan Allen forced a fumble on fellow Alabama alum Bo Scarborough. Montae Nicholson recovered the ball, and that resulted in an eventual 37-yard field goal from Dustin Hopkins seven plays later.

Their biggest moments came in the fourth quarter, though, when Quinton Dunbar got his fourth interception of the year that set up the game-winning field goal. Moreau got his second pick of the game minutes later on the Lions' final drive to seal the win.

The Redskins' pass rush was also a constant hindrance on Driskel. Four Redskins players recorded at least half a sack, including Ryan Kerrigan, who is now two sacks away from tying the franchise record.

4. Cole Holcomb had a standout game.

With defensive lineman Daron Payne out, the defense needed someone to step up and replace his production. Holcomb was happy to answer that call.

Holcomb was an integral part of the Redskins' pass rush; he and fellow linebacker Jon Bostic were consistently getting open rushes on Driskel. One of Holcomb's rushes found its mark, giving the rookie his first-career sack.

Holcomb finished with career-highs in total tackles (13), solo tackles (7) and assists (6).

"It was a good feeling," Holcomb said with a smile. "I'll give Jimmy [Moreland] credit where it's due. He flushed [Driskel] out and made it easier for me."

5. Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon were productive yet again.

Although they had a relatively quiet first half, both McLaurin and Harmon made plenty of noise late in the game.

McLaurin struggled to connect with Haskins early in the game. His former Ohio State teammate was wide open in the end zone on the second drive of the game, but the ball was just out of reach, and the offense had to settle with a field goal. It happened again in the second quarter when Haskins missed McLaurin on a deep shot downfield.

But Haskins found McLaurin when it mattered the most. After the defense came down with its third interception of the game, McLaurin caught a 17-yard pass that led to the game-winning field goal.

After having a career game against the Jets, Harmon was reliable once again with three receptions for 43 yards. He and McLaurin combined for eight catches that resulted in 115 yards of offense.

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