A lackluster win over the St. Louis Rams last Sunday resulted in all sorts of scrutiny for the Redskins.
So what does a 19-14 loss to the Detroit Lions, losers of 19 straight heading into Sunday, result in?
Questions. More questions.
And it's safe to say the level of scrutiny only increases now.
Washington dropped to 1-2 on the season with Sunday's loss to the Lions at Ford Field.
The Redskins had a chance to win in the game's closing seconds, as Jason Campbell guided the offense downfield with 1:12 left.
With 8 seconds remaining, the Redskins had the ball at the Lions' 36-yard line. Campbell threw a short pass across the middle to Santana Moss, who threw a lateral to Antwaan Randle El, who threw a lateral to Ladell Betts.
The Lions quickly converged on Betts and tackled him 23 yards short of the end zone. Time ran out.
There is still plenty of time for the Redskins to recover from losing to the Lions. The loss sets a disturbing tone for the season, though.
Campbell finished the game with 27-of-41 pass completions for 341 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Santana Moss was his top target. He caught a game-high 10 passes for 178 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown grab early in the third quarter.
Clinton Portis had 12 carries for 42 yards but was not on the field late in the fourth quarter. He had been slowed by ankle injuries in the days leading up to the Lions game.
The Redskins' defense struggled tremendously on third downs. In the first half, the Lions converted 9-of-12 third-down plays. Overall, they were 10-of-18 on third-down conversions against Washington.
The defense yielded 154 rushing yards, including 101 by running back Kevin Smith, and the front four did not generate enough pressure on rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Stafford completed 21-of-36 passes for 241 yards and one touchdown. He was sacked twice, once by Albert Haynesworth and once by Brian Orakpo.
Washington arrived at Ford Field on Sunday looking to put a difficult week in the rear-view mirror. The Redskins barely beat a struggling St. Louis Rams last Sunday and dealt with week-long criticism from media and fans alike.
Jim Zorn decided to open the game in an aggressive mode.
The offense lined up with Campbell in shotgun formation, no running backs and five receivers lined up outside.
Casey Rabach's snap nearly sailed past Campbell's head. Campbell pulled the ball in, but he was quickly sacked by defensive end Jason Hunter. Hunter grabbed Campbell's face mask, though, and the result was a 15-yard penalty.
The infraction seemed to give the Redskins' offense some momentum. Campbell completed 15-yard and 22-yard passes to Moss to move into Lions territory.
Later, Malcolm Kelly made a diving 18-yard catch for a first down to the Lions' 8-yard line--the red zone, source of so many recent struggles for the Redskins' offense.
First play was a fade pass to Kelly that was off the mark. Then Betts took a handoff up the middle for two yards. On third down, Portis caught a swing pass and made it to the 1-yard line before he was pushed out of bounds.
Fourth down. Gut check time.
Portis took the handoff and ran left behind Chris Samuels, Derrick Dockery and lead blocker Mike Sellers. Linebackers DeAndre Levy and Larry Foote got penetration, though, and stopped Portis at the goal line.
The Lions took the momentum and drove right down the field on the Redskins, with the key play a 14-yard scramble by Stafford to the Redskins' 21-yard line.
Next play, Stafford threw to the end zone where wide receiver Bryant Johnson was in one-on-one coverage with Carlos Rogers. Johnson, who is 6-3 and has three inches on Rogers, pulled in the pass for a 21-yard touchdown.
It was a 99-yard scoring drive and it gave the Lions life.
Early in the second quarter, the Lions continued to move on the Redskins' defense.
Smith converted a 3rd-and-2 with 16-yard run around left end. Later, Johnson caught a short pass across the middle and broke a tackle for a 24-yard pickup.
The Lions advanced to the Redskins' 14-yard line, but Haynesworth put a stop to the drive with a sack of Stafford.
Detroit settled for a 39-yard field goal by Jason Hanson and a 10-0 lead midway though the second quarter.
After a 3-and-out by the Redskins' offense, the Lions kept the pressure on.
Detroit consumed the final seven minutes of the first half as Stafford converted four 3rd-down plays, including a 22-yard pass to Johnson to get the offense into scoring range.
The Lions built their lead to 13-0 with a 26-yard field goal by Hanson as time expired in the first half.
The Redskins came out in the second half and played with a higher tempo and a greater sense of urgency.
Portis set the tone with a 12-yard run around right end. Then Campbell threw to Moss for nine yards and a first down.
Next play, Campbell threw a deep pass to Moss, who had gotten behind two defenders in coverage. The safety was late getting over and Moss had a clear path down the right sideline.
Moss avoided a tackle by the safety and raced into the end zone for a 57-yard touchdown.
It was the big play the Redskins needed to give them some life after a disappointing first half.
Both defenses started to settle in the rest of the third quarter.
For the Redskins, rookie Brian Orakpo recorded his first career sack to end a Lions drive. Later, Chris Horton tackled Calvin Johnson one yard short of a first down to end another drive.
Offensively, the Redskins had opportunities in the fourth quarter to advance into scoring range. Twice they moved just beyond midfield into Lions territory. Twice they stalled and had to punt.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Lions continued to hold on to their tenuous 6-point lead.
On 3rd-and-9 at the Redskins' 48-yard line, Stafford threw deep to Bryant Johnson, who had a step on Horton in coverage. Johnson had to hold up for the ball and Horton appeared to run into him, drawing yellow flags. It was a 47-yard penalty to the Redskins' 1-yard line.
One play later, running back Maurice Morris took a pitch and cut inside for a 2-yard touchdown. The Redskins stymied Stafford on a 2-point conversion effort and the score remained 19-7.
Desperation time for the Redskins.
Campbell quickly moved the Redskins downfield, connecting on a 21-yard pass to Moss. He also connected with Betts on 7- and 9-yard completions.
Later, Campbell completed a pair of 8-yard passes to Rock Cartwright and Randle El to the Lions' 4-yard line.
Next play, Campbell rolled left to avoid pressure. Out of the pocket, he fired a quick pass to Cartwright at the goal line.
Cartwright held on despite good coverage and the Redskins had narrowed the Lions' lead to 19-14.
With 2:36 left and three time outs, the Redskins opted to kick deep to the Lions.
Detroit converted one first down, on a beautiful Stafford pass to tight end Will Heller for 24 yards, but eventually was forced to punt.
Campbell and the Redskins' offense got the ball back with 1:12 left in the game. No time outs.
Again, Campbell guided the offense downfield, completing passes to Cooley for 15 yards and Moss for 16 yards to the Lions' 36-yard line.
That's as far as the Redskins could go.
Photo Album: Redskins-Lions](/media-gallery/photos/week-3-redskins-lions/A3980FD6-00F6-4AE9-8105-21060789EBA6)
The Redskins travel to Detroit to face the Lions on Sunday, Sept. 27 at Ford Field. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.
Ford Field is an indoors facility. The stadium has an artificial surface called FieldTurf and seats 65,000.
It is the first of two games the Redskins will play indoors in the regular season. The Redskins are 7-2 in indoor facilities in the last six years, including 2004 and 2008 wins over the Lions at Ford Field.
The Redskins are 1-1 in the NFC so far this season and 0-1 on the road, with a season-opening loss to the New York Giants.
It's the only game the Redskins play against the NFC North this season.
The game is a homecoming for Devin Thomas and Chris Wilson, both of whom hail from the Detroit region.
The Redskins-Rams game will be televised to a regional audience on FOX. Thom Brennaman calls the play by play with color commentary by Brian Billick.
On radio, the game will be broadcast locally on the Redskins Radio Network. Larry Michael calls the play-by-play with former Redskins and Hall of Famers Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff adding color commentary. Former Redskin Rick 'Doc' Walker reports from the sidelines.
Jorge Andres and Mario Alfaro call the game in Spanish on ESPN Deportes 730.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
|WR||89 Santana Moss||80 Bryant Johnson|
|LT||60 Chris Samuels||76 Jeff Backus|
|LG||66 Derrick Dockery||70 Daniel Loper|
|C||61 Casey Rabach||51 Dominic Raiola|
|RG||75 Chad Rinehart||66 Stephen Peterman|
|RT||74 Stephon Heyer||77 Gosder Cherilus|
|TE||47 Chris Cooley||89 Will Heller|
|WR||12 Malcolm Kelly||81 Calvin Johnson|
|QB||17 Jason Campbell||9 Matthew Stafford|
|FB||45 Mike Sellers||45 Jerome Felton|
|RB||26 Clinton Portis||34 Kevin Smith|
|DE||99 Andre Carter||92 Cliff Avril|
|DT||96 Cornelius Griffin||90 Grady Jackson|
|DT||92 A. Haynesworth||79 Sammie Hill|
|DE||93 Phillip Daniels||99 Dewayne White|
|SLB||98 Brian Orakpo||59 Julian Peterson|
|MLB||59 London Fletcher||55 Larry Foote|
|WLB||52 Rocky McIntosh||50 Ernie Sims|
|LCB||23 DeAngelo Hall||32 Anthony Harris|
|RCB||22 Carlos Rogers||31 Phillip Buchanon|
|SS||48 Chris Horton||40 Marquand Manuel|
|FS||30 LaRon Landry||26 Louis Delmas|
|P||3 Hunter Smith||2 Nick Harris|
|K||6 Shaun Suisham||4 Jason Hanson|
|H||3 Hunter Smith||2 Nick Harris|
|LS||67 Ethan Albright||48 Don Muhlbach|
|KOR||31 Rock Cartwright||21 Aaron Brown|
|PR||82 A. Randle El||31 Phillip Buchanon|
The Redskins-Lions series dates all the way back to when the teams were known as the Boston Redskins and the Portsmouth Spartans in the early 1930s.
The two franchises have met a total of 40 times, including three times in the playoffs, with the Redskins holding the series lead with a record of 27-10 in the regular season and 3-0 in the postseason.
From 1968 until 1997, Washington won 16 consecutive regular season games and two postseason games in the series.
In 1982, the Redskins handled the Lions 31-7 in the NFC divisional playoffs at RFK Stadium. It was the Redskins' first of four postseason wins en route to winning their first Super Bowl title.
The Redskins and Lions also played in the 1991 NFC Championship game at RFK Stadium, with the Redskins dominating 41-10 to advance to the Super Bowl.
In 1999, the Redskins and Lions played in the only playoff game ever played at FedExField. The Redskins won that game 27-13.
Washington and Detroit last played on Oct. 26, 2008, with the Redskins winning 25-17 at Ford Field.
Jason Campbell completed 23-of-28 passes for 328 yards and one touchdown, a 50-yarder to Santana Moss.
Moss had a huge game, catching a game-high nine passes for 140 yards and the touchdown. He also fielded a punt and returned 80 yards for a touchdown that provided the game-winning points. He was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts.
Shaun Suisham also connected on four field goals in the Redskins' win.
TALE OF THE TAPE
|REDSKINS 2009 RANKINGS|
|LIONS 2009 RANKINGS|
FAMILIAR FACES ON THE LIONS
Right tackle Jon Jansen played for the Redskins from 1999-2008. He was a fixture at right tackle with the Redskins and started 123-of-126 games in that span.
Defensive line coach Bob Karmelowicz coached the Redskins' defensive line from 1994-96.
Assistant general manager Martin Mayhew played for the Redskins from 1989-92. He was a member of the Redskins' Super Bowl XXVI championship team.
Head athletic trainer Al Bellamy served as an assistant athletic trainer with the Redskins from 1988-2000.
Coordinator of physical development Jason Arapoff served as a conditioning director for the Redskins from 1988-2000.
Strength and conditioning coach Malcolm Blacken served as a strength and conditioning assistant for the Redskins from 1996-2000.
Coordinator of athletic medicine Dean Kleinschmidt served as head athletic trainer for the Redskins under Steve Spurrier from 2002-03.
Regional scout Cary Conklin played for the Redskins from 1990-94. He was a fourth-round draft pick by the team in 1990. In 1993, he completed 46-of-87 passes for four touchdowns and three interceptions.
REDSKINS-LIONS NEWS & NOTES
-- How the Redskins' Roster Was Built
The Redskins have 24 players on the roster that the team drafted, including 2009 first-round pick Brian Orakpo and 2009 supplemental draft pick Jeremy Jarmon. Draft picks account for 45.2 percent of the Redskins roster.
Chris Samuels is the longest-tenured Redskins. He has played for the franchise since 2000.
Washington has used free agency to acquire 22 players, including Mike Sellers in 2004, Casey Rabach in 2005, Andre Carter and Antwaan Randle El in 2006, London Fletcher in 2007, DeAngelo Hall in 2008 and Albert Haynesworth and Hunter Smith in 2009. Free agents account for 43.3 percent of the roster.
Three Redskins players were acquired as undrafted rookie free agents. This group includes starting right tackle Stephon Heyer.
The team has acquired two players via trade. Clinton Portis was acquired in a 2004 trade with the Denver Broncos and Santana Moss joined the Redskins as part of a 2005 trade with the New York Jets.
The Redskins have claimed two players off waivers: Anthony Alridge and Marcus Mason.
-- Local Connections for Lions' Schwartz
Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is a Baltimore native who attended Georgetown University in his formative years.
At Georgetown, Schwartz was a four-year letterwinner as a linebacker. He earned his degree in economics and received Distinguished Economics Graduate honors.
Schwartz began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Maryland, tutoring the Terrapins' linebackers from 1989-90.
Prior to joining the Lions last offseason, Schwartz was a defensive assistant for 10 years with the Tennessee Titans. He spent two years learning under former Redskins defensive coach Gregg Williams. He also coached alongside Sherman Smith from 1999-2007 and Jerry Gray from 1999-2000.
As Tennessee's defensive coordinator from 2001-08, Schwartz guided the Titans to one of the top defenses in the league. He had current Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth on his side. Haynesworth played for the Titans from 2002-08.
-- Redskins Coaches In Detroit
Jim Zorn got his start as an NFL coach with the Detroit Lions in 1999-2000. He was hired by Bobby Ross, the former University of Maryland head coach who guided the Lions at the time.
Zorn served as quarterbacks coach of the Lions in 1999. One of his pupils was Gus Frerotte, the former Redskins quarterback. Zorn and Frerotte faced off against the Redskins in a 1999 Wild Card playoff game at FedExField. The Redskins won that contest 27-13.
Redskins special teams coordinator Danny Smith coached along-side Zorn in Detroit from 1999-2000. Smith served as tight ends coach with the Lions.
Also, Redskins offensive line coach Joe Bugel previously served with the Lions, working in the same capacity, from 1975-76.
-- Gray's Interview With the Lions
Before the Detroit Lions hired Jim Schwartz as head coach, the club interviewed Redskins secondary-cornerbacks coach Jerry Gray for the job.
It turned out to be a great opportunity for Gray to get his name out in NFL circles as a head coaching candidate.
"What I did was, I asked [Lions officials] for feedback," Gray said. "How can I get better [at the interview process]. What can I do to make myself more presentable? I'm always trying to get better.
"To get a head coaching job in this league, the big thing you have to do is be part of a winning team. That means a whole lot. [Teams] want to bring winning guys into a program. Winning is what can get players to understand what you can do."
-- Team Captains
The Redskins have elected captains for the offense, defense and special teams.
For the offense, it's Jason Campbell and Chris Samuels.
For the defense, it's Cornelius Griffin and London Fletcher.
For special teams, it's Rock Cartwright and Mike Sellers.
Sellers is the newcomer of the captains this year. The other five were also voted team captains in 2008.
-- Strength of Schedule
Washington's strength of schedule for the 2009 season is in the middle of the pack.
The Redskins' strength of schedule is ranked 16th in the NFL at .492. Their opponents' 2008 cumulative record was 125-129-2. They play a total of seven games against 2008 playoff teams.
The Miami Dolphins have the NFL's toughest schedule at .594. Their opponents' 2008 cumulative record was 152-104.
The Chicago Bears have the NFL's easiest schedule at .414. Their opponents' 2008 cumulative record was 105-149-2.
-- For the Defense
Since 2000, the Redskins' defense has finished in the top 10 in yardage allowed seven times.
Last year, in Greg Blache's first season leading the defense, the Redskins were ranked fourth overall in the NFL. They were ranked eighth against the run and seventh against the pass.
The Redskins also finished fourth in 2000, 10th in 2001, fifth in 2002, third in 2004, ninth in 2005 and eighth in 2007.
Since 2004, when Blache joined the Redskins as defensive line coach, the Redskins have the NFL's fourth-ranked defense.
-- September Wins
The Redskins are among 16 NFL clubs that have posted winning records in the month of September the last 10 years.
From 1999-2008, the Redskins are 17-15 in the month of September, a .531 winning percentage. Last year, the Redskins were 3-1 in September.
The New York Giants have posted a 20-13 mark in September--a .606 winning percentage--since 1999.
Best in the NFL in September wins since 1999? The Indianapolis Colts, with a 25-7 record. That's a .781 winning percentage.
-- What's Next?
The Redskins return to FedExField for an Oct. 4 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.
The last time the Redskins and Buccaneers played was on Nov. 25, 2007, when the Bucs prevailed 20-17 at Raymond James Stadium.