London Fletcher leveled Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson, stopping him short of a first down and ending the Lions' last chance at a comeback.
Finally, the Redskins could breathe a sigh of relief.
The winless Lions had been game on Sunday against the Redskins, even leading most of the first half.
But the Redskins pulled ahead with a second-half surge and held on to win 25-17 at Ford Field.
With the win, the Redskins improved to 6-2 at the midpoint of the 2008 season.
The Redskins totaled 439 yards on offense against the Lions and their league-worst defense.
Jason Campbell completed 23-of-28 passes for 328 yards and one touchdown, a 50-yarder to Santana Moss that proved to be the go-ahead score.
Clinton Portis had another stellar game, rushing for 126 yards on 24 carries.
Moss led the receivers with nine catches for 140 yards. He later added a nifty 80-yard punt return for a touchdown that would give the Redskins a commanding lead in the fourth quarter.
The Lions would not go away, though. They scored a late touchdown and got the ball back trailing by eight points.
On 4th-and-3, Johnson caught a pass on a crossing pattern, but Fletcher knocked down the 6-5, 230-pounder, ending the game.
Fletcher raced over to the stands at Ford Field and pumped his fists. Redskins fans in attendance stood and cheered with him.
The Redskins got off to a fast start on Sunday, with Campbell throwing to Moss for a quick 20-yard pickup on the first play from scrimmage.
Then Portis raced up the middle for 17 yards, getting the ground game going. Later, Campbell's 14-yard pass to Moss gave the Redskins a 1st-and-goal at the Lions' 1-yard line.
The offense stalled, though.
Campbell was tackled for a 2-yard loss on what appeared to be a busted play. Then Portis was swarmed for a 5-yard loss on a run to the left.
On third down, Campbell threw a shovel pass to Portis up the middle, but defensive tackle Cory Redding was there to tackle him two yards short of the goal line.
Shaun Suisham connected on a 25-yard field goal to give the Redskins an early 3-0 lead.
Campbell's first offensive turnover of the season gave the Lions life midway through the first quarter.
Campbell was sacked by defensive end Cliff Avril, who stripped the ball loose. Linebacker Alex Lewis pounced on the ball for the recovery.
Quarterback Dan Orlovsky threw a deep pass to Johnson for a 31-yard pickup to the Redskins' 11-yard line.
On the next play, running back Rudi Johnson ran up the middle, broke a tackle, and slipped into the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown run.
Detroit added a 43-yard field goal by Jason Hanson early in the second quarter, and suddenly the winless Lions led 10-3.
With less than a minute left in the first half, the Redskins got into scoring range.
Campbell tossed a 19-yard pass to Chris Cooley and an 11-yard pass to Moss to get the ball to the Lions' 30-yard line with four seconds left.
Suisham connected on a 47-yard field goal to narrow the Lions' lead heading into halftime.
On the Redskins' first possession of the second half, Campbell fired a pass to Randle El along the left sideline for a 31-yard pickup into Lions territory.
But the Redskins were thwarted again when Campbell's third-down pass to Cooley was off the mark.
It was up to Suisham again. His 45-yard field goal attempt was good and the score was 10-9.
The Redskins knew they could not continue to settle for field goals, though.
After the defense forced a 3-and-out, the offense had the ball back.
The Redskins moved the ball to midfield, where Campbell-to-Moss struck again.
Moss lined up in the slot. He put a quick move on safety Kalvin Pearson and picked up a step on the defender.
Meanwhile, Campbell averted disaster when he sidestepped a Lions blitzer.
Campbell stepped up in the pocket and fired a perfect pass to Moss downfield.
It appeared Moss would be pulled down by Pearson and safety Daniel Bullocks at the 12-yard line, but he broke a tackle along the right sideline and raced into the end zone for a 50-yard touchdown.
Finally, the Redskins had punched the ball into the end zone.
Moss would do it again--in equally dramatic fashion--early in the fourth quarter.
Moss went back to return a Lions punt and he fielded it at the 20-yard line. He bounced off of Devin Thomas and sidestepped a tackler.
Suddenly he saw a seam up the middle. He followed a block by Leigh Torrence to speed into open field.
No one catches Moss in open field.
Moss sped into the end zone for an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown. It was his third career punt return for a touchdown and first as a Redskin.
Campbell was on the sidelines looking to see if there were any penalty flags. There were none, so he raised his arms high to celebrate the critical score.
The Redskins decided to go for a 2-point conversion, but Portis was stopped short of the goal line on a shovel pass up the middle.
The score remained 22-10.
After struggling most of the second half, the Lions' offense responded on the next drive.
On a 4th-and-1 at Washington's 44-yard line, Orlovsky completed a short pass to tight end Michael Gaines for a 21-yard pickup.
Later, the Lions were faced with a 4th-and-4 at Washington's 17-yard line. Orlovsky threw a pass in the flat to Johnson, who broke free and barreled into the end zone with LaRon Landry draped over his back.
It was a 17-yard touchdown catch for Johnson, narrowing the Redskins' lead over the Lions to 22-17.
With 6:18 left on the clock, the Redskins' offense stayed on the attack on its next possession.
Campbell threw a 20-yard pass to Moss to get the offense going. Then Portis broke free into the Lions secondary for a 31-yard pickup.
Faced with a 3rd-and-10 at the Lions' 13-yard line, the Redskins nearly averted disaster.
Campbell was sacked by defensive end Dewayne White and the ball popped loose. Several Lions had a chance to recover the fumble, but Jansen was there to pull it in.
Suisham came on for his fourth field goal, a 42-yarder.
It was good, and the Redskins increased their lead to 25-17.
The Redskins travel to Detroit to face the winless Lions on Sunday, Oct. 26 at Ford Field. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.
Ford Field is a domed facility. The stadium has an artificial surface called FieldTurf and seats 65,000.
It is the first and only time this regular season the Redskins will play indoors. The Redskins are 6-2 in indoor facilities in the last five years, including a 2004 win over the Lions at Ford Field.
The Redskins are 4-2 in the NFC this season and 2-1 on the road, with wins at Dallas and Philadelphia and a season-opening loss to the New York Giants.
The game is a homecoming for Jon Jansen, Devin Thomas and Chris Wilson, each of whom hail from the Detroit region.
Clinton Portis has rushed for 100 yards in four consecutive games. He would tie a franchise record for most consecutive 100-yard rushing games if he surpasses the century mark against the Lions. The mark is shared by Rob Goode (1951), Portis (2005) and Ladell Betts (2006).
The game will be televised on FOX. Thom Brennaman handles the play-by-play and Brian Billick provides color commentary. Charissa Thompson serves as sideline reporter.
On radio, the game will be broadcast locally on ESPN 980. Larry Michael handles the play-by-play with color commentary by Hall of Famers Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff. Rick "Doc" Walker serves as sideline reporter.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
|89 Santana Moss
|84 Shaun McDonald
|60 Chris Samuels
|76 Jeff Backus
|66 Pete Kendall
|64 Edwin Mulitalo
|61 Casey Rabach
|51 Dominic Raiola
|77 Randy Thomas
|66 Stephen Peterman
|76 Jon Jansen
|72 George Foster
|47 Chris Cooley
|86 Michael Gaines
|82 Antwaan Randle El
|81 Calvin Johnson
|17 Jason Campbell
|6 Dan Orlovsky
|45 Mike Sellers
|45 Jerome Felton
|26 Clinton Portis
|32 Rudi Johnson
|99 Andre Carter
|95 Jared DeVries
|96 Cornelius Griffin
|91 Chuck Darby
|64 Kedric Golston
|78 Cory Redding
|55 Jason Taylor
|99 Dewayne White
|53 Marcus Washington
|59 Alex Lewis
|59 London Fletcher
|53 Paris Lenon
|52 Rocky McIntosh
|50 Ernie Sims
|24 Shawn Springs
|21 Travis Fisher
|22 Carlos Rogers
|28 Leigh Bodden
|48 Chris Horton
|27 Daniel Bullocks
|30 LaRon Landry
|26 Dwight Smith
|1 Ryan Plackemeier
|2 Nick Harris
|6 Shaun Suisham
|4 Jason Hanson
|1 Ryan Plackemeier
|2 Nick Harris
|67 Ethan Albright
|48 Don Muhlbach
|31 Rock Cartwright
|10 Brandon Middleton
|82 A. Randle El
|87 Mike Furrey
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 39 times, including three times in the playoffs, with the Redskins holding the series lead with a record of 26-10 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 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. 7, 2007, with the Redskins winning 34-3 at FedExField.
Jason Campbell earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week after he completed 23-of-29 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns in the Redskins' win over Detroit last year. Antwaan Randle El caught seven passes for 100 yards to help in the effort.
Defensively, Andre Carter led the way with a team-high eight tackles and two sacks, including a safety on quarterback Jon Kitna. Overall, the Redskins' dominated the line of scrimmage, recording five sacks.
The last time the two teams met at Ford Field was in 2004, with the Redskins winning 17-10 at Ford Field.
In that game, Clinton Portis threw a touchdown pass to Laveranues Coles on a halfback option. Portis finished the game rushing for 147 yards on 34 carries while Cornelius Griffin led the defense with two sacks.
TALE OF THE TAPE
|REDSKINS 2008 RANKINGS
|LIONS 2008 RANKINGS
FAMILIAR FACES ON THE LIONS
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.
Wide receiver John Standeford took part in the Redskins' 2004 training camp. He was released by the club after preseason.
Practice squad tight end Jake Nordin took part in the Redskins' 2007 training camp. He was released by the club after preseason.
REDSKINS-BROWNS NEWS & NOTES
-- Interception Record for Redskins
Dating back to last season, Redskins quarterbacks have thrown 332 consecutive pass attempts without an interception. This beats out the previous NFL mark of 281, set by the Oakland Raiders in 2001, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Of the Redskins' record 332 pass attempts without an interception, Campbell has thrown 224 of them. Todd Collins has 105 of them, Antwaan Randle El has two and Clinton Portis has one.
The tally includes Campbell's 23 pass attempts in Sunday's 14-11 win over the Cleveland Browns at FedExField.
Campbell completed 14 passes--for 164 yards--in the Redskins' win and threw no interceptions for the seventh game this season.
Overall, Campbell has now thrown 224 consecutive passes without an interception, a franchise record. He broke the previous record of 161 against Philadelphia on Oct. 5, when he surpassed Joe Theismann's mark set in 1983.
This season, Campbell has attempted 202 passes without an interception. It's a remarkable streak--every other quarterback with at least 65 attempts has thrown at least two interceptions.
-- Zorn's First Season As Head Coach
Jim Zorn is 5-2 in his first seven games as Redskins head coach. He is aiming to lead the Redskins to their third winning season in the last four years.
Zorn is looking to become the seventh Redskins head coach to record a winning record in his first year at the helm.
The list of first-year head coaches with winning records includes Ray Flaherty (7-5 in 1936), Dutch Bergman (6-3-1 in 1943), Dudley DeGroot (6-3-1 in 1944), Dick Todd (5-4 in 1951), Vince Lombardi (7-5-2 in 1969) and George Allen (9-4-1 in 1971).
Seven first-year head coaches finished their rookie campaign with a .500 mark, while 12 finished with a losing record.
-- 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, offensive line coach Joe Bugel served with the Lions, working in the same capacity, from 1975-76.
-- Portis the Rushing Leader
Clinton Portis leads the NFL with 163 carries and 818 rushingyards, while his seven rushing touchdowns are second in the league and first in the NFC.
Portis has accounted for 43 first downs on the ground this season, which also leads the NFL, as do his 15 in the fourth quarter of games this season.
With 175-yard and 145-yard performances against the Browns and Eagles, Portis has two of the top 10 single-game rushing totals in the NFL this year.
-- Portis and Alexander
With the addition of Shaun Alexander to the offense on Oct. 14, the Redskins now have two of the top eight active career rushing leaders on the team.
Alexander has 9,437 yards and Portis has 8,544 yards, as of Week 7 this season. They are two of 30 players in NFL history with at least 8,500 career rushing yards on their resume.
The only other team to have a pair of 8,500-yard rushers playing together was the 1992 Los Angeles Raiders, which featured Hall of Famers Marcus Allen and Eric Dickerson.
-- NFC East the Toughest Division?
The four teams of the NFC East have combined for a 17-9 record, the best among the NFL's eight divisions. The clubs have a 13-5 mark outside the division.
The NFC East is the only division without a team with a losing record.
The Redskins stand at 2-1 in NFC East play.
Four of the Redskins' five wins have come against NFC foes, a total which is tied for second-most in the conference behind Tampa Bay, who has five.
-- Redskins Still Possessive
The Redskins hold a 32:03-27:57 time of possession advantage over their opponents this season. This margin ranks fifth in the NFL.
During the Redskins' four-game winning streak, Washington held the ball for a combined 40:26 longer than its opponents.
-- Redskins Captains
The Redskins have elected six players as captains for the 2008 season. They wear a black "C" on their jersey during games.
On offense, Jason Campbell amd Chris Samuels are the captains.
On defense, Cornelius Griffin and London Fletcher are the captains.
On special teams, Rock Cartwright and Khary Campbell are the captains.
-- What's Next?
Washington returns to FedExField to host the Pittsburgh Steelers in their only Monday Night appearance of the 2008 season. Kickoff is 8:15 p.m. ET.
The Redskins are 0-1 in prime time games this year. They lost to the New York Giants in a Week 1 contest on Thursday Night.