Week 3: Lions @ Redskins
Location: Fed Ex Field @ 1 PM
TV: Fox5 (Dick Stockton @ Ronde Barber)
Radio: ESPN SportsTalk980
Line: Redskins -2
Unless you live in the Detroit or Washington markets, you will likely have to find another option to watch the game. With the exception of regional coverage, most of the country is getting either Green Bay @ Cincinnati or St.Louis @ Dallas on Fox. CBS has the doubleheader this week and is taking advantage of the Trent Richardson trade with most of the nation getting Indianapolis @ San Francisco in the late game. We get Houston @ Baltimore @ 1pm, as does most of the rest of the nation.
The Redskins will face an NFC North opponent for the second consecutive week as the team returns home to play the Detroit Lions in Week 3. Head Coach Jim Schwartz leads the Lions into Week 3 following a 25-21 road loss to the Arizona Cardinals last week. The Lions won their opener, 34-24 over the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field in Detroit. Of note, the Redskins have never lost to the Lions at home since moving to the District in 1937. Including the playoffs, Washington is 21-0 in that time span. The Redskins lead the series 27-12, but the Lions have won the past two regular season meetings. A loss by Washington will equate to the worst start in a dozen years for the team.
Sunday’s game is will be the 243rd consecutive game played by ‘Skins linebacker London Fletcher. Fletcher will tie Bill Romanowski for the most consecutive games played by a defensive player. There will be some familiar faces on the opposing sideline on Sunday. Linebacker Rocky Mcintosh (2006-2011) will be wearing No. 52, safety DeJon Gomes (2010-2011) No. 24 and kicker David Akers (1998) wearing No.2. One former Lion is on the Redskins, cornerback Jerome Murphy who was briefly with Detroit last season.
The thought of Robert Griffin III giving way to backup Kirk Cousins is something that wouldn’t have even been joked about as recently as the beginning of the month. Now, from national broadcasters, all the way to the local level, there are whispers. Griffin isn’t the same since tearing his ACL in January and he has seen the Redskins fall behind by a combined 64-7 in season opening losses. What happened to the read option? Griffin says that is all going to change on Sunday as he believes his legs may help jump start the offense. It is certain that the Shanahan’s want to be sure RG3 doesn’t take things too far, as the Lions have one of the nastiest front fours in the NFL.
While the offense tries to work things out, the defense is a work in progress as well. Long plagued by the lack of balance of a running game, the Lions believed they had a solution when signing free agent Reggie Bush. Bush tallied nearly 100 yards rushing and receiving in the week one victory over the Vikings and confidence was soaring in the Motor City. Enter week two and Bush taking a helmet to his knee and taking a seat on the bench as the Lions went scoreless without him in the 25-21 loss at Arizona. Detroit does have a very capable, but largely unknown, backup in Joique Bell. Expect Bell to get considerable snaps, even if Bush is in the lineup.
Now that we have addressed the weak point of the Detroit offense, a look at their prolific passing game led by quarterback Matt Stafford. The Lions are eighth in the NFL in total offense with nearly 400 yards per game and also in points with nearly 28 per contest. The biggest name in Detroit is Calvin Johnson. “Megatron” is the top receiver in the NFL and will be targeted early and often. Johnson had nine catches for 101 yards and a career high three touchdowns in his last game against the ‘Skins in October ’10. Just who is going to cover Johnson on Sunday? From a physical standpoint, rookie David Amerson makes the most sense. The thought of a rookie, very much still learning the pro game, tasked with covering the top receiver of the era is a scary thought. Washington could rely on safety help, but that position group is arguably the worst in the NFL.
Mike Shanahan needs to turn things around fast, breaking everything down in his weekly news conference from Ashburn.
Passing: Stafford – 52-79, 635 yds, 4 tds
Rushing: Bush – 30 car, 115 yds, 0 tds
Receiving: Johnson – 10 rec, 153 yds, 2 tds
Passing: Griffin III – 56-89, 649 yds, 5 tds
Rushing: Morris – 25 car, 152 yds, 1 td
Receiving: Garcon – 15 rec, 207 yds, 1 td
Louis Delmas S – Did Not Participate In Practice
Reggie Bush RB – Did Not Participate In Practice
Rob Sims G – Limited Participation in Practice
Don Carey S – Did Not Participate In Practice
Jason Fox T – Did Not Participate In Practice
Nick Fairley DT -Limited Participation in Practice
Brandon Meriweather S – Limited Participation in Practice
Barry Cofield DT – Full Participation in Practice
Kai Forbath K – Did Not Participate In Practice
Kedric Golston DE – Limited Participation in Practice
LIONS: Since 2011, QB MATTHEW STAFFORD ranks 2nd in NFL with 10,640 pass yards. Has won both career starts vs. Was. & passed for 4 TDs in last meeting…RB REGGIE BUSH rushed for 2 TDs in last game vs. Was. (11/13/11 with Mia.). RB JOIQUE BELL is 1 of 3 NFL RBs (MATT FORTÉ, DARREN SPROLES) with 10+ catches (10) & 100+ rec. yards (108)…WR CALVIN JOHNSON had 9 catches for 101 yards & career-high 3 TDs in last meeting. Had 6 catches for 116 yards & 2 TDs last week, incl. 72-yard TD. Has 6 career 70+ yard TDs. Since 2011, leads NFL with 3,798 rec. yards & 111.7 rec. yards per game. Since 2008, leads NFL with 7,233 rec. yards & 52 rec. TDs. TE BRANDON PETTIGREW is 1 of 4 TEs with 200+ catches (218) since 2010…LB DE ANDRE LEVY had 66-yard INT-TD last week, 2nd game in row with INT. DT NICK FAIRLEY has 5.5 sacks in past 7. DT NDAMUKONG SUH had 2 sacks & 17-yard FR-TD in last meeting. Has 22 sacks in career, 2nd most by DT since 2010 & most by NFC DT…REDSKINS: QB ROBERT GRIFFIN III has won 4 of past 5 at home, completing 81 of 129 (62.8 pct.) for 1,034 yards with 8 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 102 rating. Since 2012, is only NFL player with 3,000+ pass yards (3,849) & 800+ rush yards (840)…RB ALFRED MORRIS has rushed for 75+ yards in 16 of 19 career games (incl. playoffs) with 8 100-yard games. Since Week 12, has rushed for 896 yards (112 per game) & 9 TDs. His 9 TDs are most in NFL & his 896 yards rank 2nd. In past 4 at home, has rushed for 498 yards (124.5 per game) & 5 TDs…WR PIERRE GARÇON had 8 catches for 143 yards & TD last week. Rookie TE JORDAN REED had 1st career TD last week. WR SANTANA MOSS needs 190 yards to reach 10,000 career rec. yards…Redskins have outscored opp. 26-0 in 4th Q…LB LONDON FLETCHER has played 242 consecutive games. Since entering NFL in 2011, LB RYAN KERRIGAN is only player in NFL with 10+ sacks (19) & 2+ INT-TDs (2). Has 5 sacks & 2 FFs in past 4. LB BRIAN ORAKPO recorded 1st career sack vs. Det. (9/27/09). Had sack last week & reached 30 career sacks (30.5).
Next week the Redskins travel to Oakland to face the Raiders, which leads into the bye week.
Tom Blaz is a co-owner of the DC Sports Report and The Recruiting Eagle, which focus on Athletics at Auburn University. You may follow Tom on twitter at #RecruitingEagle