By Kevin Ross II
The 0-2 Washington Redskins will hope to regain form against a team that they have traditionally owned in the past, the Detroit Lions. And maybe the word “owned” isn’t strong enough as Detroit has never won in Washington dating back to 1938. Head Coach Jim Schwartz will hope to change the course of history, as he leads his lions on a 530-mile journey to Landover, Maryland.
The Lions have a record of 1-1 but they have performed well this season and could very easily be undefeated. Detroit is coming off of a heartbreaking defeat to Arizona where they dominated the entire game, but gave up the lead in the fourth quarter as the game ended at 25-21. “They made the plays to win the game. We didn’t,” said Jim Schwartz stating the obvious following the loss.
This time around Detroit is counting on making the right plays to beat Washington, as they will attempt to mirror the performances of both Eagles and Packers. But to do so, it will be crucial for the Lions to have one of their most prolific playmakers, Reggie Bush return to form after taking a helmet to his knee in the second quarter of last week’s game.
After the game Bush was confident that the injury wasn’t too serious, and his instincts proved to be correct as his MRI came back negative on Monday, and he will likely see the field on Sunday. “The tests today were encouraging. He’s going to be sore, but he doesn’t have anything that’s long term,” said Schwartz in his Monday press conference.
Bush’s status is a sigh of relief for Detroit, and maybe a thorn in the side of Washington who will not only need to account for Bush, but will also need to account for the best receiver in the league, Calvin Johnson.
Against Arizona Johnson went head to head with one of the league’s premiere cornerbacks in Patrick Peterson, and Johnson torched him for 116 yards and two touchdowns. It’s safe to say, that Johnson anticipates having a decent game against DeAngelo Hall.
The Redskins defense will have its hands full as usual. But the offense will need to establish an identity, and generate some points early. The Lions play sub par defense, and have a lackluster pass rush. Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer is known to be a statue in the pocket, but Detroit was only able to sack him once and Palmer generally felt comfortable in the pocket. Washington’s offensive line is at least the equivalent of Arizona’s and they will look to keep Robert Griffin III clean for once and provide him with clear throwing lanes.
If Griffin is unable to establish the offense, the one thing that Washington can hope for is the fact that Detroit might simply give them the game. In Week 1 the Lions had 11 penalties for a 88 yards and added another eight penalties in Week 2 for a whopping 101 yards. Detroit has played undisciplined football and will normally keep their opponents in the game with silly mistakes. Head Coach Jim Schwartz elaborated more on the penalties, “I don’t want to make it sound like you’re trying to get penalties, because we’re certainly trying to avoid them, but you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to that too. You get a penalty, you need to take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
If Schwartz has his way, Detroit will throw Washington out with the bathwater as well, and send them to 0-3.
For more Redskins news and updates, visit Redskins Central.
Kevin Ross is a freelance writer covering all things Washington Redskins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.