By Kevin Ross II
As of now, the Washington Redskins are dialed in on their Week 7 matchup with the Detroit Lions. The Redskins will travel to Ford Field to battle the Lions in Downtown Detroit Michigan and it just so happens that the Lions are the only NFL team that seems to be completely terrified to go up against the men in burgundy and gold. The Redskins boast an all time record of 30-13 against Detroit, including three straight victories. It’s fair to say that the history books favor Washington, but as we all know it’s any given Sunday when the professionals take the field.
The Lions are flying high from their recent win
The Lions are coming off of an emotional 31-28 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. The Lions were able to compile at least a touchdown in all four quarters as their offense appeared unstoppable at times. Mathew Stafford has been a Top 10 quarterback this season and certainly looked the part last week as he brutalized the Rams, compiling 270 passing yards with four touchdown passes and zero interceptions.
Stafford has also been incredibly accurate this year and leads the NFL, completing 68.9 percent of his passes. However, away from the stats his teammates have noticed a new demeanor and new level of confidence in their signal caller, especially when the game is on the line. Lion’s wide receiver Golden Tate, who had a breakout performance on Sunday, took a moment to discuss Stafford’s late game heroics, saying, “Matt is so composed and in his element when the game is on the line, it’s comforting for the other ten guys to see that. And when your quarterback feels like ‘hey, we’re about to go win this game’ you can’t help but to hop on the bandwagon and join him.”
Lions will test the secondary
With Stafford lighting up the competition, look for Detroit to test Washington’s secondary early and often. Especially since the Lions as a team rank 26th in rushing offense as they sport a pedestrian 88.7 rush yards per game. This matchup is setting up to be an anomaly for Washington, who for the first time this season may see an opponent heavily target the secondary instead of attempting to gash them in the run game.
Detroit’s porous secondary key for Washington win
And on the flip-side, Washington will also be better suited surviving through the air instead of running the football. The Redskins running back trio of Matt Jones, Robert Kelley, and Chris Thompson were men among boys last week against Philadelphia. The group compiled a season high of 230 rushing yards. In fact, this was the highest total of rushing yards recorded by the Redskins since rushing for 274 yards in Week 17 of the 2012 season vs. Dallas. However, the Lions are built for stopping the run, and Detroit leads the NFL only having allowed one rushing touchdown all season long. The Redskins will be better suited leaning on Kirk Cousins and trying to exploit Detroit’s porous secondary that’s ranked 23rd in pass defense.
The Burgundy and Gold have traditionally been able to tame and domesticate the Lions. If both squads come to play, Washington should have a slight advantage.