It’s over. The Lions have ended their nineteen game losing streak, which stretched back to December 23, 2007 when they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 25-20.
Matt Stafford compiled three healthy scoring drives to steer the Lions to a 13-0 half time lead. He opened with a 99-yards 13 play drive lasting 5:50 minutes and culminating in a poetic 21-yard toss to Brian Johnson in the end-zone.
Subsequent clock eating drives of 74-yards/11 plays/5:26m and 86-yards/18 plays/6:53 minutes ended with Jason Hanson field goals.
Yet the Lions quickly lost all that momentum at the beginning of the third quarter, with Santana Moss’s touchdown making it a one-possession game early.
Stafford’s second half was less accomplished than his first for the most part, but missing Kevin Smith with a shoulder injury didn’t help that.
Late in the fourth quarter though he hit stride with Calvin Johnson on a couple of passes for good yardage as the Lions pressed to put the game beyond the Redskins.
And with 6:18 to go in the game they faced 3rd and 9 on the Washington 49. Stafford bought time in the pocket and hit Brian Johnson, picking up and interference call that gave them 1st and goal at the 1-yard line.
When the Lions burst into the end-zone in the shape of Maurice Morris they looked all set to get the 0 for 19 monkey off their backs for good. Even though the two-point conversion attempt failed it left them 19-7 ahead with just 5:18 to play.
Although the Redskins pegged back another touchdown, the Lions just held on to claim the victory.
And that’s the game right there.
The following is my stream of consciousness jottings as I first tried to watch a scratchy stream of the game, and then settled for listening to the game on WXYT radio.
Oh, no. I hope that’s not an omen. Jason Hunter just sacked Jason Campbell on the opening drive only to see the play negated for facemasking, turning a great play into a 15-yard penalty.
And having to watch Campbell get in the rhytmn with a couple of decent gains to Santana Moss only compounds that sinking feeling.
Meanwhile on the SKY TV live game, Mark Sanchez, is steering the Jets to a 14-0 lead with 7 minutes still on the clock in the first quarter. The second TD came on deft touchy throw to the tight end, I think (it’s on mute whilst I listen to the Lions game).
But behold. The Lions come up trumps with a goal line stand that stops Portis on the 1-yard line as the Redskins go for it on fourth down. Yes.
Stafford’s putting together an impressive drive from his own endzone, mixing up the running of Smith with throws to Pettigrew and Brian Johnson. It ends with Stafford making a decent scrambling throw to Heller, only for the big man to drop the ball and the 1st down. Offensive interference pushed the Lions back out of FG range anyway.
Go Matty. The rookie weaves a 22-yard run to get a first down on the 21. And then the guy caps a 99-yard, 13-play drive with a sweet 21-yard TD pass to Brian Johnson by the left pylon. 7-0 Lions.
And then back on Sky TV, there was Sanchez, fumbling away the ball. Giving the Titans and their throwback Oiler uniforms a chance to get back into the contest at Giants stadium.
The LIons D comes up big too forcing a 3 and punt drive from the ‘skins.
Then Smith powers up his bike to carry the Lions from their own 5-yard line with a couple of key runs after Norcutt’s fair catch.
Brian Johnson catches another bullet from Stafford to take the Lions to the Redskin 18-yard line.
Haynesworth’s sack on Stafford forces the Lions to take a FG and they add a second Hanson FG after another lengthy drive to lead 13-0 at the half.
The second half got off to a disasterous start though with Sentana Moss’s touchdown making it a one possession game at 13-7.
Stafford hit Calvin Johnson on a 58-yard pass to the Redskin 5-yard, but Johnson was flagged for offensive pass interference; and I thought this was football? A contact sport?
Anyway it set up 2nd and 16 instead of 1st and goal. I can hear the Ford Field crowd booing and can only add my own e-boos here too.
At 0 and 19 I’d think it rated a break somewhere. At least the TItans have rallied from 14 down to lead 17-14 over Sanchez and the Jets.
Simpson picks off Campbell as the D comes-up big again. Eight yard return to Washington 46.
Stafford can’t take the Lions anywhere this time though, getting sacked in the process. The punt has the Redskins driving from their own 9 after a blocking penalty is flagged on the return.
Cambell fumbles and recovers on his own 12 to bring up a 3rd and 18. Levy puts in a great tackle to halt an 11-yard gain. But an offside penalty gives the Redskins another shot at 3rd and 13. Incomplete. The D get off the field again with the Skins unable to score.
The Lions need to put some points on the board soon I think, just to try and grasp that momentum back. It’s been with Washington so far this half.
Well that was a three and out Lions effort. Thankfully the defence is being uncharacteristically good today and again holds the Redskins scoreless, 12:10 to go and I can feel my first Lions win brewing.
Stafford is looking a little ragged right now. The O line are giving him time to throw but he’s out thrown both Brian and Calvin Johnson now, both would have had first downs and more, so the Lions’ punter is back in business.
Just realised life is good this Sunday evening. Sat couch-surfing, watching the Jets-Titans on Sky TV, Redsox edging the Yankees 2-1 on MLB.com and listening to the Lions-Redskins game on WKYT via streaming radio. All I need now is a Lions’ win.
The Lions dodge the bullet on a possible face mask call that would have given the Redskins a first down, instead they’re punting. Thank you oh great Lion King. Hakuna Matata!
Uh? Yes! The 49ers have taken a 24-21 lead over Mr. Favrrrre and the Vikings. Sunday, Sunday. Come on you Lions.
Yes! Stafford gets lucky and picks up a 47-yard gain after a pass interference call. Touchdown LIONS. Morris runs it into the endzone to put them up 19-7. OK, so the two-point conversion failed, they’ve still made it a two-touchdown lead.
Still plenty of time to go though, this is going to be a looooong 5 minutes.
Uh ho. The Redskins are challenging an incomplete call and even the homer radio announcers seem doubtful the right call was made. This could be bad for the Lions. Damn this radio, I need to see this replay. They’re just waffling, did he get two feet down or not. Yes they say, no they say, maybe they say.
Doh! That’s put them on the 20 with a first down and over three minutes to play. Randall-El gets inside the four. Damn. The skins get the touchdown. It’s 19-14, with 2:36 to play and the Redskins have three time outs.
Lions need another score, or one of the long Stafford drives to eat up those time outs.
Great throw by Stafford, Rolling out he finds Haller for a big first down at the 45-yard line.
The Redskins have burned their time outs now and we’re just about at the two-minute warning. Just need to pick up another first down. Come on you Lions.
Ok, the Lions come out with a go nowhere running play that lets them run down the clock. The punt need to be safe here, keep it out of Randall-El’s arms.
Right it’s the Redskins on their own 22 with 1:05 to play and no time outs. Lions don’t lost it now.
Cooley get’s a 15-yard gain. another 11-yard gain sees them at the 48 with 36 seconds left. Moss catches at the Lions 36 with 21 seconds to go .
Stay with it Lions. Tackle. DEEFENCE. Incomplete pass. 16 seconds to go, 3rd and 10.
In-complete. Fourth down! Eight seconds from victory.
No penalties now.
Damn-you, what’re you taking a time out for now Lions? I’ve no fingernails left.
Calvin Johnson is on in defence in case of the hail mary. Why?
YES! The D take down the man on a hook and lateral. IT IS OVER. 19-14!