The streak is over!
Congratulations to all Lions fans, finally the historic streak is over. Today the Detroit Lions held off a late rally by the Washington Redskins, and more importantly, ended the streak with a 19-14 win at Ford Field.
The Tampa Bay record for futility remains intact, and the prospects for the Detroit franchise is looking up. Behind the running of Kevin Smith, the steady play of Matthew Stafford and a solid defensive performance that kept the Redskins offense off balance for most of the game, the Lions put together a team effort in gaining its first win of the season.
This game did not suddenly emerge Detroit as a contender in the NFC North. But it did give the new leadership in Detroit something to build upon. It also takes the monkey off the back off the Lion organization. Rather than worry about the win-less streak, it can now focus on improving each week.
Each of the first two weeks, there was a glimmer of hope for Lions fans. They even led the Vikings for a good part of their game against Minnesota. The Lions were able to experience the feeling of a win today, a feeling that will only provide the confidence to go out and focus on winning, as opposed to not losing.
The tone of the game was set early when the revamped Lion defense stopped the Redskins on 4th and goal from the Lion 1 yard line. After stopping the Redskins offense, Matthew Stafford led the offense on a 12 play, 99 yard drive.
The drive featured a combination of runs by Kevin Smith, and passes by Stafford. The highlight was a 21 yard run by Stafford, which was followed by a touchdown pass to Bryant Johnson for a 7-0 Detroit lead.
The Lion defense was stout most of the game, though Jason Campbell did throw for over 300 yards. The key was that the Washington running game was limited to 65 yards, taking away the play action pass which can make Washington effective. Additionally, Washington only converted 2 of 10 third down attempts.
On paper this is a team which has the potential to grow into a team that will compete for the playoffs. Detroit fans should not expect this to happen overnight, or even this year. However, they should enjoy and support the efforts of this team in changing the culture of losing that been a part of this organization for so long.
Congratulations Lions fans everywhere, enjoy the victory and get ready for Da' Bears!!