The Detroit Lions were up 24-3 at one stage against the Washington Football Team at home only to twice surrender that lead entirely and then see Matt Prater win the game with a 59-yard field goal as time expired.
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STORY OF THE GAME
This was QB Alex Smith‘s first NFL start in over 700 days — his first start since the gruesome leg break that ended up starting a series of disastrous medical complications that threatened not just his NFL career, but his leg and potentially even his life. Smith recorded multiple big-time throws and put up almost 400 passing yards as Washington passed to come from behind in the game.
Terry McLaurin is still the best receiving threat in Washington, though his day was marred by a fumble on a quick-slant play that proved costly.
J.D. McKissic has become an absurdly important player for the Football Team, at least in terms of volume. McKissic saw 15 targets today, catching seven of them for 43 yards.
On the other side, Matthew Stafford hasn’t been the same quarterback this season without Kenny Golladay in the lineup, but he put up pretty spectacular numbers against the Washington defense. Stafford finished the game with a passer rating of 127.8 and an average of 8.4 yards per attempt, with 52% of his passing yards coming after the catch. Marvin Jones Jr. was the receiver to step up the most in the absence of Golladay, hauling in eight catches for 96 yards and a touchdown, but D'Andre Swift also had a big game out of the backfield.
Swift tallied five catches for 68 yards and a score in addition to putting up 81 rushing yards, 43 of which came after contact on the ground. Swift was a huge part of the drive that gave Detroit the lead again after Washington had tied it up for the first time late in the game.
Swift was joined by guard Jonah Jackson and wideout Quintez Cephus as the rookies who played significant snaps for the Lions on offense. Jackson struggled in pass protection against that elite Washington defensive front, while Cephus caught one of the two passes thrown his way.
On defense, Detroit’s top pick Jeffrey Okudah played 33 snaps, giving up two catches for 40 yards and missing a tackle. Interior defensive lineman John Penisini also topped 30 snaps and was able to end the game with a couple of defensive stops to his name.
For Washington, Chase Young struggled to apply much pressure. He ended the game with just one hurry, but he did have a few more clean wins that didn’t get a chance to become pressure. He was responsible for the late roughing the passer call on Matthew Stafford that gave the Lions a chance to make the game-winning field goal attempt.
Safety Kamren Curl played 55 snaps and came away with three defensive stops.
Antonio Gibson worked as the team’s primary back and a role player on offense, even if his high-volume day was co-opted by McKissic. Wide receiver Isaiah Wright caught all six passes thrown his way for 59 yards, three of which brought up a first down.
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