Defense Holds The Redskins, As Stafford Leads the Lions Again

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Detroit Stops a Shootout Against the Redskins!

Detroit came into Sunday with a two game winning streak, improving to 3-3 on the year and hope was revived in Detroit. Matthew Stafford started receiving some national attention for the first time and is considered to be in the MVP race. Washington came into Detroit off a big win over the Eagles and looked to improve to 5-2 on the season. Check how the game unfolded below.

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Matt Stafford did it again. Once again receivers had some dropped passes but Stafford was able lead his fourth 4th quarter comeback and game winning drive this season. He ended up going 18/29 for 266 yards and a touchdown, along with two carries for 32 yards. While it wasn’t many touchdowns and it was a little bit above average in yards, Stafford with another comeback and able to lead his team to a victory, is what makes MVPs. Without him, this team is 0-7.

The rushing attack saw some more of Justin Forsett today. Zach Zenner though led the charge with nine carries for 29 yards and a touchdown. Forsett had eight carries for 33 yards. The offensive line was able to create some holes, but nothing that could explode for big gains.

Receiving was led by Golden Tate who had six catches for 93 yards. Marvin Jones was quiet for the first half, then in the second half Stafford bombed the ball deep to Jones for a 52 yard gain. On that play Josh Norman went down with a concussion and didn’t return. Jones ended with four catches for 94 yards. Justin Forsett had two catches for 15 yards as well. Anquan Boldin had the only receiving touchdown in the game with three catches for 28 yards. Drops were still an issue as Andre Roberts dropped a wide open pass and Golden Tate had a tough time bobbling a pass on a drag route.

The offensive line made a change this week. Larry Warford returned but Laken Tomlinson was on the bench. Graham Glasgow started at the left guard position and Tomlinson is now the backup right guard, losing the entire left side starting job and not trusted to be even the backup. They allowed three sacks and still couldn’t create much room for the running backs. It certainly wasn’t their best day.

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The defensive line was the best unit on the defense today. Ziggy Ansah looked like his old self, improving from last week and getting two tackles and two QB hits. He was forcing pressure on Kirk Cousins and giving others chances to get tackles in the backfield or getting sacks. Kerry Hyder was a force as well, getting three tackles and two QB hits, also recovering a fumble – his best game in weeks. Armonty Bryant was able to get a sack as well. The defensive line had some help as Kirk Cousins was tripped up on a fumble that gave the ball back to Detroit, along with another player getting tripped up and only gaining a few yards on the play.

Linebackers were average today. Tahir Whitehead had 12 tackles and a big pass deflection. Kyle Van Noy had three tackles and Antwione Williams had two as well. The tight ends for the Redskins were still able to tear up the middle of the field though, getting seven catches for 88 yards combined.

The secondary for Detroit had an average performance as well. Darius Slay left the game with a hamstring injury and didn’t return, ending with just two tackles and a pass deflection. Rafael Bush had six tackles and a sack. Tavon Wilson had four tackles and a fumble recovery as running back Matt Jones fumbled the ball near the endzone and Wilson rushed towards it for the recovery. Quandre Diggs had four tackles and Johnson Bademosi, who came in for Slay, ended with five tackles and a pass deflection. Cousins threw for 302 yards against a zone heavy defense once again that looked a little lost without Slay.

Special Teams was almost perfect today. Sam Martin had two punts for 109 yards, one getting inside the 20 yard line. Matt Prater was 2/3 on field goal attempts, his only miss was from 43 yards out and was either Muhlbach’s or Martin’s fault, hard to tell if the snap was bad or it was the hold. Andre Roberts never returned a kick or punt.

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Week Seven: What it Means

Losing Darius Slay was not good for Detroit. Luckily for them, the defensive line was able to force pressure on Cousins and recover fumbles. Losing Slay for any period of time isn’t good for the Lions. Detroit needs Adairius Barnes to come in and possibly step up.

Graham Glasgow starting over Laken Tomlinson means the former first round pick may never start again. While he is a backup at the right guard spot, Larry Warford is on his final year of his contract. Detroit may not re-sign Warford, so Tomlinson could end up starting at the right guard spot in 2017 unless Warford comes back.

Kerry Hyder emerging again means Detroit can still bring pressure to the quarterback. Haloti Ngata is out and while Hyder doesn’t play defensive tackle, he has lined up at tackle and end, stepping up this week. Ngata may be able to return next week, but if not Hyder can still impress with pressure.

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Week Seven: What to Think About

Matt Stafford may have knocked himself further up the MVP race. His stats weren’t impressive to many people with only one touchdown and 266 yards. The main reason he can move up is he had his fourth 4th quarter comeback on the year. He has lead this team again and again to wins and without him, the team is 0-7, proving how valuable he is to this team.

Detroit may want to give Clay Harbor some more time at tight end. Cole Wick is still starting, but hasn’t recorded anything to prove to the fans that he should start. Harbor had two catches for 16 yards and did well in blocking. Harbor should get the nod until Pettigrew or Ebron is back.

Both Forsett and Zenner struggled to run the ball, but Forsett seemed to have the better vision of the two. Detroit may want to consider possibly having Forsett start and give him even more reps in the following weeks until Washington, Riddick and possibly Abdullah return.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BKnappBlogs, find me on Reddit at /u/sportsguy4life and leave me your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.