I’ve decided to try my hand at live blogging the Redskins vs Lions game.  I don’t expect too many people to be interested in it, but it helps remind me what I thought of things as they happened.

Opening Kickoff – Aaron Brown (Rookie for Detroit) decides to field the kickoff instead of downing it in the end-zone.  He only gets to ~10 yard line.  Not a great decision.  I only cared about this because I have him in my dynasty fantasy football league, which means I hope he improves for next year (and beyond), since I shouldn’t have to use him this year.

Lions’ first drive had a decent opening run that nearly got them a first down, then I thought they might’ve had a first down on 2nd & Short.  3rd down got them a questionable first down.  Second set of plays gives not much of anything, so they punt.

Skins’ ball.  1st down has a high snap that leads to a sack… except the Lions got a facemask, which is a lucky break for the Redskins.  Shame for Detroit to have that kinda luck.  The little things like this almost seem like bad luck instead of seeing them as a bad team.  Lions player (rookie Sammie Hill, starting defensive lineman) injured.  Another bad sign on the first play.  Skins now past the 30, good throw by Campbell to Moss, decent block by Sellers, doesn’t really matter since Santana was headed out of bounds anyway.  Glad they decided to give Sellers a new contract this week.  He’s a great Redskin.

Portis starts the new set of downs with a short run.  Shotgun, pass to Devin Thomas (who went to Michigan State despite being born in Ann Arbor – interesting fact I just learned).  New set of downs after the 8 yard pass.

Campbell to Moss, who makes a few people miss on his way to ANOTHER first down.  2 yards from the Red Zone.  I hope they go to Cooley.

Shotgun again, overthrows Santana Moss, who wasn’t as “wide open” as the announcer said he was.  If that were the TALL Malcolm Kelly, he probably would’ve caught it.  Shotgun again, 2&10, flag thrown, false start on Stephon Heyer.  Kelly with a nice diving catch and stays in bounds – first down.  Announcers say it was good timing – something I’m not smart enough to see on my own.  I think that was Brian Billick, former Ravens coach.  I’d think he’ll get another job soon.

First down, over-throws Kelly in the end zone.  Betts goes nowhere on the delayed hand-off up the middle.  Should’ve been Portis (I’m biased – Portis is on my fantasy team, though Clinton IS the better Running Back).  3rd & Goal – calls a timeout?  I wonder if Campbell took Sonny Jurgenson’s advice and decided he didn’t like a questionable play that Zorn had called (if you didn’t hear about it, Sonny said he would’ve questioned Zorn on a HB Pass play call in the red zone, Zorn said he would’ve benched him).  Another chance at 3rd Down & Goal, I don’t want to see this end in a field goal…  C’mon Cooley…  Pass to Portis, dives… out at the 1 yard line.  Darn.  I’d go for it.  Probably a bad call by me, but I’d like to see it.  Zorn agrees with me… hope this works.  Timeout Detroit.  Portis fails to get it into the end zone despite Washington having 3 Tight Ends AND Mike Sellers blocking the way.  Shame.  Let’s hope for a Safety.

Encroachment gives Detroit automatic 5 yards, falling for the hard-count.  Shame.  Stafford looking decent with a short pass.  First-down by Detroit with a quick fullback burst up the middle.  Lions run the delay, they’re doing alright running against the Skins.  Nice play action from Detroit, and I’m liking their play calling.  Execution needs help, but they set up that play action nicely.  After two failed passes, Stafford throws a nice pass to Dennis Northcutt (under-rated veteran) and they get a new set of downs.

Another Detroit first down after a well executed screen pass.  Almost a sack on first down, almost a pass interference call too.  Lions back to the run, picks up 7.  Another near sack, Skins had 3 guys who almost got there, and Detroit nearly completed the pass.  Flag on the play?  Offensive pass interference takes 10 yards from Detroit.  Penalty makes it 3rd & 13 for the Lions, giving them another try at 3rd down.  Takes Lions out of field goal range, let’s hope this is one of those plays where the Lions don’t execute well.  Cornelius Griffin hobbles off the field, that’s no good.  He’s not the star at DT (Haynesworth is), but he’s still really good.  Near sack, Stafford finds a way to scramble for first down and more.  Zorn looks worried, another burner under his seat is lit with a TD on the very next play.  When Detroit executes, they look decent.

Detroit 7 – Washington 0

Decent return by Rock Cartwright – one of my favorite Redskins for the past few years.  Not a huge name, but a great role player.  Run by Portis goes backwards a little.  Pass to Fred Davis is decent.  I’d like to see Davis rack up a few stats so the Skins could trade him away for something they actually need.

Terrible pass from Campbell going long that’s close to being intercepted by any of 3 Lions… and then he follows it up by nearly throwing an INT with a short pass.  Third down sees a decent scramble by Campbell, throwing a pass to Moss that is caught a few yards short of a first down, and they get CLOSE to a first down despite a good scramble by Santana.  Not as close to being a first down as the announcers first mention.  Definitely time to punt – a good one by Hunter Smith puts the Lions inside their own 10.  Hopefully the defense steps up better this time than last time.  Probably not in range to get a safety, but hopefully the field position game goes well.

My first ever live-blog of a NFL game, I need to slow up a bit, otherwise this could be really really long.

Kevin Smith has gained 30+ yards on this drive, and a stupid penalty by Fred Smoot doesn’t help either.  If Stafford keeps progressing, he’s going to be dangerous next year.  Glad I picked him up in my dynasty fantasy football league.  A few bad passes here and there, but the Motor City should have something to look forward to, as some of the plays he’s executing on are really good.  Nice sack by Haynesworth… though he looks to have hurt himself in the process.  Definite concern about that when signing this guy to the huge contract.  This is where I was worried when I saw Cornelius Griffin injured earlier.  Field goal for the Lions.

Detroit 10 – Washington 0

20 yard return from Rock Cartwright, nicely done.  1st & 10 throws to Devin Thomas hits him in the chest and bounces away.  2nd & 10, Portis stopped in the backfield on a run that doesn’t look good.  Why can’t the Skins run on Detroit?!  3rd & 13… gets it to Cooley a couple yards short.  Shame.  Announcers seem to be blaming it on Cooley, but I think that’s lame.  Cooley gets hit TWICE in the second after he gets the ball, once in front, then from behind.  “Whose fault is that?” “Clearly on Cooley.”  Maybe after they watch that play develop again, they’d change their minds.  Skins punt, they need a turnover from the defense.

The execution trend for the Lions continue.  They get stopped a couple times, then they get a couple good throws from Stafford.  Good stop on 2nd & 1, making it 3rd & 4.  Another Detroit first down on a well-executed pass by Stafford.  Repeat that last statement.  This kid is growing into a player in this league.  Now it’s Aaron Brown who’s getting decent runs.  Redskins’ defense is on its heels.  Something has to change if the Skins want to be in this game (that’s something I didn’t think I’d be saying today).  Great, Orakpo limps off the field… Of course Detroit gets a first down on a nice throw from Stafford – that’s how this thing is going today.  Another failed pass by Detroit means they end the half with a field goal.

HALFTIME:   Detroit 13 – Washington 0

I’m betting a lot of people are currently saying “Zorn needs to go.”   I’m not there yet, but this isn’t helping his case.  The Lions aren’t as bad as people think they are.

Redskins had 0 net rushing yards in the first half, Detroit had 116.  That accounts for the fact that Detroit held the ball 22 minutes of the first 30.  10 extra first downs for the Lions than the Skins (16 to 6).  Lions are passing it better too, 159 yards to only 94.  I hope Orakpo / Haynesworth / Griffin are back for the second half.  Maybe put in Alridge at RB, too.  See what he can do.

First play from scrimmage is a 4 yard run, flag down, Kelly’s penalty brings it back.  1st & 15.  Not a good way to start a half where you were shut down the first half.   Portis with a strong run for 13, nice follow-up.  Better field position for second down than it would’ve been had the penalty not happen.  Quick throw to Santana Moss gets a few, picking up a first down.  Touchdown pass to Santana Moss!!  Skins need a lot more of this.

Detroit 13 – Washington 7

It’s now within striking distance to take the lead.

Decent kickoff return by Brown, and the kid seems to have promise.  Looks like Cornelius Griffin is in the game, so that’s good.  Maybe Orakpo, too.  I’ll take that duo.  Little run by Smith and a completed pass gives the Lions a first down.  LaRon Landry with a decent tackle.  50-yard pass gets taken back as there’s an offensive interference call – Landry got pushed on the play, glad to see he didn’t blow the coverage.   Detroit fans are booing, hopefully at the refs because their team is doing well.  Short run and medium pass makes it 4th down.  I just saw Haynesworth was in on 3rd down, not a fan of that.  He has a history of getting injured and taking some plays off, and I’d rather he stay on the sideline until he decides he’s ready to play at 100% – even if that means he’s done for the day.

Let’s see how offense does.  First down, nearly fumbled snap, Campbell does a good job at throwing it to Santana for a first down.   Another throw, this time to Cooley, and another first down.   Clinton Portis scurries for a few, but it really looked like there was a facemask on that one that the refs didn’t see.  With the rain coming down outside here in the DC area, it’s a good thing this game is inside a dome 400+ miles away.  Campbell throws a bullet to a wide receiver with a couple blue shirts around him… and there’s the first interception of the game.  Jason needs to stop trying to force the ball.

Kevin Smith out, good chance to see Brown.  Nice sack by the Redskins – Orakpo with his first official sack of his NFL career.  Nicely done to force 4th down.  Loss of 8 on that one – nice!  A good punt return here would be great.  Randle El doesn’t get much, flags fly… Illegal block in the back by my man Rock Cartwright, that’s unfortunate.  Half the distance to the goal, plenty of field to trek for another score.

It’s Pumpkin Ale time.  Michelob’s version.  It’s a year old, so I won’t review it.  I enjoyed it last year though.

Two straight runs by Portis, 11 yards total gained.  Skins are getting some traction on the ground, this is a good sign.  Keep it error free, Campbell.   Misses Moss on a throw, at least it fell incomplete – there were two defensive backs there.  Campbell somehow fumbles the ball, thankfully recovers it.  Need 18 here, flags down, throw to Betts, Washington’s going to need this penalty to go their way… Defense was off-sides, it’s now 3rd and 13 as the Redskins get to replay the down.  Please, Zorn, call one to Cooley and let him pick up the first down.  Incomplete pass brings on the punt team.  Good punt goes from the 5 yardline and puts Detroit back on their own 28.

Gamebreak by Fox Sports shows that Mark Sanchez is now responsible for 3 JETS touchdowns this week.  I’m sure some of the Redskins’ fans were wishing Sanchez were the QB instead of Campbell, though I’m not necessarily one of them.  I’m real happy with Orakpo.

London Fletcher getting banged up a bit isn’t a confidence boost.  After 138 straight starts, not surprising he gets a little banged up.

Carlos Rodgers misses coverage and the Lions get a first down on another pass from Stafford.  A few plays where the Skins allow a short gain but stop the play force the Lions to punt.

Portis stopped on first down for a gain of MAYBE 2, that ends the 3rd Quarter.  Incomplete pass keeps the Redskins inside the wrong red zone.  Better do good on 3rd down or this could be trouble.  Great run by Jason Campbell for 15+ yards, and apparently that was the first time the Redskins converted a third down all day.  THAT is an important statistic.

Portis gets a good run for about 13, another first down.  Keep it going…

Holding makes it 1st & 20 for the Redskins.  That’s unfortunate (to say the least).  Rabach disagrees that he did anything wrong, and I wish that were the case.  Doesn’t matter though, deal with the cards we’re dealt.  That’s a weird play, center never snapped it, defense look like they jumped… refs agree.  Now it’s 1st & 15.  Apparently the play Zorn wanted was a long attempt to Malcolm Kelly down the middle.  Double coverage keeps that from being a good idea.  2nd & 15, and delay of game moves it back to 2nd & 20.  Skins are losing momentum.  Pathetic pass to Antwan Randle El across the middle 4 or 5 yards pass the line of scrimmage falls incomplete.  3rd & 20 has a pass thrown to Betts at the line of scrimmage – he scurries for about 4 or 5, and you gotta hate that.  Skins down the pass inside the 20 (they touched it around the 14, so that’s apparently where it gets downed).

Lions ALMOST fumbled it on first down, and that would’ve been huge.  Instead, it’s now 2nd & 15.  Bad pass by Stafford that would’ve been a huge gain if it had been on the money.  On 3rd down you get a repeat of 2nd down, only the pass was over the middle instead of near the sideline.  4th & 15, Redskins need a good punt return.  Fair catch at the 49.

3 yard catch on first down to Mike Sellers as Campbell nearly gets sacked.  Portis gets 1 yard on the run, bringing up a 3rd down needing 5.  Moss gets a short pass, basically gets stopped, but there are flags thrown… no foul on the play on further review.  Redskins really could’ve used a first down there.  Unofficial replay shows that there was a facemask pulled that the referees miss.  Redskins aren’t getting screwed by the refs by any means… but the zebras aren’t helping them any.

Redskins nearly get a sack on first down, and Stafford threw it away just in time.  Brian Billick sees the replay again of the no-call facemask, and he says if he were the coach, he would’ve wanted to hear more from the refs on why they didn’t call it, since one of them saw it correctly.  Important third-down for the Lions after a WR run, and the pass is complete, new set of downs.  This isn’t looking good for the fellas in burgundy.

Lions come up throwing the ball, which makes plenty of sense because they’ve been doing well with that when they execute.  Wouldn’t be surprised to see a big run right here as they have another 1st down.  Skins stop the run, a gain of only 1.  One failed pass by Detroit, and now the Redskins get called for pass interference even though Chris Horton turned around and was going for the ball.  That’s questionable… and now with Detroit inside the 10, it really doesn’t look good.

Stopped the Lions on first down.  Second down should’ve been stopped, but Detroit gets it into the end zone.  Lions going for 2… I don’t blame them.  Pass attempt goes incomplete.

Detroit 19 – Washington 7

It’s looking like the Lions are going to end their losing streak at 19… but I’m really hoping the Skins can use their efficient no-huddle to make things happen.

Good return by Rock Cartwright.

First down has a good catch by Santana Moss, and here comes the No Huddle.  Betts get a decent pick-up, but he doesn’t get out of bounds.  Second down gets Betts another catch over the middle for the first down.  Randle El gets a catch, but they say he’s out of bounds.  Looked like Randle El had both feet in, but did he hold on to it?  I hope so, ’cause Jim Zorn challenges it.  Should be a catch… GOOD CALL, REF!  First down!

Pass to Cartwright for about 7.  Terrible throw on 2nd down that is caught by Cartwright, 2 yards short of the first.  Randle El on 3rd down gets the first down and more.  Inside the 10, can the Skins score?  Billick just mentioned Cooley… throw to Cartwright for the Touchdown!  I wish it had gone to Cooley or Malcolm Kelly, but I’m happy for Rock to get the TD.  Defense needs to get off the field quick.

Detroit 19 – Washington 14

Skins with all 3 timeouts, 2:36 on the clock.

Redskins boot it deep, Lions get a touchback.

Skins stop the run on 1st down for 1 yard, but they’ll need two more stops.  Lions might want to run, but they should pass if they want a first down since the Redskins haven’t stopped the pass in a while.  2nd down is a play fake by the Lions who throw it complete for a first down.  I called it.  Redskins stop the run on 1st down, use their last timeout.  Another run for no gain.  2 minute warning time.  4th down after a failed pass play, a good return is critical.  Punt out of bounds.

Cooley over the middle for a gain of 15.  Skins need to beat the clock.  Betts gets a first down and just BARELY gets out of bounds.  2 plays, both get first downs.  36 seconds left.  50+ yards to go.

Another pass, another first down, this time to Santana Moss.  Need a first down and to get out of bounds right here.  Terrible call to throw it over the middle, thankfully it’s incomplete.  Cooley is hobbling, and that’s no good.  16 seconds left.

The Detroit fans sound rabid.

Incomplete pass, at least he got rid of it.  8 seconds left, it’s 4th down.

Calvin Johnson in as a defensive back, and that’s not good for the Redskins unless they can exploit that… but I doubt it.

Redskins with a PATHETIC hook & ladder play, and Betts forgets to toss it.

Congrats, Detroit, your losing streak is over.