The Lions won a tough game on the road in a place they've never won before in Washington. They've improved their record to 2-1 and head back to the friendly confines of Ford Field next week, where they'll host the Chicago Bears.
There's nothing bad about that.
Anytime a win goes up on the board in the NFL, the good outweighs the bad, but here's a look at both from Sunday's, 27-20 win vs. the Redskins:
THE GOOD …
Bell rushed for 63 yards and had another 69 receiving yards and scored the first Lions touchdown of the game with a 12-yard run in the first quarter.
The No. 2 running back role in the NFL is such important one because it's not a matter of if an injury is going to occur to the No. 1 guy, but when. Bell has proven worth going on two years now, but he showed Sunday why he's so valuable to this team.
Bell was the go-to man in Washington for the Lions on the ground and the Lions offense didn’t skip a beat. That’s all a coach can ask from a No. 2 player.
Entering the game, the Lions knew the play of their defensive ends was going to be a key component of the game because of the Redskins’ read option offense and edge rushing attack.
"They have speed out there, they’re big strong guys, they’re athletic and they can move as well and push the pocket back," defensive tackle
"And that was one of the emphasis that we wanted to do – not necessarily run with the guys, but set that edge with our three technique or our defensive end. We felt like we did a good job with that, pulling them up in their stretch game. So that was kind of the main focus for us as defensive ends and defensive tackles."
The Redskins organization showed some class Sunday when they shared the overhead pictures teams use to make in-game adjustments. The machine that prints them out on the Lions sideline was down.
"I want to recognize too Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen, they shared their pictures in the second half," Schwartz said after the game. "They knew that we were at a disadvantage.
"I thought it was a very sportsman-like move and it shows the class that they have and the class of the Redskins organization that they did that."
THE BAD …
Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan told the media Thursday that the Lions needed to be better on third down. They were only 33.3 percent coming into the game and converted on only 31 percent (4 of 13) Sunday.
Linehan and Co. were 0 for 6 on third down in the second half.
The Lions secondary had a difficult matchup this week against a good Redskins passing offense and a set of receivers who were quick, fast and good route runners.
Robert Griffin III finished 32-of-50 passing for 326 yards. They did not give up a touchdown, but the Redskins were able to move the ball pretty effectively through the air all game.
The Lions lost the field position battle last week in Arizona and started their first nine drives Sunday inside or at their own 20-yard line.
Things got better later in the game when they started at their own 25- and 29-yard lines and then at the Washington 43 following an onside kick, but the average starting point on the night for the Lions was the 21-yard line.
That's a lot of long fields.