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5 things to watch: Lions vs. Redskins

Detroit hits the road to take on the Washington Redskins later today in a game both teams are hoping will snap losing streaks.

The Lions (3-6-1) have lost three straight and the Redskins (1-9) have been on the wrong side of the scoreboard in their last four. Something has to give later today in Landover, Maryland, as both teams try to find their way back into the win column.

Here are five things to keep an eye on in this one:


Both the Lions' defense and Redskins' offense rank among the bottom of the NFL in every major statistical category on their side of the ball.

Detroit's 30th in total defense and passing defense and 27th in points allowed (27.2). Washington is 31st in total offense, 32nd in passing offense and 32nd in points scored (12.5).

Each unit has to hope this game can be an opportunity to play up to the competition and have a better game than they've been having from a statistical standpoint.

Whichever of these units plays better likely decides the outcome this afternoon.


Scarbrough was active for his first NFL game last week after bouncing around to four different teams over his first two seasons in the league. He rushed for 55 yards on 14 carries last week, including a 5-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and brought some physicality and toughness to Detroit's run game vs. Dallas. He and quarterback Jeff Driskel accounted for 106 rushing yards and two scores on the ground.

Scarbrough is likely to start again and get every opportunity to carry the load for Detroit's run game today against a Redskins' run defense that comes in ranked 22nd in the NFL. Washington has prepared for Scarbrough this week. He won't surprise anyone like he maybe did against Dallas last week. Can he have another strong performance and help spearhead a balanced Lions attack today?


Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., second-year running back Derrius Guice and rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin are the future of the Redskins' offense.

McLaurin has three 100-yard receiving games on the season and trails only Seattle's D.K. Metcalf (595) for the lead in receiving yards among rookies. McLaurin has 566 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

Guice missed most of last year and all of the beginning of this year due to injury. He was back for the first time last week since going on IR Week 1. He showed his explosiveness by catching a 45-yard touchdown pass against the Jets.

Haskins was named the starter just two weeks ago. He was 17-of-34 passing last week with a couple touchdowns and one interception. He's got a strong arm, and is willing to use it to chuck the ball down the field to some of his speedy weapons.


Backup Jeff Driskel is expected to make his third straight start today in place of Matthew Stafford (back) at quarterback. Driskel looked much more comfortable running Bevell's offense last week against Dallas with a week to prepare and take first-team reps. He was thrust into the starting role over the weekend in Chicago two weeks ago.

He's settling into his role, and Bevell's had time to learn his strengths and weakness, and tailor a scheme that tries to accentuate those strengths. Driskel completed 58 percent of his passes last week – you'd typically like to see that over 60 percent – and threw two touchdowns to Marvin Jones Jr. and rushed for another. The biggest thing was he didn't turn the ball over, and gave the Lions a chance to win the game.

Detroit will be looking for a similar efficient performance today.


The Lions will be without five starters, one key reserve and potentially another starter today due to injury, which means Detroit needs a lot of guys to step into roles and play well if they're going to get a much needed road victory in Washington.

Stafford (back), defensive end Trey Flowers (concussion), center Frank Ragnow (concussion), safety Tracy Walker (knee) and kick returned Jamal Agnew (ankle) have all been ruled out. So has defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand, a key rotational player upfront on defense.

Starting cornerback Rashaan Melvin (ribs) was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report. His status will be updated 90 minutes before kickoff.

Detroit will look to players like Driskel, Kenny Wiggins, Romeo Okwara, Austin Bryant, Will Harris and others to step into roles and play well today.

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