Detroit Lions quarterback Jeff Driskel talked about making plays – and an interception that put the Washington Redskins in position to kick the game-winning field goal in the Lions’ 16-13 loss at FedEx Field.
Detroit Lions cornerback Justin Coleman talked about what it’s like to lose a game when the defense hasn’t given up a touchdown, and the need for players to be on the same page.
And head coach Matt Patricia talked about looking ahead to the Thanksgiving Day game against the Chicago Bears in a postgame session that included questions about his future.
This week’s Monday Countdown is about the sounds and words in the Lions locker room after Sunday’s loss. Every word was tinged with frustration that came from another close loss in another game when many of the wounds that led to the loss were self-inflicted.
There are also takeaways on offense, defense and special teams, what’s trending and the bottom line.
We start with Driskel:
1. Backup plan: Although they were losses, Driskel played well enough in his first two starts in place of Matthew Stafford, but it was a different story against the Redskins. He didn’t seem comfortable in the pocket for much of the game, and he did more damage with his legs than with his arm.
Driskel ran for 63 yards, but he completed only 20 of 33 passes for 203 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions.
The second interception, by Redskins cornerback Quinton Dunbar on a pass over the middle meant for wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., gave the Redskins possession at their 46 with 48 seconds left. From there, they drove to the winning field goal.
“It is frustrating when you’re in position to go win football games, and you come up short,” Driskel said. “We’ve got to go in that locker room and take accountability. That’s what’s I’m going to do. That’s on me.
“We had a good play on for that look. Dunbar did a great job of kind of anticipating the route a little bit I’ve just got to get my eyes out in front. You can’t assume it’s going to be there for a certain look.
“I threw it right at him.”
2. On the corner: The defense held Washington to 111 yards in the first three quarters, but in what proved to be the decisive fourth quarter, the Redskins broke out for 119 yards.
It was strange to lose a game without giving up a defensive touchdown – the Redskins got their points on a kickoff return TD and four field goals.
Coleman did not exempt the defense from blame, and his comments were not directed specifically at any unit or individual.
“I don’t know how often that happens,” Coleman said of losing without giving up a defensive TD. “It’s about scoring. Whoever scores the most points wins.
“We all have to make impact plays at the same time. Everybody’s got to want it. I feel as a team, we’re not collectively on the same page.
“You can’t overlook any team (the Redskins were 1-9 going into the game), no matter what the record is.”
3. Looking ahead: Patricia’s style has been mostly to talk about coaching better and playing better for upcoming games. And he did that after another frustrating loss, when the Lions didn’t make enough plays. All three units – offense, defense and special teams – had critical breakdowns.
“We have a short week here,” Patricia said, referring to the traditional Thanksgiving Day game against the Bears. “We don’t have a lot of time to worry about a lot of things.”
4. Takeaways, offense:
- Driskel: The quarterback took a step back in his third start. There was no blame on him for losing his first two starts, but the interception that led to the go-ahead field goal was a killer.
- Grinding on the ground: Driskel’s 63 yards inflated the rushing total to 175 yards, but there was nothing inflated about running back Bo Scarbrough’s 98 yards. He ran hard, hit hard, and deflated would-be tacklers.
- Flag football: A bad penalty on right tackle Rick Wagner wiped out a 25-yard run by Scarbrough in the fourth quarter. Instead of having the ball at Washington’s 40 with a first down, it was first and 20. The Lions wound up going three and out and punting.
5. Takeaways, defense:
- Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins had a tough day, but he started the drive to the tying field goal with completions of 22 and 15 yards on the first two plays. He stepped it up against a defense that held him in check for three-plus quarters.
- On the run: It was good against the run for the third straight game, allowing 86 yards on 26 carries. Redskins running back Adrian Peterson was a nonfactor – 27 yards on 10 carries – except for a 22-yard catch.
- Pass rush: Haskins was sacked three times – half as many times as in last week’s blow out loss to the Jets. I think the Lions should have blitzed more – especially after linebacker Jarrad Davis almost bent Haskins in half with a sack.
6. Takeaways, special teams:
- Fumble, rumble: Redskins return man Steve Sims Jr. juggled the ball, then got control to return a kickoff 91 yards for Washington’s only TD. There have been too many breakdowns this year, and that one turned out to be huge.
- Punt problem: In the third quarter Marvin Hall caught a punt at the one-yard line instead of letting the ball go into the end zone, then struggled to get the ball out to the two-yard line. It was a bad decision by Hall, but it did not end up costing the Lions.
- Livin on a Prater: He’s so good it was shocking that he was wide right on a 39-yard field-goal attempt on the first possession.
- Up: Scarbrough. He ran with power to gain 98 yards. Losing a fumble at midfield was the only blemish on an otherwise impressive second start.
- Down: Driskel. Three picks overshadowed his running and a TD pass to tight end Logan Thomas.
- Holding: Jones. He needed 11 targets to get his five catches, and they were tough catches. He went after everything with abandon.
8. Bottom line: Questions about Patricia’s job security are starting to come, which is expected given the team’s won-loss record. And he’s not responding to them in any depth, which is also expected.