The Detroit Lions are back to .500 after jumping out to a big lead Sunday at home against the Washington Commanders and hanging on late to secure a 36-27 victory.
Detroit started hot with a 22-0 lead and withstood a Commanders second-half rally to push their record to 1-1 on the season.
It was a good performance in all three phases for the Lions, as follows:
- Detroit's offense put up 425 total yards of offense and 34 points. They rushed for 191 yards as a team.
- The defense didn't allow Washington to record a first down until their sixth possession. They had five sacks, an interception (Will Harris) and a safety.
- Even Detroit's special teams got in on the fun with a 52-yard kickoff return (Kalif Raymond). They had terrific coverage all game, and Austin Seibert was perfect kicking field goals and extra points.
Second-year wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown had a huge game for the Lions with nine catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns. He also had two carries for 68 yards. It was St. Brown's eighth straight game with at least eight receptions, tying the NFL record. He's also produced six straight games with eight-plus receptions and a touchdown, which is a new NFL record.
The Lions led 22-0 at the half as Detroit out-gained the Commanders 250 to 56 yards.
But football games are 60 minutes, and Washington came out in the second half with good adjustments.
They trimmed the Lions' lead to 22-15 in the third quarter. St. Brown opened Detroit's next possession after the second Washington touchdown with a jet sweep run of 58 yards down to the Washington 17-yard line that set up a 22-yard Swift touchdown reception from Goff. Swift fell down after making the catch, but had time to get up and make three different Commanders miss on the way to the end zone.
St. Brown's second touchdown catch of the game gave the Lions a 36-21 lead.
Washington trimmed the lead to 36-27 in the final two minutes of the game, but missed an extra point which kept it a two-score game. The Lions recovered an onside kick and hung on from there.
QB comparison: Goff had a very efficient afternoon completing 20-of-34 passes for 256 yards with four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 121.7 passer rating.
Washington's Carson Wentz was 30-of-46 passing for 337 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He finished with a 99.6 passer rating.
Streaking: Goff produced his sixth straight game at Ford Field with at least two passing touchdowns, which established a new franchise record. This also marks the longest active streak in the NFL.
Sack man: Rookie defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson got his first career sack Sunday on the first defensive series of the game for the Lions. The Commanders faced a 3rd and 4 from their 38-yard line when Hutchinson got home and sacked Wentz for no gain to force a punt.
Hutchinson would add two more sacks in the second quarter for his first career multi-sack game.
Key moment: Lions head coach Dan Campbell opted to roll the dice and go for a touchdown instead of a chip-shot field goal midway through the first quarter at the Washington 3-yard line. Goff's pass to wide receiver DJ Chark was wide of the mark and the Lions turned the ball over on downs.
After a two-yard Antonio Gibson run on first down, Lions defensive lineman Charles Harris got around the corner for a strip sack on Wentz. The ball went through the end zone for a safety to give the Lions a 5-0 lead. Raymond took the ensuing kickoff back 52 yards to the Washington 31-yard line, which led to a St. Brown touchdown and a 12-0 lead.
Injury report: Cornerback Jeff Okudah left the game early in the fourth quarter due to cramping. He returned.
Up next: Lions at Minnesota (1-0).