Landover, MD – Matthew Stafford threw a pair of touchdowns and the Detroit Lions won for the first time ever in Washington with a 27-20 victory over the Redskins on Sunday.
It took 22 games and 76 years, but the Lions were finally able to win in the nation's capital as Stafford threw for 385 yards on 25-of-42 attempts with an interception.
Joique Bell, starting in place of an injured Reggie Bush, totaled 132 yards of offense with a touchdown, while Calvin Johnson caught seven passes for 115 yards and a score for the Lions (2-1), who bounced back from a loss in Arizona last week.
"I'm proud as can be of our team," said Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz. "That was a tough hard-fought game nad was a nice road win for us. We got a lot of contributions from all the guys on our offense and it was nice to see."
Robert Griffin III passed for 326 yards on 32-of-50 attempts, but had an interception and fumbled the ball once for the Redskins (0-3), who have dropped their first three games to start a season since losing five in a row to begin 2001.
"We need to eliminate some of the mistakes we've been making in these games," said Washington head coach Mike Shanahan. "We did some good things in this game, but the mistakes are still killing us and beating us."
Washington had tied the game, 17-17, on its first possession of the second half, and the score stayed that way until the Lions went on top with 11:08 to play.
The score was set up on a Griffin fumble, as he scrambled for 21 yards and fell on the ground, losing the football which the Lions recovered at their own 25.
After Johnson caught a pass for 18 yards, Nate Burleson caught a deep pass over the middle for 47 yards down to the Washington 10. The drive stalled from there, though, and a 28-yard field goal from David Akers made it a 20-17 game.
Washington had appeared to take the lead as Griffin lofted a bomb down the middle that Aldrick Robinson had appeared to catch for a 57-yard score. It was initially ruled a touchdown, but the review overturned the call as the ball came loose when Robinson hit the ground. Washington ultimately had to punt.
The Lions gained some momentum from the fortunate call as Bell caught a pass for 16 yards on the first play and Kris Durham added a 33-yard catch two plays later. The nine-play, 71-yard drive was capped on an 11-yard touchdown catch over the middle by Johnson for a 27-17 lead with 3:56 to play.
Washington was able to drive down the field and got into the red zone for the first time in the game, but had to settle for a 21-yard field goal from John Potter with 1:40 to play.
The Redskins went for the onside kick and appeared to recover it, but it was grabbed before the ball went 10 yards. The defense held and got the ball back to the offense with 38 seconds to play, but it wasn't enough time and Griffin's desperation heave on the last play was knocked away.
Each team had a touch and punted before a defensive touchdown put the Redskins on the board as DeAngelo Hall caught a short pass from Stafford and went the other way for a 17-yard score and a 7-0 lead with 9:23 to play in the first.
Stafford came right back to tie the game with a touchdown drive that was helped by a roughing the passer call on Washington that added 15 yards to a 37-yard catch from Bell. It was Bell finding the end zone, as he bounced off two tacklers for a 12-yard score with 5:14 to play in the first.
After a three-and-out from Washington, Detroit took over at its own 8-yard line and the first play saw Johnson catch an 18-yard pass. Three more receptions moved the ball 52 yards before a 13-yard run from Bell had the Lions on the Washington 5-yard line. Three plays later, Stafford sidearmed a pass into the back of the end zone that saw Joseph Fauria make a leaping grab for a 14-7 lead just 13 seconds into the second quarter.
Griffin was picked off by Chris Houston deep in Detroit territory, but Washington was able to hold the Lions to a three-and-out.
Washington quickly faced a 3rd-and-8, but a neutral zone infraction on Detroit followed by a 12-yard catch from Josh Morgan moved the chains. After an 18- yard catch from Santana Moss moved the ball to the Detroit 30, Alfred Morris ran the ball in around the right end to tie the game with 3:29 to play in the first half.
It was the first offensive touchdown in the first half of the game for the Redskins this season.
The Lions came right back and a 41-yard catch from Burleson got the ball down to the Washington 28. The Lions managed another first down, but three straight incompletions to Johnson forced a 32-yard field goal from Akers to make it a 17-14 game going into the break.
Taking advantage of a short field as Sam Martin kicked the ball out of bounds, the Redskins started the second half with the ball at their own 40. The second play of the drive saw Griffin toss a deep pass down the left sideline that Pierre Garcon caught for 27 yards. That led to a 43-yard field goal from Potter to tie the game at 17-all less than three minutes in.
It was the fourth interception return for a touchdown in Hall's career ... Johnson caught his 500th pass of his career in the first quarter ... Detroit's first loss in Washington came in 1939 as the Redskins had moved to the capital in 1937 after starting out in Boston ... Morris finished the game with 73 yards on 15 carries ... Garcon led Washington with eight catches for 73 yards ... Burleson finished the game with six catches for 116 yards ... Bell had 69 yards receiving and 63 running ... The Lions have won three straight against the Redskins ... Washington plays in Oakland next Sunday ... The Lions return home to face the Bears next Sunday.