There have been a few near-misses, more than enough heartbreak, and some blowouts thrown in. Sunday afternoon, however, the Detroit Lions finally broke a hideous streak that saw them make NFL history.
The Lions beat the Washington Redskins, 19-14, at Ford Field. It marked the end of a 19-game losing streak for the Lions, who had not won since December of 2007.
The Lions played great defense throughout the afternoon, getting a key goal-line stand in the first half to keep Washington off the scoreboard. The ensuing Detroit possession saw rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford lead the team on a 99-yard scoring drive, capped by a touchdown pass to Bryant Johnson.
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The Lions defense bent, but didn't break, just like it did virtually all afternoon. Washington reached Detroit's 36 with 23 seconds left -- Campbell then fired three straight incompletions before the Redskins failed on a hook-and-lateral play to end the game.
There were some positive signs for the Redskins, as Jason Campbell threw for over 300 yards and a pair of scores. Moss caught 10 passes for 178 yards. However, banged-up back Clinton Portis was held to 42 yards rushing, and the Redskins again struggled to finish drives, both offensively and defensively. The defense couldn't get off the field, allowing Detroit to convert 10 of 18 third downs -- plus Albert Haynesworth, Brian Orakpo, Carlos Rogers and London Fletcher all got banged up. Meanwhile, the offense hit on just two of 10 third down attempts.
The Lions and their fans deserve to over-celebrate this win, if you will. Players could be seen with tears in their eyes on the field. For many Detroit players and all of their fans, this kind of day has been way too long in coming. Perhaps getting the first win will give them the confidence to play more assertively when they have a lead, something that has failed them in the not-too-distant past.