- The Washington Times - Monday, October 8, 2007

The visiting Detroit Lions came to Washington with the NFL’s best aerial attack, while the Redskins‘ 21st-rated passing game was without top receiver Santana Moss. So naturally the Redskins came out passing yesterday, and the Lions came out running.

Little made sense yesterday, including the temperature registering 88 degrees on Oct. 7. Minus Moss (and after halftime, temporary No. 1 receiver Antwaan Randle El), Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell lit up the Lions like the Vegas Strip. Meanwhile, Detroit’s Jon Kitna, who came in leading the NFL in passing yards, was more out of rhythm than a garage band during its first session.

The Redskins’ 34-3 romp re-established their confidence in the wake of the blown 14-point halftime lead the last time out against the New York Giants. It also reminded the Monday Morning Quarterback again he’s glad he doesn’t bet on the NFL.

Q: Sounds like a cop-out, Mr. Football. You look pretty bad for picking the Lions, don’t ya?

A: Yup. And it wasn’t just the karma from Detroit being winless forever (now 0-21) in Washington and from Redskins coach Joe Gibbs’ mastery (now 12-0). The Redskins dominated this one from the start. The MMQB is not convinced the Redskins are true contenders, but the Lions still look like the pretenders they have been the last four decades.

Q: How does Campbell post a 69.6 passer rating in three games with Moss and nearly double that (125.3) without Moss and, for half the game, Randle El?

A: The Lions couldn’t cover a press conference. Seriously, that was one of the worst pass defenses the MMQB has seen. But give Campbell credit, too. He hit the open receivers and lost a couple of long completions to James Thrash, who landed just out of bounds, or he would have been over 300 yards for the first time in his career.

Q: Gregg Williams comes across as Mr. Know-It-All, but it’s sure looking like last year’s defensive collapse was a fluke, isn’t it?

A: Other than the second half against the Giants, the Redskins are playing as well defensively as they did in Williams’ first two years.

Q: What’s the scoop with Campbell lining up as a wideout?

A: Al Saunders probably has been frustrated by coach Joe Gibbs’ conservative nature, so when he got the chance to try something creative, he went all out. Clinton Portis gained 13 yards on the first direct snap with Campbell split wide to jump-start Washington’s second touchdown drive. However, the Lions handled it better the second time, stopping Portis for a yard on Washington’s last play of the half.

Q: Lions coach Rod Marinelli made his name as an assistant for those great Tampa Bay defenses. So how did his players leave Randle El open the whole first half with Moss inactive? And how did the Lions not know Campbell was going to look for Chris Cooley on the left side of the end zone on third down inside the 10?

A: Like the Bengals’ Marvin Lewis, who earned a reputation as a defensive genius as a coordinator for the Ravens, Marinelli somehow has wound up with an offensively potent, defensively porous team.

Q: So how far down is Brandon Lloyd on the depth chart?

A: So low you need a shovel to find him, although he finally made his first catch of the season in the second half. Defensive end Andre Carter’s safety yesterday gave him more points with the Redskins (two) than Lloyd, also his teammate in San Francisco.

Keenan McCardell, who had all of four practices with the team and is 37, played ahead of Lloyd yesterday. So did Reche Caldwell, who has been with the Redskins less than a month. The MMQB is surprised Coach Joe didn’t play Gary Clark, the 45-year-old former Pro Bowl receiver who was inducted into the Ring of Fame at halftime, before Lloyd.

Q: So now that all is right in burgundy-and-gold land again, do the Redskins go to Green Bay and take care of the Packers?

A: Both Washington and Green Bay are better than expected, but the Packers look like the NFC’s top team outside of Texas, and they’re at home. Gotta go with the Green Bay.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide