Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions will mark the 43rd time the NFC foes square off and the first since 2010. The Redskins (0-2) enter the game with a markedly different “swagger” than previous weeks, as they have fallen under high expectations out of the gates.
As fans have been chirping about all morning after the Philadelphia Eagles loss last night though, the Redskins are still in the thick of the race. But they still have to hold up their end of the bargain for that to become a possibility.
The Lions (1-1) are a complete 180 from where they were in 2008—hitting rock bottom and failing to get one–just one–victory. Their ineptitude set a record for most losses in one season (16).
With a bevy of high draft picks that have actually panned out, wide receiver included, the Lions are hoping to bounce back from an inadequate 2012 season and reach the playoffs once again. That makes two of us.
Anyway, here are some storylines that the Lions are following with a little over 48 hours until kickoff:
The Lions went on a league-wide search during the offseason looking for a deadly weapon to complement wide receiver Calvin Johnson with the hope that it would force defenses to not overload on their machine. They went out and did just that by acquiring speedster Reggie Bush in free agency.
Bush proved lethal in his first game, torching the Minnesota Vikings for over 200 total yards. In the second game against the Arizona Cardinals however, he left with a knee injury that has lingered throughout the week.
The eight-year veteran, who has only played in 16 games twice in his career, is “optimistic” he’ll play Sunday.
Speaking of Johnson, the Lions say that aren’t deterred by the fact that defenses aren’t giving them opportunities for the long pass. Instead, they are just taking what they are given—the short pass.
Against the Cardinals, Johnson took a short slant and burst past the secondary en route to a 72-yard touchdown.
Sticking with the offense a little bit more, wide receiver Ryan Broyles will be making his season debut Sunday. A second-year player out of the University of Oklahoma, Broyles was a key for the Lions down the stretch last season. From Week 7 to Week 12, Broyles caught 21 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns.
Jim Haslett has an array of deadly pass rushers at his disposal with the likes of Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan and rookie Brandon Jenkins among others. Despite it being accustomed to limit the blitz against the Lions, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan says that he’s expecting it—a lot of it.
A former second round pick by the Atlanta Falcons, cornerback Chris Houston is looked up to as the go-to guy in the Lions secondary amongst his peers. In two games this season, he leads the team in passes defensed and is second in tackles. Despite his heads up play, he’s admittedly frustrated with the 1-1 start saying “If I make some plays, we ain’t in that situation we were last week.”
You’ll be seeing a familiar face this Sunday, but his blue and silver No. 24 jersey won’t be. In the fifth round of the 2011 draft, the Redskins selected University of Nebraska safety DeJon Gomes. He played two seasons here (appearing in 31 games) but did not make the final 53-man roster this season. The Lions scooped him up just hours later. He still keeps in touch with some of the guys here, but he’s a Detroit Lion now.
Finally, Redskins.com’s own Brian Tinsman has four keys to the game. He’ll be reviewing them and seeing how the team did on Monday.
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