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If the Washington Redskins needed anything heading into the Detroit Lions game, it was a win. It didn’t matter how it came along, it was just important to secure a victory for team morale and to help Dwayne Haskins’ confidence as he solidifies himself as their quarterback of the future.
Fortunately, the Redskins were able to do just that with a 19-16 victory over the Detroit Lions, making it the first home win since Week 7 of the 2018 season.
It was reported that in Saturday’s meeting before the game, coach Bill Callahan ‘ripped’ into the team. Callahan didn’t confirm nor deny the report but it may have been the fire the Redskins needed to get the job done.
“I think those moments are private,” Callahan said. “I think coaches always challenge their team in a lot of different ways, and they responded today extremely well. They came out fast and made some big plays early.”
The Redskins forced a total of four turnovers in the game. This was the most turnovers they caused in a single game since Week 4 against the New York Giants (two interceptions and two forced fumbles).
It was especially a rough day at the office for Lions’ backup quarterback Jeff Driskel. He was picked off twice by Fabian Moreau and Quinton Dunbar put the nail in the coffin in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter with an interception of his own.
“You just have to take care of the ball,” Driskel said. “Taking care of the football, that’s first and foremost, which is the quarterback’s job and I didn’t do that today.”
The MVP of yesterday’s matchup isn’t awarded to one individual, it goes to the entire special teams unit. They were responsible for all of the Redskins’ 19 points yesterday.
The Redskins’ offense moved the ball enough to set up four Dustin Hopkins field goals. Also, wide receiver Steven Sims, Jr. piled on the additional seven points with a 91-yard kickoff return. The big play by Sims changed the momentum of the game.
“It looks like when [Steven Sims Jr.] kind of bobbled the catch, we maybe got distorted a little bit with our coverage,” Lions head coach Matt Patricia stated.
Callahan also gave a lot of credit to special teams coach Nate Kaczor for the work he’s done to improve his unit.
“I look at coach Kaczor and what he’s done with that unit from the return game with Steven Sims making the long play on the kickoff return to Tress Way obviously to Hop [Dustin Hopkins] winning it out,” Callahan said. “My hat goes off to Coach Kaczor and the special teams unit for the fine job that they did today. Well deserved.”
The Redskins should take the time to savor the win. However, the celebration with be a quick one.
They have a new challenge ahead as they go on the road to face the Carolina Panthers who are looking to bounce back on Sunday after a disappointing loss against the New Orleans Saints.