SEATTLE (Michigan News Source) – The roar was loud and clear on Sunday for the Lions as they jumped out to a 22-0 lead at the half as they won their first game of the year, 36-27. Detroit posted 425 yards of total offense and were called for only one five-yard penalty.
In the locker room celebration, head coach Dan Campbell said, “This is what we talked about. Detail and discipline. Like for me, that’s a lot of pent up aggression and anger and frustration that has come out and we did it the right way. That’s how you attack the opponent.”
The balance of the team showed in the first quarter with 12 points coming on a field goal, safety, and touchdown. After going three-and-out on the first possession, Austin Seibert made a 35-yard field goal for the early lead. Two Washington possessions later, Carson Wentz was sacked by Will Harris as the ball was fumbled out of bounds for a safety. Taking advantage of the free kick from Washington, Kalif Raymond returned the kick to the Commanders 31-yard line. A run and two passes later, Jared Goff hit Amon-Ra St. Brown from 13-yards out making it 12-0.
The second quarter brought another 10 points as Seibert hit a 48-yard field just two minutes into the quarter going up, 15-0. On their next possession, Goff led the team 77 yards as Josh Reynolds caught a three-yard touchdown pushing the lead to 22-0.
“Man that was precision and because of that we got off to the lead we did. Man we were pumpin’ on both levels, 22-0 right! Defense, we kept banging. We stalled out a little bit on offense and all of a sudden when they started making some things happen, offense, you answered. It doesn’t matter, man, you win 51-50, you win 14-10, it’s about balancing everything out. You guys did that.”
Aidan Hutchinson showed why he was a first-round pick gaining three sacks in the first half. He earned first sack on the first series of the game on a 3rd and 4 at the 38-yard line. He added two more sacks in the second quarter. The defense had a stellar first half not allowing Washington to record a first down until their sixth possession of the game.
Washington made a game of it in the second half pulling to within seven, 22-15, with 2:58 left in third quarter. Detroit responded with two straight touchdown drives making it 36-21. D’Andre Swift broke the plain with 1:28 left in the third quarter from 22-yards out on a pass from Goff for the 29-15 lead. Washington fought right back adding their own touchdown on a 12-play drive going 83-yards still showing they were in the game, 29-21.
Goff once again showed his leadership with a six-play 70-yard drive ending on St. Brown’s second touchdown catch of the day going up, by 15-points. Washington did score on their next possession with under two minutes to play but missed the extra point as they were down, 36-27.
Detroit tried to run out the clock but gave the ball back to Washington with 1:35 left in the game. They went just six yards in their own territory to the 39-yard line but John Cominsky ended the threat with a sack as Detroit took the ball over and started the victory formation.
The defense collected five sacks and one interception on the day in their biggest performance to date. Goff finished the game throwing for 256 yards with a 121.7 quarter back rating and four touchdowns. St. Brown caught nine passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns and was also the leading rusher with 68 yards. He is the first player in league history to have six straight games with at least eight catches and a score.
“This is all I’m gonna say; ‘That’s one!. Enjoy this. You earned it. But it’s back to work now. You guys know what we’re capable of now,” said Campbell.
Detroit has to get ready for Minnesota next week as they head to Minneapolis on Sunday.