|2009 Redskins at Lions Point Spread Odds & Matchup Report|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Wednesday, 23 September 2009 10:59|
Detroit, MI - Matthew Stafford can't be blamed for the Detroit Lions' failures last season, but he hasn't done much to make anyone forget about 2008.
Stafford and the Lions try to avoid setting the NFL's second-longest losing streak Sunday when they host a Washington Redskins team trying to figure out how to get the ball into the end zone.
Oddsmakers from online sports book BetOnline have made the Redskins –6.5 point spread favorites (View NFL odds) for Sunday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 64% of bets for this game have been placed on the Lions +6.5 (View NFL bet percentages).
The benefit of finishing with the league's first 0-16 record last season was the right to select the first player in the 2009 draft. Detroit chose Stafford out of Georgia, passing on Southern California's Mark Sanchez, who went No. 5 to the New York Jets. Sanchez and the Jets are 2-0.
"We went in the draft, we liked both quarterbacks, we thought Matt was the right player to lead this team," first-year coach Jim Schwartz said. "We still do and I think when it's all said and done, we're going to be very happy in that decision."
Through two weeks, though, Stafford has completed 50.7 percent of his passes (34 of 67) for 357 yards with one touchdown. He is tied with Carolina's Jake Delhomme with a league-high five interceptions after throwing two in Sunday's 27-13 loss to Minnesota.
"He's our quarterback," Schwartz said Monday. "We're pleased with him. He's going to be a very good quarterback in this league and we're going to win with him."
Stafford threw his first career touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson in the second quarter against the Vikings, but Detroit was outscored 27-3 the rest of the way as it matched the league's second-longest losing streak at 19. Tampa Bay dropped an NFL-record 26 in a row Sept. 26, 1976-Dec. 4, 1977.
"It's not important how you start a football game, it is important how you finish it, and we didn't finish well," Stafford said Sunday after completing 18 of 30 passes for 152 yards. "We need to play 60 good minutes, not 30."
The Lions have not won since beating Kansas City 25-20 on Dec. 23, 2007.
They've dropped 19 of 21 against Washington since the 1968 season. In the last meeting, the Redskins piled up 439 total yards in a 25-17 win at Ford Field on Oct. 26.
Washington (1-1) hasn't come close to that level of offensive production in 2009, with two touchdowns through two games - one coming on punter Hunter Smith's 8-yard run on a fake field goal in a 23-17 loss at the New York Giants in Week 1.
"All you can do is scratch your head," wide receiver Santana Moss said. "I mean, yeah, it's true, we have the talent. You're sitting there saying, 'Man, we should be doing this, we should be doing that.' But 'should be' ain't good enough, you know what I mean?"
Washington posted 326 yards of total offense in Sunday's 9-7 win over St. Louis, but it had four drives inside the 10-yard line that didn't continue into the end zone.
Shaun Suisham kicked three field goals, leading the 87,000-plus at FedEx Field to boo loudly, even after the home-opening victory.
"I understand that they want us to beat the Rams by 40," tight end Chris Cooley said after catching seven passes for 83 yards. "But we still won, and if we continue to win games, that's great. The booing was unnecessary."
Washington rookie linebacker Robert Henson also thought it was unnecessary. Henson, who has not played this season, tweeted after the game: "All you fake half hearted Skins fan can .. I won't go there but I dislike you very strongly, don't come to Fed Ex to boo dim wits!!
"The question is who are you to say you know what's best for the team and you work 9 to 5 at Mcdonalds."
Henson closed his Twitter account and apologized Monday.
Redskins coach Jim Zorn is not apologizing for his play-calling that has led to 26 points - tied for second-fewest in the NFL.
"I mean, if I could see it now - every play that was going to fail before it failed - I'm with you, I wouldn't call it," he said. "But I felt very confident. Because we work on it. We have to execute it."
Washington has not scored more than 29 points in any of Zorn's 18 games as coach.
Redskins running back Clinton Portis goes for his third career 100-yard game against Detroit, but he won't be running behind right guard Randy Thomas, who tore his right triceps last week and is out for the season.
Schwartz said that linebacker Ernie Sims will be sidelined indefinitely with a shoulder injury suffered in Sunday's loss. Sims is third on the Lions with 14 tackles.
Posted: 9/23/09 3:59PM ET