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Lions Win! Buccaneers Record Remains Safe

Posted on September 27, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Faithful Lions fans celebrate following the 19-14 win over the Redskins.

Faithful Lions fans celebrate following the 19-14 win over the Redskins.

After 19 straight regular season losses, the Detroit Lions finally ended the second longest losing streak in NFL history with a 19-14 victory over the Washington Redskins.

It marked the first win for the Lions since defeating Kansas City 25-20 on December 23, 2007. The Lions have won only two of 27 games since starting the 2007 season with a 6-2 record.

That the victory would come against the Washington Redskins is somewhat surprising considering that the Redskins have historically dominated the Lions. In 37 all-time meetings entering 2009, the Redskins held a 27-10 series lead, including a 14-2 mark against the Lions since 1983.

Had they lost, Detroit would have joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the only franchise in NFL history with 20 or more consecutive losses. The Bucs lost the first 26 games in team history during the 1976 and 1977 seasons.

Last season Detroit went 0-16 to become the first team since the schedule expanded to 16 games in 1978 to go winless.

The record of 26 straight losses set by John McKay and the 1976-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers is now safe.

The record of 26 straight losses set by John McKay and the 1976-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers is now safe.

They won’t have to worry about repeating that distinction in 2009.

It looked like Washington would seize the early control as they drove down the field early in the contest and had a first down and goal from the nine-yard line. However, Clinton Portis was stopped at the one-yard line by rookie DeAndre Levy on fourth down to keep the Skins off the board.

Rookie quarterback Matt Stafford and the Lions responded with a 99-yard scoring drive that culminated in a 21-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson.

Matt Stafford was solid in recording his first NFL victory.

Matt Stafford was solid in recording his first NFL victory.

A pair of field goals by Jason Hanson gave the Lions a 13-0 halftime advantage.

The Redskins finally were able to put the ball in the end zone in the third period as Jason Campbell hit Santana Moss on a 57-yard touchdown pass to trim the lead to six points.

That remained the score until the Lions took advantage of a pass interference penalty to score a touchdown on a two yard run by Maurice Morris with 5:26 remaining.

Washington quickly answered to make the score 19-14.

After Detroit was forced to punt with just over a minute remaining, Washington had a chance to steal the victory. They reached the Detroit 36 yard line, but the Lions held on for the victory.

Stafford had the finest performance of his brief NFL career as he connected on 21 of 36 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown without any interceptions. Kevin Smith rushed for 101 yards before leaving the game in the third period with a shoulder injury.

Now with the weight of the losing streak off their shoulders, it will be interesting to see how the Lions respond. They remain a young team in a challenging division, but they are no longer winless.


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