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A Loss to the Lions? Really?

After the ruckus last week about Coach Jim Zorn's job status, the Redskins finally face the Detroit Lions today at Ford Field.

Although owner Daniel Snyder said nothing publicly about Washington's second-year coach, and has not commented on Zorn's status in his 18 games leading the team, there was a feeling at Redskins Park that things could be turning against Zorn. Over the past seven days, Zorn has faced:

--Fans booing the team in its home opener for an inept performance in the red zone during a 9-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams;

--Speculation about a rift between him and legendary Redskins quarterback and radio analyst Sonny Jurgensen after they had two chilly postgame exchanges in the locker room in as many weeks;

--Concerns about his game management after special teams coordinator Danny Smith physically tried to prevent him from calling a timeout with too much time left on the play clock;

--And ongoing scrutiny about the team's lack of scoring over his 18 games [Barry Svrluga writes about the Zorn-Jason Campbell dynamic today.].

That would be a rough week for the most experienced of NFL head coaches, let alone someone who had never held the title, or that of offensive coordinator, before being hired for both jobs a little more than 19 months ago. And to top it off, the host of Zorn's weekly radio show, Kevin Sheehan, on the Snyder-owned ESPN 980, actually asked Zorn, "Is Sunday a game that could affect your job security?" Zorn said he would not answer the question, but when the host of the coach's show on the owner's radio station takes it to that level, well, again, it's not good for the coach.

As Post columnist Mike Wise wrote this week, Zorn seems safe regardless of the outcome of today's game. Still, the Lions (0-2) have lost 19 straight and the Redskins (1-1), despite their problems scoring, are considered a better team.

I don't care if the Lions improved on special teams from last season (they did) or whether third-year wideout Calvin Johnson is a monster on the field (he is). The bottom line is the Redskins must win this game.

The Lions have a new head coach, a lot of new players, last season is in the past and the streak, eventually, will end. It had better not end today against the Redskins, though, which was among the themes of the week at Redskins Park.

And if further reinforcement were needed, the staff could have forced everyone to watch a replay of Washington's 25-17 victory here last season. Things were tense on the Redskins' sideline until Santana Moss scored on a late 80-yard punt return.

"They know those guys don't get up in the morning and say, 'We're going to lose another,'" defensive coordinator Greg Blache said. "And they look at us as a team they can beat. I mean, they're looking forward to [playing the Redskins].

"When we went to Detroit last year, if Santana doesn't take the punt back at the end of the game ... we stank the joint up there last year. Our players don't recognize that, they're not as smart as they think they are. I don't have to say a whole bunch, [but] we've addressed it slightly."

Said cornerback DeAngelo Hall: "That's probably the topic of the week - not being that team [to lose to Detroit]."

Many of the national analysts have picked the Lions today. In fact, last night while I was enjoying "refreshments" at dinner with Svrluga and Rick Maese (who could soon overtake Svrluga as my new favorite Post reporter) and others, I got a call from a buddy whose name I won't reveal (hint: he used to cover the Redskins with me).

Anyway, he's a big-time TV star now, and he's among the national guys who have picked the Lions. It's definitely a trendy pick, especially with the way the Redskins have struggled to score. After all, punter Hunter Smith has one of Washington's two touchdowns.

My buddy knows more football than I ever will. I willingly concede that point. But I just don't see the Redskins losing this game.

From speaking with many players privately throughout the week, they know there's more at stake here than just another game in Week 3. At the very least, a loss would turn up the heat at Redskins Park even further, with the prospect of more boos at another home game in a week. Many of you expressed outrage on the Insider, Internet message boards and sports-talk radio after last week's victory. Snyder's crew is not oblivious to what you write and say and I have a good guess about the depth of despair we would see/hear if the Redskins were to lose today.

But I don't think it's going to happen. Despite what a lot of the national types are writing/saying, I really believe the Redskins will step up today.

No matter how much you may dislike Campbell as a quarterback, he has played well against Detroit in his career. During a 34-3 victory over the Lions at FedEx in 2007, Campbell completed 23 of 29 passes (79.3 percent) for 248 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He produced a then-personal-best 125.3 passer rating.

His statistics were even better in last season's victory here. Campbell went 23 of 28 (82.1 percent) for 328 yards and one touchdown. He established a career-high quarterback rating of 127.4. And the Lions' secondary gave up six touchdown passes to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in an opener.

Johnson is just a freak physically. Receivers listed at 6-feet-5, 236 pounds should not be able to cover 40 yards in 4.35 seconds, but that's how fast Johnson has been clocked. Although Carlos Rogers is the Redskins' best cover corner, Johnson is a load, so I expect Blache to play a lot of zone today.

After all of the frustration expressed last week, the Redskins will be 2-1 when they board their plane tonight. I really believe that.

And for Zorn's sake, I had better be right.

The Post Lineup

On the scene in Detroit are Reid, Svrluga and Maese along with columnists Wise and Tom Boswell. In case you've forgotten the drill, they'll be tweeting when they have the chance (@JReidPost, @barrysvrluga, @RickMaese) as will I @RedskinsInsider and Paul Tenorio at @HyperSkins. Paul will also be available for a postgame chat at The OT.

You can also sign up for Redskins Alerts by texting "Redskins" to 98999.--Cindy Boren

Elsewhere ...That Guy Is Back

You know, No. 7. Used to play for the Falcons. His NFL suspension over, Michael Vick figures to play some significant time for the Philadelphia Eagles today. Mark Maske (tweeting @MarkMaske) will be blogging about it over at The League. ... Les Carpenter has the latest installment in our Longshot series, which followed Dane Randolph as he went undrafted, then tried to hook on with the Green Bay Packers. He's back with the team, on the practice squad. ... And Chase Daniel has been moved up from the practice squad by the Saints; he'll be the No. 3 QB today.--CB

By Jason Reid  |  September 27, 2009; 8:06 AM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Alridge Returns, Hopes Fumbles Do Not
Next: Redskins' Inactives in Detroit (Updated)

Comments

I think the Post is hoping for a loss to the Lions because (1) they hate Snyder and (2) it will sell more papers, and generate more clicks, than beating the Lions.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 27, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure somebody else has posted this but just in case anyone missed it...it's pretty funny.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UQZECoCOAM

Posted by: buke | September 27, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

First time for everything...even Lions win if we dont get our sheeettt together

Posted by: cosmiccatnip1 | September 27, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I still really do not like Jason La Confora

Posted by: theredskin | September 27, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

La Canfora

Posted by: theredskin | September 27, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

TE, on the money!

btw should I start #7? over cutler?

Posted by: dealer1 | September 27, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Surprise that Reid pick the Skins. I figure he would just go with the rest of the Post crew. lol

Posted by: jm220 | September 27, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

If the Skins go down to the Lions I am not even going to come on here. I know it will be really ugly. Worst than last week.

Posted by: jm220 | September 27, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

F jlc, that doosh doesn't know sh1t about football. That tubby dork should cover soccer.

Posted by: jonthefisherman | September 27, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I know it will be really ugly. Worst than last week.

Posted by: jm220 | September 27, 2009 9:08 AM

I think it will be hilarious -- a riot. But I want to come up here and post how everything's going to be okay, there were a lot of positives, gonna finish 14-2, etc.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 27, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

TE I want to be positive as well but I have to tell you. I am worried about this game today.

Posted by: jm220 | September 27, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

look, the skins will beat the lions--they always beat the lions. this is why the team will improve: for some reason the players came into the season thinking they were superbowl contenders (way to high on themselves), but now they've been force fed that "humble pie" from fans and media and have something to prove. skins 28 lions 10.

Posted by: mohawk44 | September 27, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The hell with your buddy at NFL Network. He was down on Redskins when he covered them. I hate that guy. Better never show his face at a Redskin game or its a beer shower!

Posted by: wm_mulholland | September 27, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

The Redskins should focus on the tape from the saints v. lions game.

The saints attacked through the air.

So today, sit Portis, get all the receivers ready, and get the ball flying upfield.

It's time to, "Go for the throat!"

Posted by: MistaMoe | September 27, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I'd be more worried if everyone was picking us to crush Detroit. If all this Detroit hype doesn't motivate our guys than I doubt anything will. Should of been a sh!tload of buletin material this week.
I say Skins win big.

Posted by: myrtle_beach_fan | September 27, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

how do you find out if marko is active?

Posted by: mohawk44 | September 27, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I think I found a new blog that could turn out to be gold:

http://stayingmedium.blogspot.com/2009/09/1-1-redskins-9-rams-first-half-review.html

Here's it's self description: Staying Medium
A blog dedicated to counteracting the irrational euphoria or despair that follows each Washington Redskins win or loss

This blog basically breaks down the games play by play. This guy is obviously watching the recorded game and making notes of each play as it goes. Very handy stuff.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | September 27, 2009 12:20 AM |

Posted by: scampbell1975 | September 27, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

The theme in REDSKINS PARK this week, "The streak better not end..." WOW, playing to not fail instead of playing to succeed. Now there's a recipe for disaster.

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 27, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

how do you find out if marko is active?

Posted by: mohawk44 | September 27, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse
Active list is announced around 11 am. RI will tell us.

Posted by: frediefritz | September 27, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

GO CHASE.

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 27, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

RI will tell us.

Posted by: frediefritz |

Good one Fredie!

Posted by: Curzon417 | September 27, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I think the Redskins will beat the Lions, just like I thought they would beat the Rams. But just as in the Rams game, a win isn't good enough. They need to demonstrate that they can dominate an epically bad team, not just squeak by.

Posted by: Tank2 | September 27, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Whats up people, let's kick some Detroit Azz today.

I'm going to get some breakfast but will be back on in a little while.

Posted by: Flounder21 | September 27, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

a win isn't good enough.

Posted by: Tank2 | September 27, 2009 10:01 AM

Al Davis: "Just win, baby."

Tank2: "Just dominate, baby."

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 27, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

a win isn't good enough.

Posted by: Tank2 | September 27, 2009 10:01 AM

Imagine telling that to your kids.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | September 27, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

a win isn't good enough.

Posted by: Tank2 | September 27, 2009 10:01 AM

Imagine telling that to your kids.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | September 27, 2009 10:12 AM

Let me clarify a little so Tank doesn't get the wrong idea.
1) I wasn't speaking to Tank directly, it was more of a statement for everyone and
2) in this situation I kinda agree. Although a win is a win, without a big win I don't give us much chance to win next week or the one after, etc.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | September 27, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

In regards to the earlier post, is Aldrigde really ahead of Mason? Doesn't make sense to me. With Portis hurting this sounds like exactly the reason you keep Mason to begin with. If not, what was the point? Mason is more of a Portis-like replacement whereas Aldridge is a change of pace guy.

Posted by: skinswest | September 27, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

What was that ruckus?

Uh, what ruckus?

I was just in my office and I heard a ruckus

Could you describe the ruckus?

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | September 27, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I was nervous about the game all week, but I'm feeling much better today...hope it stays that way.

Posted by: suzannepdc | September 27, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

suzannepdc:

Those downers helping are they suzanne?

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 27, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

suzannepdc:

Those downers helping are they suzanne?

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 27, 2009 10:30 AM |

mmmmm purple footballs...

Posted by: scampbell1975 | September 27, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if I'll be able to find the game on the internets...
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 27, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

ifthethunder:

Google "Iraq Goal"

I know it sounds weird, but I have used it to watch sun/mon nite games while my wife catches up with the Hills and Gossip Girl...

Posted by: chrislarry | September 27, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

La Canfora is a jerk. He's picking the Lions on NFL.com. I hope the Redskins destroy the Lions today to shut guys like him and Wilbon and Sally Jenkins up. I am not a big fan of Snyder or Cerrato, but all of the negative reporting on the team on the part of the Post is getting a little bit tedious. The Sports section is the only reason I read the Post anymore and even that section is starting to lose me.

Posted by: NickFairfax | September 27, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

My buddy knows more football than I ever will. I willingly concede that point. But I just don't see the Redskins losing this game.

---J. Reid and his Buddy J. La canfora

Welcome to my bandwagon. It's not a season long bandwagon, it's tanke is not full but loaded only with a squirt of Premium. But that means Redskins win today, and they win big.

Trendy picks are overrated, and all the so-called experts picking the Lions today have made their picks based on alignment of he stars and reading tea leaves rather than logic.

The Redskins win in a waltz.

Again, here's why:

--They have more talent.

--They will be loosy-goosy today. "Pressure" upon reaching a critical point, then releases. The 'skins "pressure" is past the critical point, and thus is gone. (Yeah, I'm Mr. Zen today)

--They are better off on the road, where booing will be a pleasant sound for them, not an insult.

--Practically everyone on the team is overdue for a big game.
Mostly Moss, then the DB's intercepting the rookie, then Jason Campbell, then one or more of the second rounders.

So crack open some cool ones people, relax and enjoy one of the very few "laughers" the Redskins will win this year.

Posted by: TheCork | September 27, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

They had a bunch of stuff there, cL, but I didn't see Skins-Lions.

Here, otoh:
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 27, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Beantown- You going anywhere to watch the game today?

Posted by: bostskin | September 27, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I think the Post is hoping for a loss to the Lions because (1) they hate Snyder and (2) it will sell more papers, and generate more clicks, than beating the Lions.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 27, 2009 8:27 AM

I read your comment and asked myself: Are you badly hungover this morning, t_e, or still drunk?

Sarcasm is a gift, but it's a two-edged sword, and you've managed to cut yourself with it while trying to make a point. In truth, the "Redskins are Lousy" theme is reaching a point where fans are tired of reading about it.

A win will bring a resurgence of interest in the team, the season, readership and clicks. It's just logic, Mr. Spock, not Rockery Surgery.

Posted by: TheCork | September 27, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I think it will be hilarious -- a riot. But I want to come up here and post how everything's going to be okay, there were a lot of positives, gonna finish 14-2, etc.

Posted by: talent_evaluator

Now that's more better, t_e. What's your hangover cure?

Posted by: TheCork | September 27, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

This is where I watch:

http://www.atdhe.net/index.html

Posted by: Curzon417 | September 27, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Whats up people, let's kick some Detroit Azz today.

I'm going to get some breakfast but will be back on in a little while.

Posted by: Flounder21 |

By all means keep us posted on Twitter, especially if your breakfast plans change.

Posted by: TheCork | September 27, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I watched there last week, Curzon.

I'll check 'em both out, see which has the better picture.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 27, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Who are the inactives, Mr. Mayor?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 27, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link Cork,

How is the video quality?

Viva New Mexico!

Posted by: Chia_Pet | September 27, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Ironically, this game - with Detroit! - is probably the biggest test of Zorn's career.

I can easily see the Lions winning today. Everything points that way - a perfect storm if you will. And if they do, it'll be interesting to see if the Skins can recover.

This might be the biggest inconsequential game in the recent history of this franchise.

Yes, can I be any more dramatic?

Posted by: SteveMG | September 27, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Did someone just call me Cork?

Posted by: Curzon417 | September 27, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Curz.

I always get you and Cork confused.

You are practically indistinguishable from one another.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | September 27, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

OK Chia, it's one thing to call me Cork, quite another to say I am indistinguishable from him. That's like saying I am indistinguishable from JLaC.

Posted by: Curzon417 | September 27, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

OK, Curz.

I'm just getting no love from you.

Are you mad at me for being a horrible fan?

Posted by: Chia_Pet | September 27, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

just got the text that mitchell is not active. I really don't understand why Zorn don't use this guy.

Posted by: jm220 | September 27, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

oh and for your mason lovers he is not active.

Posted by: jm220 | September 27, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

How can one not love the Chia Pet? Plus you stopped being a horrible fan earlier this week.

But I will toss one back to your Viva New Mexico. Cheers!

Posted by: Curzon417 | September 27, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Inactives posted. Looks like RI did let us know!

Posted by: Curzon417 | September 27, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

by which I meant to say beep!

Posted by: Curzon417 | September 27, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"Said cornerback DeAngelo Hall: "That's probably the topic of the week - not being that team [to lose to Detroit]."

That's bad. That means they think it can happen. They should be focussed on perfect execution and breaking through in the redzone. Look up, not down. Otherwise, you fill your head with the wrong thoughts and get distracted. Playing not to lose always sucks.

Posted by: edvar | September 27, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I hate to say it, but a Redskins loss would be interesting just to see how Snyder reacts. I like Jim Zorn and believe that he can be a good NFL head coach, but this organization is so dysfunctional that I feel he deserves better.

Posted by: skipper7 | September 27, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow... I guess your credibility is pretty much shot.

Posted by: Redskinrex | September 27, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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