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Lions-Redskins recap

Rod Marinelli says he sees progress. I don’t.

The Lions lost their seventh game in as many tries this season, 25-17 to the Redskins. They’ve now lost 14 of 15 dating back to last year and there’s no end to the losing in the sight. A trip to Chicago awaits next week, and seven of the other eight teams on Detroit’s schedule have a .500 or better record. The one that doesn’t, the 3-4 Vikings, already beat the Lions this year.

Sunday’s loss was both predictable and agonizing. The Lions caught a few breaks early they didn’t take full advantage of -- a phantom facemask on Jon Jansen and a defensive holding call that nullified a Mike Furrey drop to name two -- then failed to make plays when necessary late. Clinton Portis, the NFL’s leading rusher, had a so-so first three quarters but broke a 31-yard run with Washington trying to run out the clock. A few plays later, Cory Redding tried to scoop and score a Jason Campbell fumble when he should have fell on the ball. The Redskins recovered and Shaun Suisham made a 42-yard field goal. On the Lions’ final drive, with an opportunity to tie the score, Brandon Middleton dropped a pass, Kevin Smith couldn’t get out of bounds on another and Calvin Johnson ran too shallow a drag route on fourth-and-3 and was stopped a yard short of a first down.

“It’s one of those things where, when you are losing every single mistake gets magnified,” quarterback Dan Orlovsky said. “That’s what the situation is here. Washington made plenty of mistakes today, I guarantee you, but they won. We need to shore up what we are doing. Why do they keep happening? I don’t know.”

The game, of course, was blacked out locally so here’s a few more insights from the Lions October-ending loss:

- Ramzee Robinson made a huge defensive gaffe when he hesitated on a third-quarter blitz. Instead of taking the clear path to Campbell, Robinson threw his hands up in the air to block a pass, giving the Redskins quarterback enough time to complete the go-ahead 50-yard touchdown strike to Santana Moss. If Dwight Smith or Gerald Alexander had been healthy, that might have been Kalvin Pearson blitzing, and Pearson would have made the play.

- The Lions made a more concerted effort to involve Johnson in the offense Sunday, though you wouldn’t know by the end results. He finished with four catches for 57 yards and one touchdown, and took an end-around on the Lions’ second offensive play. Johnson, who had just two catches and four passes thrown his way last week, lined up in the backfield at times (he caught his touchdown pass out of that formation) and the Lions motioned him all across the field.

- The Lions streak of scoreless first quarters ended at six when Rudi Johnson scored on an 11-yard run with 13 seconds left in the period. A few other disturbing trends continued, however. Washington dominated time of possession (35:45 to 24:15; the fifth time this year the Lions have held the ball at least 10 fewer minutes than their opponents), Detroit allowed 13 plays of more than 15 yards, and the Redskins finished with 439 total yards to the Lions’ 274.

- Campbell finished a near-perfect 23-of-28 passing for a season-high 328 yards. He became the sixth quarterback this year to set a career mark for efficiency rating (127.4) against the Lions. The only exception has been Minnesota’s Gus Frerotte.

- Orlovsky was 21-of-35 passing for 223 yards and again played interception-free football. Lions coach Rod Marinelli said he didn’t consider benching Orlovsky for Drew Stanton and offered this assessment of Orlovsky's play: "He's kept us in every game he's started, he's not turned the ball over. He's done a heck of a job of that, and sometimes, a young guy, he's too quick with the ball getting it out. He gets flustered and gets it out too quick. So you just keep working with him and he prepares every week, does a good job. We're still working with Drew and he's getting more reps. We're looking at both of them."


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