Detroit 20, Washington 17
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, October 23, 2016
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
DETROIT -- Matthew Stafford made his 100th career start a memorable one.
The Detroit Lions quarterback connected with Anquan Boldin on an 18-yard touchdown pass with 16 seconds left, lifting the Detroit Lions to a 20-17 win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday at Ford Field.
Stafford engineered a six-play, 75-yard drive after Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins scored on a 19-yard run with 1:05 remaining.
"They know what it's all about. They've been in that situation with me before," Stafford said. "We were down some guys and had to do it a little bit different today with four wides. Usually, we have a tight end there somewhere. But guys stepped up and made great plays."
Stafford completed two pass plays of 20-plus yards and also scrambled for 14 yards on the drive. He then squeezed a pass over the middle to the veteran Boldin.
"Anquan ran a great route, kind of slow-played his guy in the slot," Stafford said. "I cut it loose and kind of thought to myself, 'We're either going to win the game or lose the game on this one.' It was a tight window. I'll take that every time. I throw an interception right there, it's on my back and I'm fine with it."
Stafford completed 18 of 29 passes for 266 yards as Detroit (4-3) won its third straight, all at home. Lions wide receiver Golden Tate caught six passes for 93 yards and Zach Zenner scored his first career touchdown on a 1-yard run.
The Redskins (4-3) saw their four-game winning streak snapped.
Cousins faked a handoff to Chris Thompson and cut to the right side for the go-ahead score, completing a 76-yard drive. But that wasn't enough as Stafford sparked the Lions' fourth fourth-quarter comeback this season.
"He's just been awesome in those situations," Boldin said. "He comes in the huddle, he's confident and I think everybody feeds off of that."
Washington came away with the feeling that perhaps it played things too safe at the end.
"In hindsight, we should have blitzed seven or eight. But we played the coverage that we've been playing for a long time, that guys were comfortable with," Washington coach Jay Gruden siad. "Do I regret not rushing more than three or four on that drive? Maybe."
Cousins, the former Michigan State quarterback playing in his home state for the first time, completed 30 of 39 passes for 301 yards and a touchdown.
The Redskins hurt themselves with two fumbles in Detroit territory, one by Cousins and the other by running back Matt Jones near the goal line.
"You can look at it both ways," Cousins said. "We moved the football. We were productive in that sense for much of the game but you have to finish. Every play matters and there has to be focus on every play. You never know which one can be the one that the game turns on."
Thompson gained 73 yards on 12 carries and caught six passes for 40 yards. Jamison Crowder caught seven passes for 108 yards and Robert Kelley scored his first career touchdown on a 1-yard pass reception for Washington.
Each team's star cornerbacks left the game early. The Lions' Darius Slay suffered a hamstring injury in the first half and the Redskins' Josh Norman departed in the third quarter with a concussion.
Washington's left tackle, Trent Williams, suffered a knee sprain on the second-to-last play.
Detroit took the lead shortly after Norman's injury. Stafford hooked up with Marvin Jones Jr. on a 52-yard bomb despite Norman committing pass interference before Jones' diving catch. Norman banged the side of his head on the turf while tumbling over Jones.
Zenner's 1-yard run with 7:20 left in the quarter finished off the drive and put Detroit on top 10-3.
Matt Prater extended Detroit's lead with 13:10 remaining on a 27-yard field goal.
The Redskins pulled within 13-10 on Cousins' 1-yard pass to Kelley with 8:20 left.
The first half was rife with missed opportunities and ended with the clubs tied at 3.
NOTES: Lions RBs Theo Riddick (ankle) and Dwayne Washington (ankle), DT Haloti Ngata (shoulder), LB DeAndre Levy (quad) and TE Eric Ebron (ankle) were all inactive for the second consecutive week. The Redskins played without star TE Jordan Reed (concussion) for the second straight game. ... The teams had not met since the 2013 season. The Lions won the last three matchups but trailed 27-13 in the overall series. ... Matthew Stafford is the first quarterback in Lions' history to make 100 starts. ... The Redskins play Cincinnati in London next Sunday before heading into their bye week. The Lions go on the road to face Houston and Minnesota the next two weeks.
Top Game Performances
Team Stats Summary
Detroit will play their next game on the road against Houston. The Lions have a W/L % of .750 after a win and .333 after a loss.
Washington will play their next game on the road against Cincinnati. The Redskins have a W/L % of .600 after a win and .500 after a loss.