The Lions got the victory, but the storyline remains Robert Griffin III's early struggles as the Redskins fell to 0-3. However, the questions about Griffin being benched should be silenced by his performance. It is clear RGIII needs reps. He's getting a better handle on his surgically repaired knee with every quarter he plays.
The Redskins' game plan focused on RGIII getting the ball out of his hands early, which was the reason for his pedestrian passing numbers early in the first half. As the game went on, Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan used play action and some read-option passes to gain chunks of yardage.
Griffin again made mistakes. His inexcusable first-half interception (4th of the season) when he should have thrown the ball away was a rookie-type mistake.
RGIII still looked like he didn't have a ton of zip on some of his passes and there were only a couple of designed runs for a few yards. However, two second-half plays (as disappointing as the results ended up being for Redskins fans) displayed he's still got it.
The first was a 21-yard scramble in which Griffin eluded the rush, burst forward and outran several defenders. Unfortunately he dove head first as defenders converged on him and fumbled the ball, killing a promising drive.
The second was a beautiful 57-yard bomb to Aldrick Robinson that was initially called a touchdown, but overturned upon review.
Griffin is only three games into his recovery. As the season progresses, we expect him to show more and more flashes of 2012 RGIII.
What else we learned:
1. Nate Burleson finally provided Matthew Stafford a target opposite Calvin Johnson. Both Burleson (116 yards) and Megatron (115 yards) topped the 100-yard receiving mark. With Reggie Bush sidelined, the Lions needed someone else to step up. Burleson was able to get lost in the Redskins' secondary.
2. The Lions' running game still is a concern without Bush. Joique Bell provides power and can handle himself in the passing game, but his 63 yards rushing against a defense that has been shredded by the ground game spoke volumes.
3. The Redskins' secondary struggled again this week. Rookie David Amerson was beat several times, and there were too many blown coverages that gave the Lions chunks of yardage. The Redskins' defense has allowed 1,464 yards through its first three games, most in NFL history, according to Elias Sports.
4. Lions defensive lineman Jason Jones tore his patella tendon in the second quarter. He is expected to be out the rest of the season, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. The injury is a big one for the Lions, who signed Jones in the offseason as a chess piece on the defensive line.
5. Alfred Morris carried the load again. Taking on a tough defensive front, Morris was the Redskins' best player for the first half of the game, including his 30-yard touchdown gallop to the outside to give Washington its first first-half offensive touchdown of the season.
6. Promising rookie tight end Jordan Reed left the game with a quad contusion. Reed has slowly been taking over for starting tight end Fred Davis, who was inactive with a sprained ankle and largely ineffective the first two weeks of the season.