NFL: Moss leads Redskins
DETROIT ó The Washington Redskins have been waiting for the right opportunity to have Santana Moss return a punt.
Moss returned a punt 80 yards early in the fourth quarter, scoring what proved to be Washington’s game-winning touchdown in a 25-17 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
“Once he gets open, he’s tough to catch in the open field,” Redskins coach Jim Zorn said.
Moss’ second TD of the game came on his only punt return of the day and just his second of the season.
“I was telling somebody earlier in the year, `It’s not like I don’t know how to do it anymore or I don’t want to do it anymore,”‘ said Moss, whose last TD on a punt return was in 2002 with the New York Jets. “When the time is needed, I’m more than happy to go back there.”
The Redskins are relieved to survive what seemed to be an easy three-game stretch ó playing St. Louis, Cleveland and Detroit ó with two victories that put them at 6-2 for the first time since 2000.
“Now this is the push here where the teams begin to define themselves halfway through the season,” Zorn said. “We’re hoping that we can keep this thing going.”
Detroit’s hopes of finally winning this season ó and for just the second time in 15 games ó were dashed despite going ahead for the first time in the opening quarter and leading nearly half the game.
Lions coach Rod Marinelli, though, refuses to believe his team is preconditioned to lose.
“I don’t deal in couch therapy,” Marinelli said. “I’ll never do that. I’m going to go back and coach them.”
As usual, Detroit allowed a quarterback to have a fantastic game.
Campbell was 23-of-28 for a season-high 328 yards with a touchdown and a career-high 127.4 passer rating, surpassing his performance last year against the Lions and continuing a trend.
In Detroit’s seven losses, six quarterbacks have had a career-high passer rating against them.
Moss had a season-high nine receptions for 140 yards, including a 50-yard TD that put Washington ahead late in the third quarter.
The Redskins had a lot of success in the air because of what Clinton Portis did on the ground.
Portis ran for 126 yards, joining O.J. Simpson in the NFL record book as the only players with 120 yards rushing in five straight games on two different occasions.
“It’s great company,” said Portis, adding the offensive line deserved praise for creating holes without tackle Chris Samuels.