Five things to watch: Lions at Washington

By Matt Schoch
The Detroit News

Can you believe that the Washington football team has been allowed to keep their name?

It’s really kind of incredible.

I can remember a pretty sizable uproar about it a decade or so ago, but it’s been relatively quiet since then.

I guess in the NFL, and in Washington for that matter, there are just more important screw-ups that need to be addressed more hastily.

I’m not making a statement here, I just honestly find it incredible that in our cancel culture, in these days of political correctness and re-writing history (justifiably, most often), Dan Snyder’s football team has been allowed to continue using that name and logo without much opposition.

Pretty amazing, unlike Sunday’s football game.

Anyways, here are five things to watch as the Lions visit Washington (1 p.m., Fox, 760):

Lions Danny Amendola and Kenny Golladay will look to catch some good fortune in the nation's capital.

Feast on East

The Lions currently own a four-game win streak against Washington, a three-game win streak against Philadelphia, and a two-game streak against the New York Giants.

For a Lions franchise that has basically nothing to celebrate, it’s a pretty impressive run against the NFC East, the league’s glamour division.

And since technically Detroit is well east of Dallas, maybe the Lions can petition to switch spots with the Cowboys.

Something to think about as you daydream in and out of focus of this dreadful game.

The Ohio Shuffle

Maybe Dwayne Haskins is trying out a new dance move, but it doesn’t take an expert to see the rookie quarterback has incredible arm strength and unconventional mechanics

His two best highlights from last week against the Jets were his first career touchdown on a screen to Derrius Guice, and a long pass to Terry McLaurin that was called back because of a penalty. His feet weren’t on the ground for either throw despite having the time to set himself both times.

Will unusual mechanics undo a couple easy throws Sunday, or will the Ohio State product’s arm talent continue to carry him through?

Make a pick

There are many reasons why the Lions suck, but the undoing of this season has a pretty incredible through-line with the lack of interceptions made by the secondary.

The Lions last in the league with three interceptions and do not have one since the Oct. 14 game on a Monday night when Justin Coleman picked off Aaron Rodgers in the fourth quarter.

Detroit had outscored opponents 116-108 up to that point. Since they’ve been manhandled by a composite of 164-128.

A Clemson catch-up

Rookie Austin Bryant is expected to make his debut as an edge rusher. The fourth-round pick out of Clemson has been battling a pectoral injury, but was worth a swing as a mid-round upside pick.

His defensive line teammates from Clemson have been making a mark in the league, as first-round picks Clelin Ferrell of Oakland (fourth overall), Christian Wilkins of Miami (13th) and Dexter Lawrence of the Giants (17th) have combined for 48 solo tackles and 7.0 sacks.

It’s AB’s turn to C what he can do.

Smart money?

Thanks once again to Adam Thompson of for your gambling tip of the week.

He uncovers that the Lions haven’t covered the spread since the 23-22 loss at Green Bay on Oct. 14.

However, the Lions have covered the spread in their last four meetings with Washington, all wins.

Washington, on the other hand, is 1-6 against the spread in its last seven home games and 2-7 against the number since Week 2.

The Lions are road favorites (by 3.5 points, as of Saturday afternoon), and you should probably pick them. The world might be ending.

Matt Schoch is a freelance writer.