Quick reads: Driskel's crunch-time interceptions muddy solid performance for Lions

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News

Good news, bad news

Jeff Driskel put together a nice outing on Sunday afternoon, and with time winding down in the fourth quarter, he looked to be in line for his first win as a Lions quarterback.

And then, Ronde Barber summed up the game's final minutes: "I can't believe Jeff Driskel threw that football."

He could have been talking about a number of different passes thrown by Driskel in crunch time, but in this particular instance, he was referring to the interception thrown right to Washington's Quinton Dunbar with 56 seconds left. The Redskins marched right down the field and won the game with a late field goal, 19-16, putting a stain on Driskel's day, but to that point, he'd been solid.

Detroit Lions quarterback Jeff Driskel scrambles against Washington on Sunday.

Driskel is not Matthew Stafford, and with this little at stake for the Lions in Week 12 of the NFL season, nobody is really asking him to be. But Driskel has still filled in nicely for the longtime Detroit signal-caller, and on Sunday in Washington, it was almost enough to earn his second win as an NFL starter.

He finished 20-for-32 for 207 yards, a touchdown, and three interceptions. By totaling 51 rushing yards against Dallas and then 63 on Sunday in Washington, Driskel became just the first Lions quarterback since Rodney Peete in 1990 to rush for more than 50 yards in consecutive games.

His second-quarter interception on a deep throw to Marvin Hall was the lone mistake he made entering the game's final two minutes, but with countless mistakes in crunch time, he reminded everyone watching that he is not, and probably never will be, No. 9.

Scarbrough’s strong day

Rookie running back Bo Scarbrough made his NFL debut for the Lions in last Sunday's loss to Dallas, rushing for 55 yards and a touchdown.

On Sunday in Washington, he proved it wasn't a fluke. The former Alabama back ran for 98 yards on 18 carries with a long of 30.

Scarborough did fumble in the first half Sunday, but he was given a bit of a raw deal in the whole thing. Nearly the entire Washington defense had Scarbrough wrapped up for a handful of seconds before he lost the ball, in a play that should have been blown dead.

It certainly helped that the Redskins entered Sunday with the league's 28th-ranked rushing defense, but at this point, the Lions running game will take all the aid it can get.

Special teams changes

Matt Prater handled kickoff for the Lions on Sunday in place of Sam Martin, whose abdominal injury limited him to punting duties. The experience wasn't a memorable one.

Redskins rookie returner Steven Sims fielded the opening kickoff from Prater off a bounce, and then returned it to the Washington 44. Sims bobbled the kickoff following the Prater field goal that tied things up at 3, but sprung free on a missed tackle by Mike Ford and wound up taking it 91 yards to the house for a 10-3 Redskins lead.

Now let's talk about the other side of the ball. Marvin Hall took on punt return duties in the absence of injured All-Pro returner Jamal Agnew, and that experiment lasted two returns: The first was a rather nice one of 15 yards that gave the Lions starting field position at their own 45. The second, however, he fielded at the 1, with a defender at his face, and was tackled at the 2. Danny Amendola took over from there.

Dee Virgin did make a nice play to pin Washington at its own 5-yard-line near the end of the second quarter.