Detroit Lions look dangerous in 36-27 win over Washington Commanders

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Lions offense should be fun to watch this season. And if their defense plays like it did in the first half Sunday, they might challenge for an NFL playoff spot.

Amon-Ra St. Brown had 184 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns and D’Andre Swift caught a 22-yard do-it-yourself TD pass from Jared Goff in the third quarter, as the Lions held off a second-half rally to beat the Washington Commanders, 36-27, at Ford Field.

The Lions, the NFL’s third-highest scoring offense in Week 1, have scored 71 points in their first two games, their most points in back-to-back games since scoring 75 points the first two weeks of the 2011 season.

The Lions have three straight 30-plus-point games dating to the end of last season, a 37-30 win over Green Bay in the season finale, for the first time since 1952-53 when they won the NFL title.

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St. Brown caught touchdown passes of 13 and 11 yards, the latter with 7 minutes to play to give the Lions a 36-21 lead.

He finished with nine catches for 116 yards and had 68 yards rushing on two carries. With nine receptions, St. Brown tied the NFL record for most consecutive games with at least eight catches, held previously by Michael Thomas and Antonio Brown.

The Lions also got big plays from their other best offensive weapons, Swift and T.J. Hockenson, to answer Washington’s rally.

The Lions raced to a 22-0 halftime lead thanks to a dominant pass rush. Rookie Aidan Hutchinson had three first-half sacks and Charles Harris had a strip-sack for a safety, as the Lions outgained the Commanders, 250 yards to 56 in the first half, and held Washington without a first down for the game’s first 24 minutes.

But the Commanders (1-1) scored two touchdowns and a two-point conversion in the third quarter to cut their deficit to 22-15 and set the stage for a dramatic final 17 minutes.

St. Brown reignited the Lions offense with a 58-yard run to start the Lions’ final possession of the third quarter, and Swift scored three plays later on a screen pass on third-and-13. He fell to the ground as he caught a soft pass near the sideline from Jared Goff, got to his feet, sidestepped one tackler and outraced another to the end zone as he cut across the field.

Washington answered with a 12-play, 83-yard touchdown drive, but down eight points, failed on their two-point attempt when Bobby Price intercepted Carson Wentz in the end zone.

St. Brown followed with his second touchdown, and after Washington pulled within 36-27 on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Wentz to Jahan Dotson with 1:56 to play, kicker Joey Slye missed the extra point.

Swift, playing through a sprained ankle he suffered in last week’s 38-35 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, had 56 yards rushing on five carries and 31 yards receiving.

Hockenson caught two passes on the Lions’ final touchdown drive, and Goff was 20 of 34 passing for 256 yards and four touchdowns.

Wentz finished 30 of 46 for 337 yards with three touchdowns for the Commanders, but was sacked five times.

The Lions visit NFC North rival Minnesota next Sunday (1 p.m., Fox). The Vikings (1-0) play at Philadelphia on Monday night.

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