Lions’ Run-and-Shoot Misfires; Redskins Romp

From Associated Press

Their run-and-shoot offense reduced to a crawl and a misfire, the Detroit Lions must wait for another chance to end a 26-year, 14-game string of futility against the Washington Redskins.

The Redskins scored almost every way possible in a 45-0 season-opening win over the Lions, the most lopsided regular-season victory in club history.

“Everything we did worked,” Redskin Coach Joe Gibbs said. “It was a perfect night.”

Quarterback Mark Rypien, who completed 15 of 19 passes for 183 yards, said: “We hit about everything we put up there. We just executed well.”


Earnest Byner, who gained 83 yards, ran for one score and, on a halfback option, hooked up with Ricky Sanders for an 18-yard touchdown pass play.

The Redskins’ defense, meanwhile, shut down the Lions from the opening minutes.

Rodney Peete, who missed most of the exhibition season because of a rib injury, didn’t complete a pass until nearly four minutes into the second quarter and was intercepted three times. By then, the Redskins led, 28-0.

“I felt totally out of sync,” Peete said. “I wasn’t throwing the ball well. I wasn’t seeing things well.”


Peete called it “the worst game I’ve played” as a pro.

“We couldn’t do anything right, and they did everything right,” he said.

It was the 14th consecutive Redskins victory over the Lions, dating to 1965 when Detroit beat Washington, 14-10. Washington is 21-3 against Detroit in the series that began in 1938.

The Redskins put the game out of reach early, scoring on their first two possessions and adding another touchdown when Brian Mitchell returned a punt 69 yards with a minute left in the first quarter.


The Detroit offense struggled from the opening minutes and ventured into Redskin territory only once in the first half, while the Redskins rolled up 15 first downs and 216 yards and a 35-0 lead.