Despite Hard Hit, Campbell Has Banner Day

By Jason Reid and Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell pulled the grass from his face mask, stood and waited for the dizziness to end after being hit while recovering his own fumble late in second quarter Sunday in a 34-3 victory over Detroit at FedEx Field. Sensing Campbell needed a minute, Coach Joe Gibbs used a timeout before the Redskins called a fourth-and-two play at the Detroit 38-yard line.

Campbell completed a short slant to wide receiver Antwaan Randle El that resulted in a 37-yard gain to the 1-yard line. On the next play, fullback Mike Sellers ran for a touchdown that Campbell saw clearly.

"The guy hit me on my head and it kind of just bent my face mask back into my face," Campbell said yesterday. "I was just dizzy for a little bit; just a small time. Coach Gibbs took a timeout to ask me if I was all right before we got ready for the fourth down and two. I told him: 'Let's go for it. I'm ready.' I was ready."

Campbell, who said he had no lingering effects from being hit, completed 23 of 29 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Redskins to their best offensive performance in four games.

"I felt like it was his best game for us to this point," Gibbs said. "It was all the things you picture in a quarterback."

The Lions had no sacks and failed to consistently pressure Campbell, who appeared to absorb his hardest hit of the day on the fumble recovery.

"I felt like I got into a rhythm as a quarterback and got into the flow of the offense," Campbell said. "At the same time, I just want to get better and better from each game, just take something from it and learn and move on."

Receivers Catch On

Despite sitting out the second half because of a hamstring injury, Randle El had seven catches for 100 yards.

"It was at halftime and somebody came and told me about the stats. I said, 'Are you kidding?' I could have had one of those crazy days," said Randle El, who once had eight receptions in a game. "But I couldn't do anything about it."

With wide receiver Santana Moss sidelined for the entire game because of a groin injury, Randle El figured "a lot of it would be on me more so than some of the other wide receivers," he said. "I knew I needed to go out and make plays."

Little-used wide receiver Brandon Lloyd had his first reception of the season (a nine-yard catch in the third quarter).

"I was so excited for Brandon to get in and get a catch," Randle El said. "You go a long way with a guy, a guy that hasn't been in and hasn't had a lot of opportunities, and when he gets in he makes a catch."

Defense Comes Up Big

The Redskins gave up only 144 net yards to Detroit, the fewest yards an opponent has gained against them since the Denver Broncos had 128 in Washington's 34-3 victory Oct. 12, 1992, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"That's just our whole defense playing together and making plays all day," said cornerback Carlos Rogers, who returned an interception 61 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. "That just shows you the potential we have as a defense."

Stats Don't Lie

The Redskins are petitioning the league to have linebacker Marcus Washington credited with a second sack against the Lions. If the petition is approved, the Redskins would have had six sacks in the game. . . .

For all of their statistical dominance over Detroit on Sunday, to some Redskins the telltale sign of their supremacy over the Lions came when Detroit altered its offensive identity in the second half.

The Lions -- who came into the game leading the league in passing -- turned to the run after the half despite trailing by 14 points.

Detroit rushed just six times in the first half, but ran the ball on eight of the first 10 offensive plays of the second half, relying on halfback Kevin Jones, who did not play in the first two quarters.

"We wasn't concerned with them running the ball," defensive end Phillip Daniels said. "That ain't what they do. They pass the ball. That's how they score. When they ran the ball, that's playing into our hands. We wanted them to do that." . . .

Rogers's interception return for a touchdown was the first touchdown by Washington's defense since safety Sean Taylor's fumble return in the final game of the 2005 season, a span of 19 regular season games.

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