DETROIT — The Lions were playing one of the best interior defensive lines without any of their starting interior offensive linemen. It usually spells disaster in this league. This is certainly the case for Detroit.
But the Lions still ran on Washington for 191 yards on just 24 carries. That’s 8.0 yards per pop. You’re going to win a lot of games like that, especially when the opponent needs almost two quarters just to move the sticks, and Detroit got away with a 36-27 victory Sunday against the Commanders at Ford Field.
The post-game locker room celebration was emotional and head coach Dan Campbell chose Dan Skipper for the crowning glory. Skipper is an offensive tackle who was cut out of training camp but was promoted from the practice squad for this game due to injuries to guards Jonah Jackson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Tommy Kraemer. Skipper — all 6-foot-9 — ended up kicking inside guard, a position he had never played, to make the first start of his six-year NFL career.
Skipper also held up well and opened up huge holes in this racing game. It’s one of the main reasons Detroit’s offense jumped to 36 points despite an epic streak of injuries on the offensive line.
“Hey man, I mean, this is my sixth year in the league,” Skipper told MLive after the game. “I never made a team. It’s hard. You walk in, and you’re never good enough. You are not enough. You show up every day, and you think you’re doing the right things, and for some reason it just doesn’t work. I think I got 20 NFL contracts? They’re not worth the paper they’re written on, are they? So, it’s like, here we go again. Six years, I think things look good, and it sucks.
“But I came home, spent a week with the family, which was big, came back here, moved and all that. I just try to come back to push your best foot every day. It is not easy. Whether you’ve been fired once or 100 times, it still sucks. It’s hard. You get fired, but keep getting by.