All eyes were on the Washington Redskins entering the 2013 season and they're still on the team following an 0-2 start.
The Redskins were dismantled early at home against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1 and dropped last weekend's road matchup with the Green Bay Packers 38-20 at Lambeau Field.
Washington is back in the nation's capital hoping to get its first victory of the season Sunday versus the Detroit Lions at FedEx Field and the spotlight will once again be on young quarterback Robert Griffin III. Griffin's leadership came into question following the lopsided loss to the Packers, but he's not going to change who he is for the sake of sparking his teammates.
"Not necessarily change who I am as a person, but, if they want me to be hard on them, I'll be hard on them," Griffin said. "You start off 0-2 and it's a little bit harder to go about that without causing problems. I'm not going to ever tear someone down as a person. That's just not who I am as a person. I'm not here to tear people down."
Griffin is there to tear opposing defenses down and for how well the offense has played in two games this season, the Redskins have no wins to show for it. The defending NFC East champions still have one of the more potent offenses in the NFL thanks to Griffin and rank first in the NFC and are tied for second in the league in rushing yards per attempt (5.2). Give running back Alfred Morris some props for that as he ran for 107 yards on 13 carries in Green Bay, posting a career-high 8.2 yards per carry.
Head coach Mike Shanahan usually has great offenses to work with and the Redskins rank in the top five in the NFL in passing first downs (34), red zone touchdown efficiency (83.3), total touchdowns (7) and passing touchdowns (5). But for how dominant those numbers look, the Redskins are still winless and face a must-win situation versus the Lions. They have been victimized early on by fumbles, interceptions, penalties, etc and Griffin still has trust in his teammates, coaches and the system.
"I think we've had sloppy execution these first two games in general and we picked it up in the second half, and that's a good sign. But you have to play that way the whole game," said Griffin, who threw for 320 yards with three TD passes and an interception last week. "We have to convert third downs of course, but aside from that we just have to make plays.
"It's not on the coaches, it's not on anybody else, it's on us. I think the guys understand that and we'll be better moving forward. We'll figure this out."
The Redskins, who have scored 20-plus points in six straight regular season games, are 0-2 for the first time since 2006 and haven't lost their first three games since an 0-5 start back in 2001. They'll be facing a Lions defense that has allowed 49 points so far in two games.
Detroit opened the season in impressive fashion, handing the Minnesota Vikings a 34-24 loss at Ford Field. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford passed for 357 yards with two TDs and one interception and star wideout Calvin Johnson was surprisingly held in check with 37 yards on four catches. Johnson, though, was back to his old form in Sunday's 25-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals with 116 yards on six catches with two scores, including a 72-yard TD early on.
But the story in Detroit's loss was the defense allowing the last 12 points of the game to come up short. After leading most of the game, penalties, poor tackling and bad coverage took its toll. Lions cornerback Bill Bentley had a 28-yard pass interference penalty in the third quarter, then was whistled for a 31-yard pass interference call in the end zone to set up Rashard Mendenhall's one-yard, game-winning touchdown run.