Apathy reigns in Washington for Redskins, anemic Detroit Lions coming in doesn’t help
By STEPHEN WHYNO
AP Sports Writer
LANDOVER, Md. — Tom Brady thought it was ridiculous how many opposing fans there were at the Washington Redskins’ home stadium. Sam Darnold said his road game at Washington almost felt like a home game.
The Redskins haven’t had much of a home-field advantage this season, with an infusion of visiting fans and tens of thousands of empty seats each week. At 1-9 and with the 3-6-1 Detroit Lions coming to town, their game Sunday could mark the peak of Redskins fan apathy and set another low in a lost season that’s playing out in embarrassing fashion at FedEx Field.
“I’m guaranteeing that it’ll be 25% Redskins fans Sunday, 25% Lions fans Sunday and 50% empty seats,” said Kevin Stroop, who has been a Redskins season-ticket holder since 2005. “It’ll be a lightly attending friends and family affair, I think.”
Washington has lost nine consecutive home games, and the combination of on-field failures and a subpar game day experience has sunken attendance for a once-proud franchise with three long-ago Super Bowl titles.
After the team conceded the end of a “sellout streak” in 2018, the average announced attendance in five home games so far this season is 67,364 in a stadium that seats just under 82,000.
Cornerback Josh Norman early this season said of “fair weather” fans, “When things turn around, don’t come back on the ship.”
Washington is 1-4 under interim coach Bill Callahan, and even excitement about rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins and some young offensive playmakers is muted by two decades of struggles since Dan Snyder bought the team and almost all bad years since Allen started running it.
The Lions have lost three consecutive games for the third time in Matt Patricia’s 26-game care
er as an NFL head coach. They are mired in the worst seven-game stretch of Patricia’s tenure with only one win — a 31-26 victory over the New York Giants — during the slump that followed a 2-0-1 start.
“Certainly, always looking for better ways to coach,” Patricia said. “That has to be my job, and that’s what I’m always trying to figure out every single week.”
QB Matthew Stafford is expected to miss his third consecutive game with a back injury, which would mean another start for backup Jeff Driskel.
BY THE NUMBERS
Detroit ranks 30th in the NFL in defense, giving up 412.8 yards per game, and against the pass and on third down. The Lions give up 27-plus points per game, ranking 27th, and are 28th in the red zone defensively and 24th against the run.
“Numbers don’t lie,” Detroit cornerback Justin Coleman said. “But the numbers don’t tell the full story of what this team is capable of defensively.”