Griffith Stadium - Again the Redskins played the role of giant killers, knocking off a previously unbeaten team for the second straight week. Sam Baker kicked three field goals to help hand the Lions their first loss after six straight wins to open the season.
Following Baker's first field goal, Dick James scored Washington's only touchdown on a spectacular 41-yard run. He took a pitchout from Al Dorow and found a solid block from guard Red Stephens as he cut back into the secondary. The last obstacle between James and the end zone was Bob Long, who waited at the 10. The would-be tackler wound up with James' helmet but it no longer contained the rookie runner's head. James was standing in the end zone hatless but happy with the 10-0 Washington lead.
The two teams exchanged field goals before halftime and the Skins maintained their 10-point margin. The crowd at Griffith Stadium was beginning to sense an upset in the making. The enthusiasm was dampened, temporarily, in the third quarter, when Leo Elter fumbled and linebacker Joe Schmidt recovered for the Lions at the Washington 13 and six plays later, Detroit scored on Gene Gedman's one-yard plunge to make it 13-10.
With the same score in the fourth quarter, Detroit coach Buddy Parker made a decision that was bold but maybe not very bright. Facing fourth down at his team's own five, Parker ordered punter Yale Lary to step out of the end zone and take a safety rather than punt from deep in his own territory. That is often a sound strategy when your team is in the lead, but a questionable idea when it puts your team in a position where it has to score a touchdown and hold its opponent scoreless to win the game.
The Lions accomplished the former, but not the latter. Baker booted a 27-yard field goal with under two minutes left to give his team an eight-point lead. Detroit did manage to score its touchdown, a 10-yard pass from Bobby Layne to David Middleton. The Redskins, though, wrapped it up when they recovered an onside kick attempt with 1:18 to go. Dorow killed the clock with a couple of sneaks.