The matchup: The matchup: In their final game before the month-long Olympic break, the Mystics rocked The New York Liberty on their home court. Since then, Washington has struggled mightily to win anywhere.The Mystics (5-24) look to snap an eight-game losing streak and win only their second road game of the season Wednesday in Newark, where the Liberty (12-17) are playing their home games this season. Based on how the team has played during the second half of the season and particularly during the past two games, which sounds like a daunting task. Washington lost to Los Angeles and Atlanta by an average of 26.5 points and dropped seven of 10 post-Olympic games by at least 12 points.Cappie Pondexter, the WNBA's third leading scorer with 20.3 points per game, leads a Liberty squad tied with Chicago for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. New York, coming off an upset win over Los Angeles, has taken two of three against Washington this season, including a 79-73 revenge home victory on Sept. 1 behind 20 points from Essence Carson and 16 by Pondexter. Washington committed 17 turnovers.In the recent meeting Monique Currie scored 20 points and Crystal Langhorne, the Mystics leading scorer and rebounder on the season, had 19 points and 8 rebounds. After Wednesday's meeting the teams will wrap up the season series Sunday at the Verizon Center.Last time out: Just when it appeared things could not get worse for the Mystics, coming off a 28 point home loss to the Sparks, Washington endured a 93-68 beating by Atlanta on Sunday. The Dream shot 58 percent from the field while holding the Mystics, the WNBAs lowest scoring team, to a 36.5 percent clip (23 of 63). Crystal Langhorne and Noelle Quinn each scored 12 points for the Mystics, who once again coughed away possession after possession, committing 17 turnovers. Langhorne loves Liberty: The 6-foot-2 power forwards scoring has dipped this season over her previous campaign for the first time during her five-year WNBA career but thats certainly not been the case against New York. After posting a career-high 18.2 points per game in 2011, Langhorne is averaging 15.3 points despite shooting a robust 56 percent from the field. Some blame lies with her free throw shooting; the former University of Maryland star is making only 64.3 percent of her attempts, Langhornes lowest since her rookie season. Against the Liberty, the points are flowing. Langhorne has twice scored 24 points and is averaging 22.3 points in three games against New York this season while making 9 of 11 free throws (81.8 percent).
Here are five observations from the Redskins’ loss to the Lions.
—The Redskins can’t keep giving themselves mountains to climb in the form of turnovers and penalties. Washington had three fumbles hit the ground and lost two of them, the Lions recovered their only fumble. A Dustin Hopkins field goal from 45-yards—a veritable chip shot for him—hit off of the very top of the upright and bounced the wrong way. The Redskins didn’t need all of those plays, just one of them.
—Kirk Cousins put on a show for his hometown fans, including relatives and Michigan State alumni. He completed 77 percent of his passes for 301 yards and a touchdown. Cousins ran for another score, one that appeared to win the game.
—Joe Barry needs to get this last-minute defense figured out. In Baltimore a few weeks ago they almost let a road win slip away but a Joe Flacco TD pass was nullified when replay showed that the receiver’s foot was just out of bounds. Today, they weren’t so fortunate. It’s a tough balance between pressure and coverage but they had held Stafford in check for much of the day until the final minute.
—Chris Thompson needs some more carries. Today he led the team in both carries (12) and yards (73). He finished off some runs tough, too, fighting for extra yardage. They don’t want to wear him out or risk injuring him but they need to get the ball in his hands.
—I’m not in the “bench Matt Jones” club but he needs to get back to basics. Fighting for extra yardage is great but ball protection is more important.
MORE REDSKINS: Norman out with a concussion
Left guard Trent Williams was injured late in Washington's 20-17 loss to Detroit on Sunday, a development perhaps lost in shuffle of the Redskins' final drive as they attempted to tie or win the game.
Williams was helped off the field and brought to the locker room, where he was gingerly escorted by the team's medical staff to be examined further.