When the Lions visit FedEx Field on Sunday, they’ll be attempting to snap a 21-game losing streak at Washington.
Coach Jim Schwartz, however, says the franchise's 74 years of futility won’t be on the minds of Detroit’s current players. In fact, the Lions’ only victories over the Redskins came in 1933 and 1935 when they were the Boston Redskins.
“It’s hard to hold these players accountable for something that happened …I mean, I didn’t even know until people in our media told me a couple days ago,” Schwartz said on a conference call Wednesday morning. “As five years as the head coach here with the Lions, we’ve never played in Washington.”
Schwartz, a Baltimore native who played college football at Georgetown, added: “How we play on Sunday is not going to have anything to do with anything other than the 53 guys we take to Washington, the 46 that are active for the game and how well the 11 on the field execute. It’s not going to be what any player in the past did. All that is obviously irrelevant.”
Schwartz is, however, wary of the crowd in Landover, which he described as loud and disruptive to opposing offenses.
“I’ve coached at FedEx Field before,” he said. “It’s a loud stadium. It’s a very difficult stadium to play in. We’re going to have avoid penalties, really work hard at our offensive communication, work hard to take that crowd out of the game. It’s a difficult thing to do.”
The Lions’ drought at Washington isn’t their longest road losing streak. They’ve dropped 22 straight at Lambeau Field.