Lions dominate in first half, then hold off Commanders

Rookie Aidan Hutchinson and the Detroit Lions’ defense swarmed Washington quarterback Carson Wentz in the first half and then withstood a Commanders’ rally to hold on for a 36-27 victory Sunday in Detroit.Jared Goff threw for 256 yards and four touchdowns, including two to Amon-Ra St. Brown, who finished with nine receptions for 116 yards. St. Brown also had a 58-yard run on a fly sweep, which set up a second-half touchdown.It was St. Brown’s eighth straight game with at least eight catches, which matches an NFL record established by the Steelers’ Antonio Brown in 2014 and matched by the Saints’ Michael Thomas in 2019.Hutchinson, selected No. 2 overall in this year’s NFL draft, had the first three sacks of his career, leading a defense that held Washington (1-1) without a first down in the first 24-plus minutes as Detroit (1-1) surged to a 22-0 lead.But with Hutchinson hobbled during the second half, Wentz got more comfortable. After throwing for just 59 yards in the first half, Wentz finished with 30 completions in 46 attempts for 337 yards and three touchdowns.The Commanders pulled to within seven points and eight points on touchdowns in the second half. But Goff answered both times with touchdown passes.D’Andre Swift, who was slowed by an ankle injury, caught one of the touchdown passes, going to the turf to make the grab on a swing pass, then springing to his feet and bolting to the end zone on a 22-yard play late in the third quarter that boosted Detroit’s lead to 29-15.After the Commanders answered with a touchdown drive capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Antonio Gibson, Goff directed a 70-yard drive with four straight completions, including an 11-yard touchdown pass to St. Brown. Coming with 7 minutes left, the play gave Detroit a 36-21 lead.Wentz directed another scoring drive, capped by rookie Jahan Dotson’s third touchdown reception in two games. Washington had a chance to make it a one-score game, but Joey Slye’s extra-point try sailed wide right, leaving the Commanders down by nine points with 1:56 left.