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Hall Gets Another Pick, But Lions' Johnson Prevails

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DeAngelo Hall's day in Detroit started off with another interception, his fifth in two games.

It ended with bitter disappointment.

In Sunday's 37-25 loss to the Detroit Lions, Hall was assigned to Calvin Johnson, the 6-5, 236-pounder regarded as one of the game's best wide receivers.

For the most part, Hall and the Redskins' secondary managed to contain Johnson in the first three quarter.

Johnson had caught a touchdown pass to open the scoring in the second quarter, but he had five catches for 62 yards heading into the fourth quarter.

That's when Johnson turned it on.

Playing through what appeared to be a shoulder injury, Johnson finished the game with nine catches for 101 yards and three touchdowns.

Detroit's second-year quarterback Matthew Stafford targeted Johnson often, and that meant Hall saw plenty of action in the game.

In the first quarter, Hall got in front of Johnson to make a leaping grab in the back of the end zone. The play thwarted a Lions drive.

It was Hall's sixth interception this season. He had four interceptions in the Redskins' 17-14 win over the Chicago Bears last week.

His six interceptions so far this season are the most by a Redskins defender since 1999, when Matt Stevens had six.

In the days leading up to the Lions game, Hall acknowledged that competing against Johnson would be a real challenge.

"He's definitely a physical specimen," Hall said. "He's a guy who can run every route. You match him up down there one on one with somebody, he's probably going to out-jump them."

On his interception, it was Hall who out-jumped Johnson.

Hall stayed on Johnson the rest of the game, although coverage alternated between man-to-man and zone.

Hall had lobbied defensive coordinator Jim Haslett to match up against the opponent's top wide receiver.

On Sunday, he got his wish.

It appeared Hall's focus was to keep Johnson him in front of him to minimize big plays. He consistently stayed off Johnson about 5-8 yards from the line of scrimmage.

"He's still going to cause some matchup problems," Hall said. "He's going to catch balls. The ultimate goal is to keep him out of the end zone."

Didn't happen.

In the second quarter, Johnson caught a short pass from Stafford, put a move on three Redskins defenders and dived for the end zone with Hall draped on his legs.

Johnson used his wide frame to push the ball for a 13-yard touchdown catch.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Lions advanced to the Redskins' 7-yard line. Johnson ran a slant pattern and caught Stafford's pass ahead of Hall for a touchdown.

After a Donovan McNabb interception, the Lions again moved into scoring range.

On 4th-and-1 at the Redskins' 10-yard line with 3:17 to play, Johnson lined up in the slot against Carlos Rogers. He ran up-field into the end zone, and turned around in front of Rogers. He caught the pass for what would prove to be the game-winning touchdown as the Lions went ahead 28-25.

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