DETROIT — It's about time the Lions start to see a return from their top draft picks.
After so many years of first-round busts, Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and latest top pick Ndamukong Suh have the Lions believing they are on the road to respectability.
Stafford threw four touchdowns in his return from injury, including a go-ahead 10-yarder to Johnson with 3:12 left, and Suh helped the Lions score nine points in a 14-second span Sunday to beat the Redskins 37-25.
"You expect to hit on those players," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "We have some guys that are big-time players."
Washington's big-name player, quarterback Donovan McNabb, was benched for the final two drives. Coach Mike Shanahan said ex-Florida star Rex Grossman was more comfortable with the team's two-minute offense.
"I thought that was the best scenario for us to win," Shanahan insisted.
The move backfired. Grossman fumbled on his first play; Suh scooped up the ball and the defensive tackle ran 17 yards for a score. The No. 2 pick in this year's draft also had two sacks in a three-play span. "He's one of the best in the game," teammate Kyle Vanden Bosch said.
The Lions have invested as much as $142 million in Stafford — the No. 1 overall pick last year — and Johnson — No. 2 two years ago — to lead a turnaround.
McNabb, a six-time Pro Bowl quarterback, was the Redskins' big offseason acquisition.
"You have to be a professional," he said of his benching. "There's a long season ahead of us."
It was the second benching of his career. The other was two years ago against Baltimore, when he was with Philadelphia.
"You just have to learn from it and move on," McNabb said. "I did it then, and I'll do it now."
Shanahan said McNabb is still the starter.