Matthew Stafford held his head down on the bench for the final snap.
Dominic Raiola couldn't watch, either, fearing a 20th loss in a row and 100th setback of his nine-season career.
When Detroit's leaders looked up and saw Washington was out of time, they saw what they were hoping to see Sunday.
Lions 19, Redskins 14.
"We not only got the monkey off our back, we got King Kong off our back," said Lions owner William Clay Ford. "I'm hoping that this gets us over that hump and gives us a winning attitude."
Detroit (1-2) hadn't won since Dec. 23, 2007 and its 19-game skid matched the second longest in NFL history. The Lions no longer have to hear about Tampa Bay's record 26-game losing streak.