WASHINGTON — Doug Williams couldn't believe it when Coach Joe Gibbs told him to get ready. But it didn't take Williams long to make a believer of himself and everyone watching.
Williams became 2-0 as a reliever this season when he replaced ineffective Jay Schroeder and quickly threw two touchdown passes to propel the Washington Redskins to a 20-13 victory Sunday over the Detroit Lions.
Williams led the Redskins (7-2) to a 17-3 halftime lead, and the Redskins then held off a Detroit comeback.
"When Gibbs told me to warm up, I thought he was talking to someone else," Williams said. "My heart darn near jumped out of my gut."
It was the second time this season Schroeder has been replaced by Williams. In the opener against Philadelphia, Williams came in when Schroeder suffered a shoulder injury.
Williams won't be a reliever next Monday night against the Rams.
"Doug will start next week," Gibbs said. "He came in and responded right away."
Williams entered the game with seven minutes left in the second quarter and the score tied, 3-3. He directed an 80-yard drive, completing 3 passes for 47 yards, including a 16-yard scoring pass to Kelvin Bryant.
The Redskins got the ball back with 1:25 left in the half. Williams took Washington 61 yards in 58 seconds, hitting Gary Clark with a 42-yard scoring pass.
Schroeder, who completed only 16 of 46 passes last week in a 31-27 loss to Philadelphia, could generate little offense against the Lions, who entered the game ranked No. 24 of 28 in overall defense.
Schroeder completed 5 of 10 passes for 33 yards, missed two receivers in the end zone and lost a fumble.
"Jay is probably the best young winning quarterback in the league," Gibbs said. "But he missed a couple of passes in there, and I felt like we were out of sync."
While Schroeder continued his slump, Redskin defensive back Darrell Green bounced back after getting burned for two touchdown passes last week. Green picked off three of Chuck Long's passes, the last one at the Washington 15 with a minute left in the game.
"I've never felt I was in a slump so I'm not out of a slump today," Green said.
Detroit (2-7) closed to within 20-13 on Karl Bernard's two-yard scoring run with 1:51 left in the third quarter. But the Lions had one potential fourth-quarter scoring drive thwarted by Barry Wilburn's interception and another stopped when Long was sacked on third down from the Redskins' 30 with 5:30 left.
Detroit is 0-12 against the Redskins since 1965, 0-11 in regular-season games, the longest such streak in the NFL.
Long completed 23 of 37 passes for 249 yards. Williams finished 11 of 18 for 161 yards.