It was another messy Sunday for the Jaguars (1-7) as they struggled to even look competent against the Detroit Lions (4-4). While the Jags looked a mess the Lions looked like a team ready to return to form and push, once again, for the playoffs.
The story of the day was the dominant play of the Lions offense. Matthew Stafford looked red hot for the second straight game going 22/33 for 285 yards. As a result, Calvin Johnson got back on track with a seven catch, 129 yard game. Interestingly, all of Detroit’s touchdowns came on the ground. Mikel LeShoure had three touchdown runs before halftime and Joique Bell added another. Combined, the two backs had 143 yards.
The Lions defense also played a tough game without their starting safeties. They limited the Jaguars offense throughout the game and held them to zero points until eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. With only one sack, the secondary took advantage of missed catches by the Jaguars to force two Blaine Gabbert interceptions.
The Jaguars offense misfired despite a stronger statistical day from Gabbert. Gabbert went 27/38 for 220 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Both interceptions were throws that should have been caught by Jaguars receivers and both touchdowns came in garbage time with the game well out of reach. Cecil Shorts continued to be a productive target for Gabbert with three catches for a team-high 56 receiving yards. Laurent Robinson also had an impact in his return after three weeks off with six catches for 41 yards. Special teams returner Michael Spurlock and Justin Blackmon were the targets of Gabbert’s two touchdown passes.
The Jaguars defense could do little to stop the Lions’ offense as they recorded only one sack and failed to intercept Stafford. The main highlight for the Jags was probably punter Bryan Anger’s three punts (of four) within the opponent’s 20 yard line. Other than that it was a pretty brutal game for the home crowd to watch.
Being blown out at home yet again hurts the Jaguars much more than the close loss in Lambeau last week.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims