One of the biggest plotlines ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ game against the Detroit Lions in Week 13 was whether running back Travis Etienne was going to play. In the end, the former Clemson Tiger ended up suiting up and the Jags wasted no time giving him the ball.
Right off the bat, Etienne got a couple of carries but he fumbled in the second one in Jacksonville territory and the Lions recovered. Detroit wasted no time and running back Jamaal William capped a seven-play, 38-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run.
Down 7-0, Trevor Lawrence opened the Jaguars’ second possession with a 32-yard pass to Christain Kirk. Later in the drive, tight end Evan Engram couldn’t come down with a catch on third-and-1 on the Lions’ 34-yard line, so Jacksonville went for it on fourth down and got a fresh set of downs. The Jags then got all the way to Detroit’s 13- yard before stalling and settling for a field goal.
Once the Lions got the ball back, they put together a drive that ended in a touchdown reception to wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. One of the highlights was a pass former Jaguar DJ Chark Jr. caught for a 41-yard gain.
The Jags couldn’t do much in their third possession. Both Etienne and Kirk picked up first downs but Jacksonville ended up punting. The Jacksonville defense managed to hold the Lions to just six points in their following two drives but they struggled to get things going on offense. They did kick a field goal but went into halftime trailing 23-6 following a field goal by the Lions.
Both the Jaguars offense and defense must step up in the 2nd half
Trevor Lawrence has played well, often avoiding head-scratching mistakes. He’s 9-of-19 for 124 yards but drops by Zay Jones and Evan Engram have prevented the Jags’ offense from effectively moving the ball. The former was targeted five times but couldn’t muster a single catch. Similarly, Engram wasn’t able to come down with a couple of passes that could’ve helped Jacksonville move the chains.
Besides his fumble early in the game, Etienne has also moved the chains a few times and has racked up 46 yards on four yards, but he might not get a big workload in the second half with the Jaguars’ need to narrow down the Lions’ lead.
The Jaguars’ defense must tighten up in the second half while the offense needs to start scoring. Otherwise, they’ll lose and their slim chances of making the playoffs will evaporate.