clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Final Score: In spite of sloppy offense, Lions walk away victorious over Jaguars, 26-19

The Lions and Jaguars traded blows in a rather sloppy contest, but Stafford, aided by the heroics of Eric Ebron, came through in the clutch yet again.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off a bye, the Lions were looking to keep pace with the Minnesota Vikings for the NFC North title chase. The Jaguars, woeful, were looking for anything to give them a little hope on a lost season. Could Detroit avoid the trap?

First Half

The Lions flirted with disaster early on after an Anquan Boldin catch ended with the ball popping out, but after review, the referees decided he was down by contact before it came out. In spite of a big pickup on first down, Telvin Smith made a huge play to keep the Lions from advancing any further, and Sam Martin came on to punt, pinning the Jaguars on their own 11-yard line.

The Jaguars started strong, beating the Lions linebackers on play actions and feeding TJ Yeldon to pick up downs and yards. However, two consecutive penalties would slow the motion, and on third down, Miles Killebrew shed blockers to get Yeldon and forced Jacksonville to punt. The Lions got nowhere in response and went three-and-out.

Blake Bortles found Allen Robinson for 11 yards out of the gun, but the Lions brought pressure as A’Shawn Robinson got into the backfield for a run and Miles Killebrew caught Bortles scrambling on third down. However, Andre Roberts muffed the punt on a fair catch call and the Jaguars recovered, setting up for a red zone attack. But the Lions stood firm, and Ezekiel Ansah was a step away from a sack as he caught Bortles throwing the ball harmlessly. The Jaguars kicker, Jason Myers, trotted out and nailed the point-blank field goal to give Jacksonville an early 3-0 lead.

The Lions went three-and-out and the Jaguars were back on the attack. The Lions forced the Jaguars into third down, but Bortles found the red hot Marqise Lee over the middle for 12 yards. But on the next play from scrimmage, Chris Ivory tried to muscle forward and got flipped over by Glover Quin; the ball squirted out and was recovered by Antwione Williams. The Lions had a chance to capitalize, but a Golden Tate reception on third down was overturned on challenge and the Lions again went three-and-out.

The Jaguars tried to get started, but went three-and-out themselves after Bortles nearly got taken down in the end zone. The ball went up and into Andre Roberts hands, and naturally, since he had done a bad thing, Roberts returned the ball 55 yards for a touchdown. Muhlbach had a bad snap on the extra point try and the Jaguars blocked the extra point, but the Lions had, for now, taken the lead.

The Lions and Jaguars traded short series and punts, but Chris Ivory helped work the Jaguars out of their slump. He first broke free for 22 yards to extend a Jacksonville drive, and then on third down he found the dump-off from a doomed Blake Bortles to take the Jaguars into the red zone. After a holding call on Darius Slay, the Jaguars had a full set of downs facing the end zone. That’s when Blake Bortles found Allen Robinson for money. Jacksonville’s kicker Myers missed the extra point, because today was already pretty stupid.

With time expiring in the half, the Lions offense finally showed signs of life. Theo Riddick got loose for 14 yards on a check down from Stafford, followed quickly by Golden Tate grabbing another catch before the two-minute warning. The Lions made six more plays, finding Riddick again and Marvin Jones—who had been quiet all day. But the offense stalled hard after Stafford was forced to scramble on third down and got hit hard enough by a Jaguars defender his helmet came off. Prater came out for the field goal and tied the game. After the punt, Chad Henne came out and took the knee to end the half.

Second half

The Jaguars received the ball to start the half and came out strong with a Blake Bortles pass intended for Marqise Lee that was picked off by Rafael Bush and returned for a pick-six. Wait, what? Yeah, that was written right, okay. The Lions took the lead back. The Jaguars got the ball back and Slay nearly picked off the very next Bortles pass, but was hit with a ticky-tack pass interference call instead. This would be the first of three consecutive flags, two going against the Lions. But Miles Killebrew saved the drive on the third down, stopping Julius Thomas short of the first down marker and the Jaguars would ultimately kick a field goal to make the game 16-12 Lions.

The Lions continued to struggle in their quest for any competence on offense in this game, and ended up punting after five plays. With the ball back in Jacksonville’s possession, Chris Ivory got his share of carries, and then Denard Robinson came on and kept pounding against the Lions line. Nearing the goal line, it was Marqise Lee who would take over, first for a 29-yard pass to bring it close, and then beating Darius Slay on the touchdown.

The Lions looked to be making progress as Andre Roberts got loose for 45 yards, but on the next play, Golden Tate went on the jet sweep and fumbled the ball, and the Jaguars recovered it. Once again, the Lions entered the fourth quarter trailing.

After a Jacksonville punt, the Lions tried to get to work. Stafford found Golden Tate over the middle for 13 yards. The Jaguars sacked Stafford after he tried to step up, but then, on the next play, he found Eric Ebron alone, connecting with the tight end for a big catch and run: Ebron took off down the sidelines for 61 yards to put the Lions on the end zone’s doorstep. Riddick took the ball for seven yards to put the Lions on the one-yard line, and then Ebron ran an end-around for a rushing touchdown to regain the lead.

The crowd at Ford Field got loud, and Stefan Charles caught Chris Ivory in the backfield on the first play to force a five-yard loss. The stand ended with Jacksonville’s second consecutive three-and-out, and the Lions had a chance to extend the lead now. Theo Riddick caught the ball and went up against Paul Posluszny, who had been a force all day, and juked his soul out to pick up the first down. The Lions found themselves in two late down situations, but each time came through strong. First, Anquan Boldin came in clutch, grabbing a pass over the middle to convert a third-and-4. But on the second third down reception he made, Boldin came up a couple yards short of the sticks. On fourth down, the Lions lined up for a hard count... and it worked!

After that neutral zone infraction, the Lions were able to put together a 15-play drive that took up nearly eight minutes as Prater kicked through a 40-yard field goal to give the Lions a seven-point lead with 22 seconds remaining. Bortles took a few shots through the air, but they were more or less punts, and on the third shot Tavon Wilson Sr. caught the ball on a ricochet and sealed the game for the Lions.

In spite of a Vikings victory on Sunday, the Lions retained first place in the NFC North and moved to 6-4 on the season.