The Detroit Lions got fans excited by activating Jameson Williams for his first career NFL game. But the Lions wouldn’t need Williams on Sunday, as they put up their best offensive performance of the year with Williams only playing a handful of snaps. Detroit’s offense scored on literally every single possession (not including the kneel downs), and Detroit’s defense held Jacksonville in check for most of the day.
The Lions would end up winning the game by a dominating score of 40-14, and they have now put together four wins in the past five weeks. At 5-7, the playoff talk is only going to get a little louder as they head into a big divisional matchup against the Minnesota Vikings next week.
Here’s how their beatdown of the Jaguars happened.
The Lions won the toss and deferred, leaving the defense to take the field first. They wouldn’t stay there for long, as safety DeShon Elliott jarred the ball loose from Jaguars running back Travis Etienne, and Alex Anzalone recovered at the Jaguars 38-yard line.
The Lions offense only needed seven games to turn that turnover into six points. The key play came on third-and-7, when Amon-Ra St. Brown caught a ridiculous tip-drill pass, putting the Lions all the way down to the 1-yard line.
Somehow St Brown was able to see this one in!— Laurie Fitzpatrick (@LaurieFitzptrck) December 4, 2022
Hot potato pic.twitter.com/hrEL6dBjnK
From there, Jamaal Williams did what he always does: punch it in for his 14th touchdown on the season. 7-0 Lions.
The Jaguars quickly responded, though. Trevor Lawrence dropped a perfect pass to Christian Kirk for a 37-yard gain over DeShon Elliott. The Jaguars then picked up a fourth-and-1 with a jet sweep to Jamal Agnew. But the Jaguars stalled in the red zone after Zay Jones dropped a third-down conversion. Former Lions kicker Riley Patterson made it from 31 yards to make it 7-3 Lions.
Detroit’s offense dinked and dunked their way to midfield with first down pickups from St. Brown and Josh Reynolds. But once they got there, Goff uncorked a 41-yard bomb to DJ Chark to get the Lions into the red zone.
Two plays later, the Lions found paydirt again, this time via an 11-yard touchdown pass to St. Brown. 14-3 Lions.
The Jaguars were able to drive to midfield, but on a third-and-4, they tried to catch the Lions off-guard with a draw play. John Cominsky had it stopped after a 1-yard gain, and the Jaguars punted.
Detroit would take over at their own 15-yard line. A couple of nice runs from Jamaal Williams moved Detroit 18 yards before the clock turned over into the second quarter.
Detroit opened up with a swing pass to D’Andre Swift that earned 24 yards and put them into Jaguars territory for the third time already. Detroit’s drive stalled, though, after Justin Jackson dropped what would’ve been a big play on second down, and an unblocked blitzer caused a throwaway on third down. Michael Badgley nailed a 45-yarder to make it 17-3 Lions.
Detroit’s defense forced a quick three-and-out thanks to a John Cominsky pass batt down on third-and-7, and the Lions offense took over at their own 30-yard line.
Jared Goff opened with a 19-yard strike to Chark. Detroit converted on a third-and-1 with a nice play to Reynolds, pushing them near field goal position. But on the subsequent third down, Goff avoided a sack, then took a sack. Badgley nailed a 47-yard field goal to make it a three-score game. 20-3 Lions.
The Jaguars offense went back to business after a bit 25-yard pickup on a third-and-7 from midfield. Detroit sent some heat, leaving Kerby Joseph one-on-one with Kirk, who beat him by a few steps. On yet another third and long, the Lions sent the blitz again, this time the pressure got there and forced a throw-away from Lawrence. Patterson would make the 42-yard kick to pull the game back to 20-6 Lions.
A nice kick return from Justin Jackson set the Lions up at their own 33 with 4:08 left in the first half. Detroit put together a nice drive burning most of the remaining time off the clock. However, the drive stalled after Goff was sacked by Chad Muma. Still, Detroit was able to tack on a 38-yard field goal to make it 23-6 Lions with 31 seconds left.
Jaguars coach Doug Pederson would not go into the half quietly. After using his timeouts on defense, he ordered his team to get points before the half, and Jacksonville complied. The drive started with a 17-yard pass to Marvin Jones Jr. But James Houston ended the half with a sack of Lawrence.
Houston’s sack hit Lawrence low and the Jaguars quarterback stayed down with an apparent leg injury.
Another good return from Jackson got the Lions offense to start the half at their own 39-yard line. Goff quickly worked the Lions down into field goal range. A strike to St. Brown gained 13 yards, but the Lions wide receiver took a big shot to the midsection. Initially, he stayed down for a few extra seconds, but he popped right back up and only missed a single play. That turned out to be good news, because St. Brown shortly thereafter picked up a third-and-9 to set the Lions up in the red zone. From there, back-to-back runs from D’Andre Swift plunged the Lions into the end zone and a big 30-6 Lions lead.
Despite the injury scare, Lawrence was back in for the Jaguars to start the second half. And on a midfield fourth-and-1, the Jaguars quarterback scrambled for a key first down. A 20-yard pass to Kirk set the Jaguars up at Detroit’s 24-yard line. Jacksonville went for it again on another fourth-and-1 and converted with a run up the middle to Etienne. A few plays later, a pick play worked to get Evan Engram open for the 3-yard touchdown.
Jacksonville went for a two-point conversion and a little razzle dazzle made for an easy conversion from Jamal Agnew. 30-14 Lions.
Detroit offense went back to work. A third-down pickup by Swift (as a receiver) kept the drive alive and another screen to him picked up 12 more yards. Detroit DID try to take a deep shot to Jameson Williams, but the corner had ridden him out of bounds and the ball fell incomplete.
Eventually the Lions worked their way down to Jacksonville’s 38-yard line as the game moved into the fourth quarter.
A reverse to Kalif Raymond lost the Lions 6 yards, setting them behind the chains and threatening to end Detroit’s scoring streak. But on the next play, Goff found Chark for a 20-yard gain. Detroit’s drive would stall after a Jonah Jackson holding penalty, and Badgley booted it through from 44 yards to make it a three-score game with 12:21 left. 33-14 Lions.
Jacksonville’s offense went three-and-out. First After Aidan Hutchinson and Benito Jones split a sack.
Then veteran linebacker Alex Anzalone absolutely demolished a screen on third-and-8, forcing a punt.
The Lions offense quickly put the game away with an impressive 12-play, 68-yard drive capped by a St. Brown touchdown, his second of the game.
The drive ate up 7:33 of the clock, and the Jaguars said uncle by putting in backup QB C.J. Beathard in for the rest of the game.