Recap: Lions vs. Jaguars

Posted Aug 22, 2014

Tim Twentyman breaks down the Lions 13-12 win over the Jaguars.

WHAT HAPPENED:An 86-yard touchdown run by Reggie Bush provided an early spark and a quick lead for the Detroit Lions, but this is a game they’ll walk away from with the word 'sloppy' on their minds.

They pulled out a 13-12 win in come-from-behind fashion in the fourth quarter on a George Winn 1-yard touchdown run, but the regular-season tune-up for the Lions showed they still have some work to do before the New York Giants come calling in a couple weeks for the regular-season opener.

Detroit turned the ball over three times, failed to convert three times inside the Jaguars red zone and racked up 131 total yards in penalties.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford and the first-team offense played into the third quarter, but recorded just the seven points on Bush’s long run in their six series.

Stafford finished the game 10-of-16 passing for 98 yards with an interception. Bush finished with 95 yards on two carries.

The first-team defense played the first half and one series into the third quarter. They gave up just a couple of field goals and 169 yards of offense to Jacksonville. They also recorded multiple sacks. Jacksonville quarterbacks were pressured all night as the Lions looked much better on that front.


flag(Photo: Gavin Smith)

The Lions didn’t learn much from last week’s penalty fest in Oakland.

A week after recording 11 penalties for 74 yards in a loss to the Raiders. Detroit was flagged a whopping 15 times for 131 yards against Jacksonville Friday night.

The League is cracking down on certain penalties like hands to the face and illegal contact downfield and teams are having a hard time adjusting. Count the Lions among them.

CRITICAL MOMENT: The Lions had an opportunity to extend a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter but failed to convert a 4th and 1 at the Jacksonville 3-yard line.

The Lions marched from their own 22-yard line on the drive and Stafford was 5-for-5 for 63 yards, completing passes to Calvin Johnson (16 yards), Golden Tate (18) and Eric Ebron (15) on the drive. Too bad it ended with no points.

PLAY OF THE GAME: The Lions began their second offensive series at their own 3-yard line. Running back Joique Bell got them out of the shadow of their end zone with runs of three and eight yards, respectively.

Reggie Bush entered the game on the next play and did all the rest. Bush made one cut, got into the second level and outran everyone to the end zone for an 86-yard run.

KEY STAT NO. 1: The Lions racked up 178 rushing yards in the game.

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell talked about being unimpressed with the run game following last week’s game in Oakland. Over the first two weeks of the preseason, the Lions had just 129 total rushing yards.

The Lions got a few explosive runs from Bush and Mikel Leshoure, which Caldwell no-doubt liked to see.

KEY STAT NO. 2: The Lions were just 1-of-3 in the red zone.

Quarterback Dan Orlovsky orchestrated the go-ahead touchdown drive midway through the fourth quarter, but before that they were 0-for-3 with two turnovers and a turnover on downs in the red zone.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Linebacker Tahir Whitehead.

Whitehead made the most of his opportunity to start, finishing with 10 tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks.

Caldwell wanted to evaluate Whitehead against some better competition and he was impressive. He showed great speed and recognition.