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RECAP: Lions vs. Jets

It took just 20 seconds for the Detroit Lions to give the Ford Field faithful something to cheer about Monday night when Lions defensive back Quandre Diggs picked off Jets quarterback Sam Darnold on the game's first play and returned in 37 yards for a touchdown. 

Unfortunately, there wasn't a whole lot more for Lions fans to cheer about the rest of the way.

The Jets dominated the next 59 minutes and 40 seconds, outscoring the Lions 48-10 over that span and controlling all three phases of the game on their way to a 48-17 victory in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football. 

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw four interceptions in the contest, including one that was returned for a touchdown in the third quarter. It was the first time Stafford's thrown four interceptions in a game since Nov. 24 of 2013 vs. Tampa Bay. 

Defensively, the Lions failed to make any critical plays after the Diggs interception. They allowed Darnold to complete 76 percent of his passes and throw two scores in his first start. The Jets' offense gained 169 total yards on the ground in support of Darnold.

Detroit's special teams gave up a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second half and missed two field goals (56 & 44).

All three phases played a part in the loss. 

After scoring on their first possession of the second half to tie the score at 17-17, the Jets rolled off 31 straight points in a 10-minute span to run away with the contest. A 21-yard pass to Quincy Enunwa, 36-yard pick six by Darron Lee, 78-yard punt return by former Lion Andre Roberts and 62-yard run by Isaiah Crowell were part of the onslaught.

The only offensive touchdown recorded by the Lions in the contest was a 24-yard pass from Stafford to wide receiver Golden Tate.

Quarterback comparison: Stafford completed 27-of-46 passes for 286 yards with the one touchdown and four interceptions. He finished with a passer rating of 47.9.

The Lions inserted backup Matt Cassel to play quarterback in the fourth quarter. He also threw an interception. He completed two of his six passes for 14 yards with a passer rating of 2.8.

Darnold, the youngest quarterback to start a game in the Super Bowl era, completed 16 of his 21 passes for 198 yards with two scores and the one interception to open the game. His passer rating was a solid 116.8.

Injury report: The Lions lost starting defensive end Ziggy Ansah in the second quarter to a shoulder injury. He didn't return. Ansah was playing well at the time of his injury, too. He recorded four tackles, a sack, a quarterback hit and a tackle for loss in just over a quarter and a half of action. 

Detroit was also without running back LeGarrette Blount for most of the second half after he suffered an undisclosed injury and didn't return.

Right guard T.J. Lang left the game late with a back injury. He also never returned to the contest.

Cornerback Darius Slay left the game briefly to be evaluated for a concussion in the first half, but cleared those tests and returned to the game.

Stafford came up limping late in the second quarter after taking a hit on a pass attempt. He favored his left leg for a bit, but stayed in the game.

Key stat: Both GM Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia said this offseason they wanted this team to be more physical. Being able to run the football and stop the run are two of the easiest ways to measure a team's physicality.

The Jets outgained the Lions 169-39 on the ground in this contest.

Give me that back: Early in the second quarter, Stafford threw an interception to Tremaine Johnson at the Jets 23-yard line, but a heads up play by Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay, and a textbook tackle, righted the wrong. Golladay landed a terrific shoulder hit taking Johnson right off his feet and jarring the ball loose as he tried to return the interception. Golladay then had presence enough to jump on the ball at the Jets 33-yard line.

Unfortunately, the Lions went backward on the ensuing possession, and missed a 56-yard Matt Prater field goal attempt.

That play, and Golladay's play overall in the game, was one of the few bright spots for the Lions. He caught seven passes on the night for 114 yards.

Up next: at San Francisco (0-1)

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