At 3-4, the Lions’ playoff hopes are still alive, but they’re in last place in the NFC North. A win would bring them back to .500 and give them back-to-back victories for the first time this season.
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The Lions finally put it all together.
They crushed the Jaguars on both offense and defense to win 31-14 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville.
Running back Mikel Leshoure had 16 carries for 70 yards and three touchdowns, becoming the first Lions player to rush for three touchdowns since James Stewart in 2000. He’s also the first Lions player to ever rush for three touchdowns in a first half.
Wide receiver Calvin Johnson, playing on a bad knee, also had an impressive performance with seven receptions for 129 yards.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford was 23 of 33 for 285 yards and broke the 10,000 yards passing mark for his career, accomplishing the feat in just 37 games. The only player to reach the mark faster was Kurt Warner (Rams) who did it in 36 games.
The Lions (4-4) crushed the Jaguars (1-7) for much of the game, gaining 434 yards and allowing just 279. They also finished eight of 12 on third downs.
The Jaguars didn’t score until the 8:40 mark in the fourth quarter, but after a five-yard touchdown pass to Michael Spurlock, they added a 2-point conversion on a pass to running back Rashad Jennings.
But the Lions answered that score on their next drive with a 10-yard rushing touchdown by Joique Bell, who had 13 carries for 73 yards and three catches for 36 yards.
The Jaguars added a touchdown with the game out of reach on a six-yard pass to rookie receiver Justin Blackmon, but the 2-point conversion failed.
Safety Erik Coleman and rookie cornerback Jonte Green both caught interceptions in the win. Green’s was the first of his career.
The Lions jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead, their first halftime advantage of the season. They out-gained the Jaguars 285-57 in the first half and converted 7 of 9 third downs in the half. Until Jacksonville’s final drive of the first half, they converted just one first down.
The Lions improved to .500 and won back-to-back games for the first time this season. However, they may not make up any ground in a crowded NFC North as the Bears and Packers were on their way to victories.
The Lions apparently didn’t like seeing the Jaguars score.
They quickly struck back with a run-heavy drive that ended with a 10-yard rushing touchdown by Joique Bell.
The drive ran the clock down to 2:42, and now it would take something more than a miracle for the Jaguars to come back from a 31-8 deficit.
The Jaguars have found some offense.
They scored on a five-yard pass from Blaine Gabbert to Michael Spurlock.
Jacksonville also converted a 2-point conversion on a quick pass to running back Rashad Jennings to cut the Lions’ lead to 24-8 with 8:36 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Kicker Jason Hanson hit a 42-yard field goal to give the Lions a 24-0 lead with 13:56 left in the fourth quarter.
Although they’ll take the points, the Lions may have just had their worst play of the game.
Wide receiver Titus Young was open in the back of the end zone, but the pass from Matthew Stafford went right through his hands. The Lions kicked the field goal on the next play.
Assuming the Jaguars don’t put on an offensive clinic in the final quarter, the Lions should improve to 4-4.
The Jaguars were threatening to score and reached the Detroit 26, but quarterback Blaine Gabbert’s second interception cost them a chance to cut into the Lions’ lead.
Gabbert threw a short pass to running back Rashad Jennings, but the ball bounced off his hands and right to Lions rookie cornerback Jonte Green, who grabbed his first career interception.
The Lions took the ball back and lead 21-0 with the third quarter drawing near a close.
Lions safety Erik Coleman made a nice play to intercept a pass by Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
The interception was the first turnover of the game, and the Lions take over at their 16 with a 21-0 lead early in the third quarter.
So far, everything is going the Lions way.
The Lions’ 21-0 lead at the end of the first half barely scratches the surface of how much they’ve dominated the Jaguars so far.
The Lions had 18 first downs in the half compared to just three for Jacksonville. The Lions gained 285 yards while the Jaguars had just 57. The Lions were 7 for 9 on third downs, and the Jaguars failed to convert any of their four third downs.
Obviously, there’s another half to play, but everything is going well for the Lions.
Running back Mikel Leshoure ran 13 times for 52 yard and three touchdowns, becoming the first Lions player to rush for three touchdowns in a game since James Stewart in 2000.
Despite playing on a bad knee, wide receiver Calvin Johnson had six catches for 111 yards in the first half.
And quarterback Matthew Stafford was 15 of 24 for 216 yards and surpassed 10,000 passing yards for his career. Stafford reached the milestone in just 37 games, becoming second fastest player to do so (Kurt Warner did it in 36).
As for the Jaguars, quarterback Blaine Gabbert was 6 of 11 for 41 yards. Running back Rashad Jennings had five carries for 20 yards.
Check back for more updates in the second half.
Just about everything is going right for the Lions so far.
Running back Mikel Leshoure just scored on an eight-yard run to give the Lions a 21-0 lead with 29 seconds left in the first half.
Leshoure has 13 carries for 52 yards and THREE touchdowns so far.
The last Lions player with three rushing touchdowns in a game was James Stewart back in October 2000.
Mikel Leshoure punched in a one-yard touchdown run to give the Lions a 14-0 lead with 7:58 left in the first quarter.
But Calvin Johnson has been the story so far. Despite playing on a bad knee, Johnson already has five catches for 99 yards, including a 38-yard catch on third down that put the Lions on the Jacksonville 1.
The Lions are cruising early with 224 total yards. The Jaguars have just eight yards on three drives and have yet to gain a first down.
Well, the Lions didn’t score in the first quarter, but they didn’t wait long into the second to strike.
Running back Mikel Leshoure scored on a seven-yard run to give the Lions a 7-0 lead with 12:16 left in the first quarter. The run capped a 13-play, 91-yard drive that lasted 5:50.
Wide receiver Calvin Johnson appears to have overcome some of the issues with his knee and already has four catches for 61 yards.
The Lions have dominated the start of the game, out-gaining the Jaguars 171 yards to 13. Jacksonville has had three-and-outs on its only two drives.
The Lions just missed an opportunity to strike first in Jacksonville.
Kicker Jason Hanson attempted a 47-yard field goal, but the kick kept pushing right and hit the upright to fall short.
The Jaguars will take over at their own 37.
The Lions have dominated the first quarter so far (80-6 on total yardage), but haven’t turned the effort into points.
That knee must really be bothering Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
The Lions star wide out is active and playing despite missing practice all week, but sat out two plays on the Lions opening drive against the Jaguars.
Johnson said he took practice off to be as healthy as possible for the game, but we’re not sure how much the knee will limit him over the course of the game.
The Lions gained 22 yards on their first drive, but had to punt away. The Jaguars will start from their 13.
So far this season, Jacksonville hasn’t had much of a home-field advantage.
The Lions (3-4) hope that remains the case Sunday.
The Jaguars (1-6) are 0-3 at home this season with the losses by an average of 25 points. There was a 27-7 loss to the Texans, a 27-10 loss to the Bengals and a 41-3 loss to the Bears in which the Lions’ division rival scored 38 points in the second half.
According to Ryan O’Halloran of jacksonville.com, the Jaguars have had the worst start to a season at home in 10 years. In 2002, the Bengals lost their first three home games by a combined 80 points.
Regardless of the start, several Lions players said they don’t plan to take the Jaguars lightly. Jacksonville has the league’s 32nd ranked offense and 25th ranked defense, but the Lions (second in offense; 10th in defense) can’t afford to overlook any team as they hope to climb back into playoff contention.
The Jaguars had some good news on the injury front this week. They will be missing starting cornerback Rashean Mathis and safety Dwight Lowery, but starting cornerback Derek Cox will play. Wide receiver Laurent Robinson (concussion) will also play for the first time since Week 4.
As for the Lions, safeties Louis Delmas (knee) and Amari Spievey (concussion) won’t play. Neither will linebacker DeAndre Levy (hamstring), so Ashlee Palmer will start for the second straight week.
The game starts at 1 p.m. on FOX. Keep checking back at blogs.detroitnews.com/lions for updates.