NFL

Lessons Learned from Week 9's Detroit Lions vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Showdown

The Detroit Lions needed a win this week to bring them up to .500 and give them continued life in the NFC playoff race.

They went into Jacksonville and pounced on the Jaguars for an easy 31-14 victory, but did the Lions’ special teams betray them again? No matter what happens, we can count on the tape to tell us the truth, so let’s see what nuggets this week’s Lions’ game had to offer:

  • Lions punt on first possession
    • Unstoppable force meets immovable object. That’s what happening, right? Right?
  • Leshoure finding some space, but still running into the back of the offensive line
  • Jaguars playing very loosely on defense
  • Calvin with a couple of big plays early
    • For some reason, the Lions seem to believe that getting the ball to Calvin Johnson early will help them win.
  • Stafford inaccurate on a couple short throws for first downs
  • No sign of the Jaguars defensive line when Stafford drops back to pass
    • Lions offensive line protection reminds me of seeing Tom Brady sit back for days in the pocket in New England
      • Wow. Just compared Lions offensive line to one of the best of the last decade. Definitely playing the Jaguars.
  • Jaguars have 13 total yards at the end of the first quarter
    • The vaunted Lions defense has finally arrived! Shut down performance! Absolutely nothing to do with the opponent!
  • Lions still don’t contain the outside very well on defense
    • Then again, this was an 8 yard run and the Jaguars just picked up their 21st total yard of offense in the 2nd quarter. Perhaps I’m being overly critical.
  • Lions’ offense really clicking in the 2nd quarter
  • AIR JOIQUE WITH THE HURDLE!
    • Air Joique; that’s practically guaranteed to stay. Flows real well off the tongue, doesn’t it?
  • At some point in the 2nd quarter, the Jaguars stopped covering Lions’ receivers.
  • Ohh, the Jaguars must be playing defense a man short, that would explain how no receiver has been covered.
  • I just witnessed the saddest attempt at a Hail Mary in professional football history.
    • Blaine Gabbert threw a last-ditch pass to end the first half, and with all his might chucked the ball about 37 yards in the air.
      • Chad Pennington moment of the week
  • Jaguars with 57 total yards at half. Not really all that much else to say about that.
  • Speaking of Blaine Gabbert…nice interception to start the first half. Jaguars ready to explode for 57 more yards.
  • Jaguars got tired of playing no pass defense, they’ve moved on to showcasing the Lions’ running game.
  • 24-0 in the fourth quarter. Yawn.
  • Hey, Titus, we’re in this together. When I dumped buckets of praise on you last week I thought it was understood that you were going to catch touchdown passes. You know, for us.
  • Jaguars score with 8:37 left in the game.
  • …which has awoken the sleeping Lions’ second half offense. Moving the ball down the field with ease.
  • Air Joique strikes again! What a leap!
  • And then scores a touchdown. (chanting) Joique, Joique, Joique, Joique!
  • Jaguars got another garbage touchdown. Score makes it seem even closer than it really was.
  • There was no point during that game when it was an exciting contest
    • In other words, Lions’ nation did not lose a year of life due to stress this week

The Lions took care of business this week, and while they certainly don’t deserve excessive praise for this victory, it is good to see them do what they need to do. That is what good teams in this league do: they go out and put a whopping on teams led by quarterbacks like Blaine Gabbert. After seeing what the Jaguars’ supposed quarterback of the future has to offer, it makes Lions’ nation even more thankful for one of Matt Millen’s few good decision in Matthew Stafford.

While he found some soft spots (as any NFL caliber RB should) in the Jaguars defense, I still thought that Mikel Leshoure didn’t show much. There were a couple instances where he hit a hole strong, and he did have three rushing touchdowns, but against such a bad defense there is still way too much running into the back of the offensive line. I’m not saying that I think Joique Bell is a marvel of modern humanity; I am not saying that he is a combination of Adrian Peterson, Walter Payton, and Chuck Norris, genetically fused into the perfect athlete. What I will say is that he runs with more purpose, and he seems to squeeze a yard or two more out of plays that aren’t going anywhere. Well, maybe Air Joique is all those things I said. Did you see that hurdle. Did ya see it?

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