- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Thoughts on the Jaguars’ 31-14 loss to the Lions at EverBank Field:
What it means: The Jaguars fell to 1-7 halfway through their season with anemic offensive effort that allowed the Lions to run out to a 24-0 lead and never fear a negative result. The question now is the Jaguars will be able to help complicate things for four teams they play in the second half who look to be on their way to the playoffs.
What I didn’t like: The Lions controlled the clock for 35:30 thanks to a giant rushing day with 34 carries for 142 yards, a 4.4-yard average and four touchdowns, three from Mikel Leshoure. Meanwhile, the Jaguars managed only 20 carries for 64 yards and a 3-2-yard average. In the second quarter, Detroit ran 30 plays, got 14 first downs and scored 21 points.
What I also didn’t like: Jacksonville added two prominent receivers in the offseason to address the deficiencies of its passing offense. Veteran Laurent Robinson and rookie Justin Blackmon combined to average 6.6 yards on 11 catches in this game with a long play of 12 yards. This team is desperate for big chunks, and it isn’t getting them. In all, the Jaguars and Blaine Gabbert got 8.1 yards per completion, while Detroit got 13.0, 18.4 from its star receiver, Calvin Johnson.
Way too late: The Jaguars didn’t score until the fourth quarter. Before finding touchdowns on their final two possessions, Jacksonville’s drives ended like this: punt, punt, punt, punt, end of the half, interception, interception. The offense hadn’t gotten closer to the goal line than Detroit’s 26 until scoring TDs the final two times it got the ball.
Fizzled: A healthier and deeper defensive line had shown signs of life in recent weeks. But the pass pressure against Matthew Stafford was insufficient, with one sack from George Selvie and just two more hits.
What’s next: The Jaguars host Thursday night football in a rematch against the only team they’ve beaten this season, the Indianapolis Colts.