Sunday, November 4, 2012
Wrap-up: Lions 31, Jaguars 14
By Kevin Seifert
A few thoughts from Sunday's events at Everbank Stadium:
What it means: The Detroit Lions won their second consecutive game to get back to .500 for the first time since Week 2. They're 4-4 after their most complete game of the season. They thoroughly beat down a team that deserved to be.
MegatronWatch: Receiver Calvin Johnson didn't practice all week and walked onto the field with a thick wrap on his knee. But Johnson had five receptions and 99 yards before the Jacksonville Jaguars even had a first down, and he finished with seven receptions for 129 yards -- more than he had produced in his past two games combined. Who needs practice?
LeshoureWatch: Johnson's early success only enhanced the Jaguars' attention on him in the red zone, opening the way for tailback Mikel Leshoure to enjoy a three-touchdown game. He scored on runs of seven, one and eight yards -- all in the second quarter -- to give the Lions a 21-0 halftime lead. It was the first time a Lions running back had scored three rushing touchdowns in the first half since 1931, according to the NFL. The Lions haven't enjoyed a second-half laugher since their Week 16 victory last season over the San Diego Chargers. Consider it a reminder of how much easier it is to win with a fast start than a big finish.
Defensive takeaways: The Lions entered the game with three interceptions on the season but added two at the expense of Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Safety Erik Coleman's interception prevented a deep completion in the third quarter, while rookie Jonte Green caught a batted pass at the end of the third quarter to stop a Jaguars drive that reached the Lions' 26-yard line.
What's next: The Lions will play at the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday in an important division game.