Not surprisingly, most of the afternoon the Lions were quicker, more prepared and as a whole better coached. But they also played a team which is struggling with health and their play in 2020. To be honest, anything other than such a commanding win would have been a major disappointment for the Lions and arguably a cause for major concern.
As it stands, the Lions still had their sloppy moments during the afternoon. They had far too many penalties and inconsistencies on both sides of the ball. To be completely honest, a better team would have had a much better chance to beat them than the Jaguars did. For this week, it was a good win to get things back on the right track, but it might not mean much more than that in the short term.
Detroit’s biggest challenge is finding a way to take the lessons from this game and apply them moving forward. If those things translate, the team could get themselves back in good shape.
Beating the hapless Jaguars for just their second successful hunt of the year is hardly any major cause for celebration at this point, however.
Here’s more lessons from the win.
D’Andre Swift Deserves More Carries
The Lions have been using a rotation at running back which had relied heavily on Adrian Peterson. With a few big runs, Swift made his case to stay. Not only did he deliver the big plays, but he delivered the touchdowns as well in addition to several solid runs in between the tackles. The Lions appeared to salt the game away with Swift and turn to him in the second half, which is interesting news for the team. His emergence could be big for a team that needs more help in terms of running the ball and getting a consistent burst on offense. The Lions should give him as much a chance as possible to carry them moving forward.
Detroit’s Defense Played More Aggressive
Though the Jaguars are a poor team, especially on offense, it was tough to ignore how solid the Lions were in the trenches and on the back end. The Lions were missing Desmond Trufant in the backfield, but that didn’t matter to the team as the cornerback group played well and the secondary nabbed an interception. Up front, Detroit held the Jaguars to a solid 44 yards rushing on the day and didn’t allow Gardner Minshew to break the game open with a few big plays. Again, this performance could be simply the product of a worse team, but the Lions have lost to bad NFL teams before. Credit the defense for playing a big role in this revival.
The Lions Can Get Back in the Playoff Hunt
Don’t laugh or look now, but the Lions are entering the point in their schedule where they can perhaps start to stack wins to make a midseason run. It all started with this week, and Detroit had to win just to put themselves back in the conversation. That happened. Now, the team needs to sustain success and get some things to fall right around them in order to continue on with the momentum. It doesn’t seem likely, but it’s not completely farfetched to see it happen considering what the Lions did on this day. If they can keep up this solid effort, it might not be a shock to see them creeping up in the standings as the season wears on.
Lions’ MVP vs. Jaguars: Amani Oruwariye, CB
It might seem strange to name Oruwariye the MVP, but he had a big time day with 2 tackles and 2 passes defended. The Lions always need more depth in their backfield, and on another day without Desmond Trufant, the team managed to get a young player to step up. The Lions needed that, and Oruwariye delivered. The hope for the team is that he can continue to do this moving forward.
Lions’ Lamb of the Game: Detroit’s Guard Rotation
Detroit’s offensive line once again is becoming a guard rotation by committee. That’s not something plenty of folks like to see, and for consistency sake, the Lions should try to shy away from it in the future. Regardless, the Lions went back to rotating in this game and while it didn’t hurt them this week, it will be interesting to see if it continues in the future.
Lions’ Stat of the Game: 4
This number represents the number of trips the Lions had in the red zone. Detroit went into the red area 5 times on the day and managed to put up touchdown after touchdown. That’s the great news for the team considering how bad their offense had been at converting. They need to find a way to do more of this moving forward on the offensive side of the ball.
Lions Quote to Note
“Give credit to the players. I thought they played hard.” -Matt Patricia. The Detroit coach liked his team’s effort in this game with a big performance, and as he said, things weren’t perfect. In spite of that, the Lions managed to win and play tough. As he said, he credits the players for finding a way to get that done.