The Detroit Lions were able to get a much-needed victory following their bye week
Things were looking bleak for the Detroit Lions heading into their bye in Week Five. They had lost three of their first four games and appeared on the precipice of a midseason head coaching change.
Fortunately for the Pride, their Week Six matchup was against the struggling 1-4 Jacksonville Jaguars, who were on a four-game losing streak. On Sunday, the Lions extended the Jags’ losing streak to five, defeating them quite easily, 34-16.
Here are three important keys to the Lions getting their second victory of the season.
Maintaining the early lead
In each of their three losses, the Lions held an early lead only to fold at some point of the game and lose it. Against the Chicago Bears in Week One, Detroit led 13-6 at halftime and 23-6 in the fourth, before allowing a 21-point run by Chicago.
The Lions were up 14-3 over the Green Bay Packers in Week Two before allowing the Pack to score 31 unanswered points. In Week Four’s matchup against the New Orleans Saints, Detroit jumped out to a 14-0 led less than five minutes into the game. Then the Saints rattled off 35-straight.
But that wasn’t the case against the Jaguars. The Lions scored the first seven points of the game and never looked back. Detroit led 17-3 at halftime, added seven points in the third, and ten more in the final frame. The Lions’ defense did allowed the Jags to score 13 points in the second half but Jacksonville never really threatened to get back into the game.
Lions’ successful rushing attack
The Lions rushed for a season-high 180 total yards in Jacksonville, much of that behind the 116-yard, two touchdown effort by rookie running back D’Andre Swift. This was the first time since Week One that the Lions rushed for over 100 yards against an opponent.
Lions’ defense stuffed the run
Detroit came into the Week Six matchup against the Jaguars with the worst rushing defense in the NFL, allowing an average of 170.3 yards on the ground to opposing offenses. Yet, this unit was able to limit highly-touted rookie back James Robinson to a mere 29 yards on 12 carries, his lowest of the season. And Jacksonville’s 44 total rushing yards was by far the lowest allowed by the Lions’ defense.