Detroit Lions

D’andre Swift and Lions defense lead the Detroit Lions to impressive 34-16 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars

  • D'Andre Swift
  • Detroit Lions
  • Gardner Minshew
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Matthew Stafford
By Alex Hathaway October 20, 2020 0 Comment
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The Detroit Lions stun The Jaguars offense, dominate the ground game in an impressive 34-16 week 6 victory

For the first time this year, the Detroit Lions put together 60 minutes of winning football to improve their record to 2-3. Without a win Sunday, the Lions would have fallen to 1-4, leaving Matt Patricia’s job in serious jeopardy. Their week 6 performance will save Patricia’s job for now, but did they show enough on Sunday to start winning consistently?

Huge day for the struggling Lions defense

This Lions defense has been a consistent negative factor to their disappointing 10-25-1 record under head coach Matt Patricia and appeared to be broken beyond repair. The defense needed to look completely different coming out of the bye week, and that’s exactly what we saw.

Leading up to the game against the Jaguars, Detroit’s defense was allowing 405 offensive yards per game. On Sunday, the Lions held the Gardner Minshew led Jaguars to a total of 275 yards. That is a HUGE improvement from what we’ve seen this season. Here’s a look at some defensive stats from Sunday compared to weeks 1-4 for the Lions:

Weeks 1-4:

-234 passing yards allowed per game

-170 rushing yards allowed per game

Week 6 against the Jaguars:

-243 passing yards allowed

-44 rushing yards allowed on 16 carries

The Detroit Lions defense looked completely recharged on Sunday. A huge part of their success was the pressure they were able to generate with some successful blitzing. The Lions ended the game with only a single Trey Flowers sack, but the team as a whole got some effective pressure, forcing Minshew to throw some off-target balls and prevented big plays. Sunday was surprisingly different for this unit, and it came up huge for a must-win game.

Lions rush for a season-high 180 yards, 3 TDS

Aside from the Lion’s impressive defensive performance, the offense dominated this game thanks to a rare dominant running performance. Leading the surge was rookie D’Andre Swift (116 rush yards, 2 TD), who got his first real chance to show the world why he was picked 35th overall in the 2020 draft.

After Sunday’s game, Swift became just the second 100+ yard rusher for the Lions since 2013. After such a dominant performance from Swift, you have to wonder if he’ll continue to be the feature back for this Lions offense.

Is it time to be concerned about Matthew Stafford?

Another week has gone by and the question still has to be asked: What’s wrong with the Lions veteran QB?

Matthew Stafford Week 6: 19-31, 223 yards, TD, INT.

Stafford’s stats were average and he eliminated some of the mistakes we’ve seen in previous weeks, but the Lions are 5 weeks into their season, and things are still not clicking in the passing game the way they need to be. Stafford is holding onto the ball too long, throwing inaccurately often, and looks very slow on his reads. A big part of the problem may be that the Lions receivers are still struggling to get any sort of separation, giving Stafford nowhere to throw the ball. It’ll be interesting to revisit this later in the week when the coaches film is out and we can get a better look at the passing woes.

Can the Lions carry their success into next week?

Overall, this was a great team win that the Lions desperately needed. Beating the now 1-5 Jaguars won’t change how most Lions fans feel about the coaching staff and team, but it was nice to finally see everything come together for one game.

The Lions have historically been inconsistent, so it’s hard to say whether Sunday was a sign of things to come or just another glimpse of false hope. We’ll have to find out next week when the Lions take on the 1-5 Atlanta Falcons.

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