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 GAME DAY THREAD: Lions vs. Jaguars 
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Post Re: GAME DAY THREAD: Lions vs. Jaguars
MLive wrote:
Grading the Detroit Lions: Offense, defense and coaches score high marks in win over Jacksonville

Grading the Detroit Lions after their 31-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars

OFFENSE: A

The Lions imposed their will on the Jaguars from the opening kickoff, putting up 21 points in the first half. Running backs Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell combined for 29 carries, 143 yards and four touchdowns.

Despite missing the entire week of practice, wide receiver Calvin Johnson got back on track with 129 yards on seven receptions. He did most of his damage in the first half, catching six passes for 111 yards, including a 38-yard catch-and-run that gave Detroit a 1st-and-goal from Jacksonville's 1-yard line.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford missed some early throws, but settled down to complete 22 of 33 passes for 285 yards. He didn't have any touchdown tosses, but also didn't turn the ball over.

DEFENSE: A-

The Detroit defense set the tone early, forcing Jacksonville to go three-and-out on its first three possessions. The Jaguars didn't convert a first down until the middle of the second quarter and only had 57 yards of total offense by halftime.

The Lions forced a pair of turnovers on interceptions by safety Erik Coleman and cornerback Jonte Green. Coleman actually had two picks, but the first was negated when defensive end Willie Young was flagged for illegal use of the hands while rushing the quarterback.

With the game under control, the defensive softened up a bit in the second half, allowing the Jaguars to score a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns. Despite an awful start, Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert finished 27-38 for 220 yards, two scores and the aforementioned interceptions.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C

Detroit's special teams were inconsistent in the victory. The coverage units continue to make the necessary plays after the early-season meltdowns. The Jaguars didn't come close to breaking a big return, averaging six yards on two punt returns and 24 yards on the pair of kickoffs.

Kicker Jason Hanson missed his second field goal of the season, hitting the upright on the 47-yard attempt in the first quarter. He came back and knocked down a 42-yarder early in the fourth.

Return man Stefan Logan continued to struggle. He didn't register any returns, letting two punts hit the ground and roll deep into Lions territory and prematurely signaling for a fair catch on a third. He also picked up an offside penalty on the opening kickoff of the second half.

COACHING: A

Players know when they are squaring off against an inferior opponent, but the Lions came out with excellent focus and never took the foot off the gas.

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan called a great game. The Lions utilized a balanced approach, getting the team's most dangerous weapon involved early and leaning on the running backs down the stretch.

Gunther Cunningham's game plan eliminated Jacksonville's biggest offensive threats. Wide receiver Cecil Shorts, who had been Gabbert's top target in recent weeks, only saw four passes his direction. Running back Rashad Jennings had a minimal impact, particularly in the passing game.


freep wrote:
Lions report card: Grading Sunday's win over the Jaguars

Quarterback: A

Matthew Stafford didn't put up huge numbers, but Sunday was one of those games where it seemed like he could do anything he wanted. He fit passes into tiny windows to Brandon Pettigrew and Ryan Broyles, made a heady decision to avoid a sack and ground a ball into the turf, and regularly got into the right play at the line of scrimmage. With 285 yards passing -- 216 in the first half -- he also became the second-quickest quarterback to 10,000 career yards.

Running backs: A

Mikel Leshoure had 16 carries for 70 yards and became the first Lions running back to score three touchdowns in a game since James Stewart in 2000. Leshoure missed an open hole or two early, but he and Joique Bell (73 yards) wore the Jaguars down with their physical play. Bell twice hurdled defenders, but he also got drilled on one open-field run when he hesitated for a second looking like he might try to jump a third.

Receivers/ tight ends: A-

Give Calvin Johnson credit for a gutty and productive effort against a shorthanded Jacksonville secondary. He clearly wasn't himself because of a knee injury, but he still had seven catches for 129 yards. Broyles has a knack for finding open holes, and Tony Scheffler made a nice 28-yard catch along the sideline to push Stafford over the 10,000-yard passing mark. Pettigrew had an early drop, and Titus Young let a touchdown pass slip through his fingers.

Offensive line: A

Leshoure and Bell had plenty of holes to run through Sunday as the Lions dominated the game up front. Rookie Riley Reiff deserves special mention. He opened big holes on both of Leshoure's first-half touchdowns and flipped George Selvie on his head with a punishing block in the first half. Reiff also had a holding penalty and right tackle Gosder Cherilus was called for tripping, but overall this was the line's best effort this year.

Defensive line: A-

Jacksonville went three-and-out on its first three series and the defensive line set the tone each time, shutting down running lanes and pressuring QB Blaine Gabbert. Lawrence Jackson had the Lions' only sack when he came off the line unblocked and hopped over a running back in the second quarter. Willie Young had two penalties late in the first half, including one that wiped out an interception, and Nick Fairley drew a late personal foul that helped set up Jacksonville's first touchdown.

Linebackers: A-

There weren't a lot of splash plays, but Justin Durant (seven tackles) had a good day stopping the run in a game meaningful to him against his old team. Ashlee Palmer made his second straight start at right outside linebacker in place of DeAndre Levy. He came running onto the field late on the Lions' second defensive snap, when confusion in getting their nickel defense on the field led to the Lions playing with 10 guys. Stephen Tulloch missed a tackle on Marcedes Lewis in the third quarter, but Durant was there to clean it up.

Defensive backs: A

The Lions started their eighth different secondary in as many games this year, but they weren't challenged downfield much early. Erik Coleman had a nice interception over Justin Blackmon and broke up another pass with a diving play along the sideline. Coleman and Ricardo Silva started at safety in place of Louis Delmas and Amari Spievey. Rookie Jonte Green continues to get better at cornerback. He had a nice third-down tackle on Rashad Jennings in the first half.

Special teams: B

Jason Hanson missed his second field goal of the year in the first half when his 47-yarder hit the right upright, then made a 42-yarder in the fourth quarter. Stefan Logan didn't attempt a kick or punt return and was called for offside on the opening kick of the second half. He signaled fair catch on one Jacksonville punt that hit near the 20-yard line and was downed at the 8, but he might have lost it in the sun. New receiver Mike Thomas recovered a Jaguars onside kick attempt to end the game.

Coaching: A

The Lions were clearly a better team than the Jaguars, and they probably could have won this game going through the motions. But they came out fast, knew what was on the line and played that way all day. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan handled Johnson's balky knee the right way, using him in routes and plays that would keep his pain to a minimum.

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November 5th, 2012, 12:33 pm
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Post Re: GAME DAY THREAD: Lions vs. Jaguars
Now lets see how we do against a real team...

Two weeks we play GB at home. If our defense can show up, shut down Rogers with pressure, and come out with a win, I'll say we're onto something. If not, we're as bad as our record indicates, 6-10 - 8-8.


November 5th, 2012, 2:46 pm
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Post Re: GAME DAY THREAD: Lions vs. Jaguars
wjb21ndtown wrote:
Now lets see how we do against a real team...

Two weeks we play GB at home. If our defense can show up, shut down Rogers with pressure, and come out with a win, I'll say we're onto something. If not, we're as bad as our record indicates, 6-10 - 8-8.


It's the NFL there are no off weeks regardless of what team your facing. That same exact Jaguars team went toe to toe with the PACKERS just a week before with Gabbert putting up career numbers.

The same Jaguars team put up 341 yards against those Packers and only allowed 238... We put up 434 yards and allowed just 279. It obviously is a weaker team but we came in and destroyed them in every phase like we should have.


November 5th, 2012, 4:49 pm
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Post Re: GAME DAY THREAD: Lions vs. Jaguars
I guess I dont understand why this game doesn't count WJB. arnt we SUPPOSED to soundly beat the weaker teams? isnt that what we did? We need to show some consistancy, but this was a move in the right direction and I can't see anything neagtive about what happened on Sunday.


November 5th, 2012, 4:59 pm
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Post Re: GAME DAY THREAD: Lions vs. Jaguars
regularjoe12 wrote:
I guess I dont understand why this game doesn't count WJB. arnt we SUPPOSED to soundly beat the weaker teams? isnt that what we did? We need to show some consistancy, but this was a move in the right direction and I can't see anything neagtive about what happened on Sunday.


Why do you put words in my mouth? Did I say this game doesn't count? Did I say it was a crappy win?

This game counts on the W/L chart, and we played well, but it's easy to play well against a team with no D and a crappy offense, especially without their star player.

Where did I say anything negative about the win? I didn't... But you can't use last weeks game as a benchmark or sign of progress. I'm sorry, you just can't. You have to be able to do it against a good team, and our offense has to perform against a good D before you can say "ahhh... there we are!"...


November 5th, 2012, 5:14 pm
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Post Re: GAME DAY THREAD: Lions vs. Jaguars
wjb21ndtown wrote:
regularjoe12 wrote:
I guess I dont understand why this game doesn't count WJB. arnt we SUPPOSED to soundly beat the weaker teams? isnt that what we did? We need to show some consistancy, but this was a move in the right direction and I can't see anything neagtive about what happened on Sunday.


Why do you put words in my mouth? Did I say this game doesn't count? Did I say it was a crappy win?

This game counts on the W/L chart, and we played well, but it's easy to play well against a team with no D and a crappy offense, especially without their star player.

Where did I say anything negative about the win? I didn't... But you can't use last weeks game as a benchmark or sign of progress. I'm sorry, you just can't. You have to be able to do it against a good team, and our offense has to perform against a good D before you can say "ahhh... there we are!"...



Ok I get ya and completely understand. I agree, we are not there yet, but this was at least a step in the right direction.


November 5th, 2012, 5:27 pm
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Post Re: GAME DAY THREAD: Lions vs. Jaguars
ESPN wrote:
Free Head Exam: Detroit Lions
November, 5, 2012
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com

After the Detroit Lions' 31-14 victory over Jacksonville Jaguars, here are three issues that merit further examination:

1. The Lions followed through on our expectation that they could grab a rare early lead against the Jaguars. Entering the game, they had scored three offensive touchdowns in 43 first-half possessions this season. Sunday, they doubled that total with three touchdowns among their five possessions. And that happened even though the Lions punted after their first possession and missed a field goal attempt on their second. I suppose you can say what you want about the level of competition, and it's true that the Jaguars have been awful at home this season for some reason. But this was an important development for the Lions regardless. The worst bi-product of three come-from-behind victories this season would be making it a routine. Generally speaking, teams win much more often when they take an early lead than when they enter the fourth quarter trailing. I'm going to pull those numbers and post them on the blog later this week. (I hope I'm right!)

2. The Lions' evolution into a team that embraces power football has been interesting to watch. Sunday, they passed on five of their first six plays but ultimately realized the Jaguars were vulnerable to the power game. After that first series, the Lions -- gasp! -- ran the ball as many times (20) and they dropped back to pass (20). What a concept! Tailbacks Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell combined for 66 yards on 19 carries, and Leshoure's three red zone touchdowns accounted for a 21-0 lead. Already this season, the Lions have more rushing touchdowns (10) than they had in all of 2011 (nine). Granted, quarterback Matthew Stafford has three of those 2012 scores, but that is just an illustration of the larger point: The Lions are getting better at capitalizing on what defenses are giving them.

3. Credit the Lions for finding a creative way to get first-round draft pick Riley Reiff involved even though he hasn't cracked the starting lineup. Barring injury, there isn't usually much need for a backup offensive lineman, except on special teams or the occasional jumbo package. The Lions, however, have turned that jumbo package into a regular portion of their offense. Sunday, Reiff played on 33 of 72 snaps, all of them as an extra offensive lineman. As Tim Twentyman of the Lions' website noted, Reiff was on the field for all three of Leshoure's touchdowns and overall has blocked for six of the 10 this season. All teams try to utilize their personnel, but it's rare when an offensive lineman can contribute off the bench.

And here is one issue I still don't get:
How debilitating will receiver Calvin Johnson's knee injury be for the rest of the season? Johnson told reporters Sunday that "it's something I expect to linger," although coach Jim Schwartz expects it will eventually be "put to bed." Mostly, it sounded like the Lions did a really nice job of giving Johnson routes he could handle. According to Johnson, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan met with him before the game and understood that it was "tough to cut" using his left leg. I'm not saying that's the first time a coach has accommodated an injury to that extent, but it drives home that Johnson's injury -- while unidentified -- is significant. Sunday, he needed painkillers to get through the game. The Lions have already had their bye week, so Johnson will be toughing it out for a while. Of course, if he can have a 100-yard day on painkillers and a limited route tree, there doesn't seem too much to worry about.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/post/_ ... t-lions-42

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November 5th, 2012, 5:44 pm
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Post Re: GAME DAY THREAD: Lions vs. Jaguars
Good day to have Leshoure and Doug Martin starting on my fantasy team!

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November 5th, 2012, 9:47 pm
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Post Re: GAME DAY THREAD: Lions vs. Jaguars
I just watched over the game again:


Offensive line had probably its best run blocking game of the season. Raiola, Peterman and Sims did a nice job. Backus didnt look so great pass blocking but overall they had one of there better games. Reiff was exceptional. Have to wonder if they have a play where they float a pass out to him off of play action can the big man catch?

RBs - I thought they did okay but better backs would ve busted some longer runs. Joique Bell had a wide open run to the left where he only had to beat one man to take it to the house but really hesitated and couldnt make the defender miss. Bell did a better job making people miss than LeShoure, though Leshoure s 2nd td run was impressive. Smith looks like a good change of pace to these guys though he s not getting much of a chance. They did a good job taking time off the clock later in the game but even early in the game the Lions were running on 1st and 2nd down and not doing quite enough to put themselves in good position for 3rd down. It wont be as easy to convert the 3rd downs against a better opponent. I dont have a problem with the players necessarily bc I didnt expect much from Leshoure and Bell but I think the coaching staff is overrating these guys. It cost them the game against the Bears with the turnovers and I think this performance might give a little false hope. Fast forward to when we play HOU, we cant afford to just keep handing the ball to these guys and face 3rd and long and have to pass only out of predictable situations.

TE - Scheffler with a great catch on the sideline. Pettigrew okay blocking but couldnt find many openings and dropped another pass. Starting to wonder what his future his. At age 27, he s older than I thought. I bet some team will get fooled into giving him a multiyear deal but I dont think he s worth it at this point.

QB - Stafford s command and decision making are much better, he looks more comfortable but he can be a little more accurate on the shorter throws particulary to the backs where hitting them in stride vs making them take falsesteps costs us yards after the catch way too frequently.

WR - Its a real wonder why Ryan Broyles didnt see the field more early in the season. He looks like a solid player. Titus Young missed a TD catch but he had a couple of nice blocks and looked like he was giving a much better effort than earlier in the season when he seemed to not be interested unless a play was called for him. The way these guys have played, I dont see a compelling reason to have Burleson back especially with Thomas also being in the fold and at a reasonable price. Certainly there s more speed on the field and Broyles seems to be a smart player.

DL - Significant for Ndamukong Suh having an underwhelming performance. Both Corey Williams and Sammie Hill created a lot of problems inside. KVB to me hasnt been the same so DE could very much be the top need heading into next years draft. Avril was pretty good vs the run. Willie Young did his best to almost singlehandedly put Jax back in the game - taking away a Lions INT in Jax territory and giving them a free play to get into field goal range. Fortunately the Jags couldnt come away with points but Young hasnt shown ANYTHING this season. LoJack and Fairley were solid.

LB - good game all around, Tulloch missed a couple tackles that he d normally get but Palmer and Durant were good. Palmer could be playing his way into a starting position next season with Levy and Durant both as free agents.

DBs - best game in a Lions uniform by Coleman. Probably one of the worst QB/WR groups we ll face although if Ponder and co are without Harvin next week then it should be more of the same.

ST - Logan just awful and stupid football. Letting punts land and bounce for an extra 10-12 yards and inside the 10 is just awful. Forget that he s not doing anything with returns but he s not even reliably fielding the ball anymore. Time for a change there. Hanson missed the kick but Im not too worried with next 4 games being played indoors. Nick Harris seems to be playing better than he had in his first run with the team.


November 6th, 2012, 2:38 am
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Post Re: GAME DAY THREAD: Lions vs. Jaguars
MLive wrote:
Detroit Lions second look: Jacksonville Jaguars didn't commit enough resources to Calvin Johnson

Coming into Sunday's game with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson was coming off two subpar performances and missed the entire week of practice because of a nagging knee injury. Whatever the reason, the Jaguars were convinced they'd be able to slow down Johnson with single coverage.

Jacksonville assigned 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback Derek Cox to the task. By most standards, Cox is a big corner, but compared to Charles Tillman, Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman, the Jaguars defensive back must have seemed small to Johnson.

Johnson succeeded with three bread-and-butter routes.

If Jacksonville tried to play physical off the line of scrimmage with two high safeties, the receiver embraced the contact, hitting the cornerback to gain separation before breaking inside on a slant or square in.

It the Jaguars showed the Lions a single-high safety look, that's when quarterback Matthew Stafford would take his shots downfield. Johnson was able to easily run past Cox on a vertical route and either continue along the sideline or break inside on a skinny post. The Lions successfully executed this twice in the second quarter, gaining 56 total yards.

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Johnson also caught a deep post for 26 yards against a two-high zone look by finding space in the two layers of the zone. This has been a frequent source of big yardage for the Lions the past two seasons.

Finally, if the Jaguars wanted to play off Johnson, the big receiver would sell a vertical route before hitting the brakes on a 12-15 yard hitch. The Lions executed this twice for 30 total yards.

The key was putting Johnson out wide with no other receivers to his side. It forced the Jags to either commit two defenders before the snap, leaving a soft spot in the middle of the field, or forcing Cox to handle the assignment on his own.

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November 6th, 2012, 6:54 pm
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Post Re: GAME DAY THREAD: Lions vs. Jaguars
Lately I been getting more frustrated with Logan play.

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November 7th, 2012, 11:39 am
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Post Re: GAME DAY THREAD: Lions vs. Jaguars
He was a great against the odds story when he came into the league. And he had decent play, both as a returner and as an occasional back. So he had plenty of support.

Since the kick off rules changed, though, he's been pointless. As others have said, a waste of a roster spot to keep a specialist returner in who's returns are not that special and who brings nothing else to the team.


November 7th, 2012, 12:15 pm
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