Rookie D’Andre Swift ran for a career-high 116 yards and two touchdowns, Stafford got an elusive TD pass against the only team he hadn’t thrown one against in 12 NFL seasons and the Lions hammered the Jaguars 34-16 on Sunday.
Detroit (2-3) made this one look easy, somewhat surprising considering the Lions had lost six straight in which they led by double digits. They've already done it three times this season, collapsing in losses to Chicago, Green Bay and New Orleans.
It probably helped that this one came against hapless Jacksonville (1-5), which has now lost five straight and allowed at least 30 points in each. It’s the first time in franchise history the Jaguars have done that, putting the jobs of coach Doug Marrone and defensive coordinator Todd Wash in more jeopardy.
Lions coach Matt Patricia can breathe easy for a week. He had lost 15 of his previous 17 games, raising speculation about his future with the franchise.
But Detroit looked like a different team following its bye week.
Stafford completed 19 of 31 passes for 223 yards, with an interception on a tipped pass. His 1-yard TD toss to T.J. Hockenson came on fourth down; it looked like Patricia and Lions really wanted the long-awaited passing score against Jacksonville.
Kenny Golladay finished with four receptions for 105 yards.
Swift had a breakout performance. The rookie from Georgia showed power, speed and elusiveness while improving to 4-0 at EverBank Field. His Bulldogs have won three straight against rival Florida at the NFL venue.
It was the first time since 2013 that Detroit produced a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver in the same game.
The Lions set the tone with a touchdown on their opening possession, becoming the fourth opponent in six games to get six points on their first drive against Jacksonville.
They were even better on defense, with the league's worst-ranked run defenders stuffing James Robinson and pressuring Gardner Minshew early and often.
Adrian Peterson notched his 82nd game with at least one touchdown run, breaking a fourth-place tie with Hall of Famer Walter Payton. He trails Emmitt Smith (117), Marcus Allen (92) and LaDainian Tomlinson (92).
Peterson finished with 40 yards on 15 carries. Jacksonville remained one of three NFL teams (Carolina and Washington) that haven’t allowed Peterson to top 100 yards rushing while playing him four times or more.
Jaguars kicker Jon Brown was part of history and a trend. Brown was the team’s fifth different kicker in as many weeks, setting an NFL record. He also hit the right upright on a 31-yard attempt, becoming the fifth different guy to miss a kick for Jacksonville in five straight losses.
Josh Lambo, Brandon Wright, Aldrick Rosas, Stephen Hauschka and Brown each missed either an extra point or at least one field goal.
Lions: Lost two starting offensive linemen because of dehydration. Neither right tackle Tyrell Crosby nor right guard Halapoulivvti Vaitai returned. Rookie defensive end Julian Okwara limped off the field with a leg injury.
Jaguars: Linebacker Myles Jack (ankle), guard A.J. Cann (right shoulder), tight end Tyler Eifert (neck) and safety Jarrod Wilson (hamstring) left the game.
As they’ve done all season, players from Detroit and Jacksonville remained in their locker rooms for the national anthem. The Lions had 30 players lined up along the goal line for the anthem, with seven of them — including Stafford — taking a knee. The Jaguars stayed in the locker room together.
The Lions play next Sunday at Atlanta, which has won four of the last five meetings.
The Jaguars travel across the country to face the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday. The Chargers have won seven of the last eight meetings, including a 45-10 drubbing last December.
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