Lions outslug Jaguars in penalty fest
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) – Reggie Bush broke free for an 86-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, one of only a few offensive highlights Friday night as the Detroit Lions edged the Jacksonville Jaguars 13-12 in a penalty-filled game.
Calvin Johnson played for the first time this preseason, catching two passes for 27 yards, but Matthew Stafford was intercepted once and the Lions struggled in the red zone.
Blake Bortles threw for 158 yards and a touchdown for the Jaguars. Jacksonville started Chad Henne, but Bortles – the third pick in this year’s draft – was impressive in relief. He completed 10 of 16 passes, including a 13-yard touchdown to Allen Hurns.
The teams combined for 27 penalties.
Although the Lions won, it was not an especially encouraging performance from a team that made crucial mistakes down the stretch and missed the playoffs last season. Detroit was stopped on fourth down inside the Jacksonville 5-yard line in the first half, and Mikel Leshoure lost a fumble deep in Jaguars territory in the fourth quarter. Ryan Broyles had a fumble at the Jacksonville 1 overturned on replay.
George Winn scored from there to give Detroit a 13-12 lead with 7:12 remaining.
Even when Detroit’s top players were in, the Lions struggled at times. Stafford nearly had two passes intercepted on the first drive, and after Bush scored on his long run later in the quarter, Stafford was intercepted by Andre Branch on the first play of Detroit’s third possession.
Jacksonville’s Josh Scobee kicked a 38-yard first-quarter field goal but was replaced by Kasey Redfern because of a quadriceps injury. Redfern made a 34-yarder in the second quarter but had a 45-yard attempt blocked in the third.
Henne went 9 of 14 for 70 yards and avoided any major mistakes. But Bortles, the first quarterback taken in this year’s draft, was able to move the Jaguars down the field. Jacksonville started at its own 5 with 1:43 remaining in the first half, and Bortles was able to guide the Jaguars into position for Redfern’s kick as time expired.
In the third quarter, Bortles took the Jaguars from their own 14 to the Detroit 27 before Redfern’s kick was blocked by Xavier Proctor. On its next drive, Jacksonville went 49 yards in four plays for its only touchdown.
Hurns had seven catches for 113 yards.
Jacksonville’s Denard Robinson, a star quarterback when he was at Michigan in nearby Ann Arbor, got a nice cheer from the crowd in the first quarter when he made a tackle on special teams.