Given the result, the Detroit Lions probably should try to be this balanced all the time…
Good, Bad and Ugly: Lions 31, Jags 14
The Detroit Lions were able to scratch their way out of a 1-3 start and reach the .500 mark at the mid-way point of the season with a 31-14 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. The Lions are now positioned for a potential run in the second-half of the season, an opportunity that may not have been possible with a loss to the Jaguars. The Good – The Victory This was a game the Lions should have won. The Jaguars entered with a 1-6 record, a sputtering offense and an injured Maurice Jones-Drew (the team's best player). Sure, the Lions run game was impressive. It accounted for 149 yards of offense and all four touchdowns (three from Mikel Leshoure). Quarterback Matthew Stafford – despite finishing his second game of the season without a touchdown – was sharp. He took what the defense gave him, completed 22-of-33 passes and had 285 yards. The offense converted on 67 percent of the third-down situations it faced, gaining 434 yards against the Jaguars' 279. The defense forced punts on the Jaguars first four drives before half-time ended the fifth. The Lions defenders then followed that up by forcing interceptions on the Jaguars first two drives in the second half. This game didn't lack exceptional performances – both from collective and individual stand points –- none were more important than the victory. The Lions could not afford to lose and fall to 3-5 and responded with an impressive victory. The Bad – Titus Young Entering the season, Lions receiver Titus Young was pegged as an obvious break-out candidate for the Lions after a very impressive training camp and preseason. Instead of surging into his second year, Young has struggled until last week's 9-catch, two touchdown performance against Seattle. But Young failed to follow-up at Jacksonville, contributing only two catches on five targets against the Jaguars. The low-light of Young's day came when Stafford hit him for a deep pass in the end zone on a third-down play. The ball floated to the end zone only to hit Young's hands and fall incomplete. The Ugly – Willie Young Another Young on the Detroit roster has failed to carry an outstanding preseason over to the regular season. Willie Young, the Lions third-year defensive end, has struggled to make an impact this year (three total tackles). It seems as if every time his name is listed on the stat sheet it is for a costly penalty, a perception that was further perpetuated in Jacksonville. Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert threw an interception to start off a drive to close the first-half. The turnover would have provided an opportunity for the Lions to score again before halftime but the turnover was nullified after Young was flagged for illegal hands to the face. The penalty didn't prove to be costly but is a mistake that could have haunted the team in a closer game. On the next play, Young was whistled for being offsides – a penalty that was declined. The above two mentions are the only times Young appears on the stat sheet. He had no tackles, quarterback hits or statistical contributions to the game otherwise.
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