Lions punt returner Andre Roberts scored on a 55-yard run in the first half of a 26-19 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at Ford Field. The hosts didn’t score again until late in the game but it proved to be enough.
Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns but was also intercepted twice as the Jaguars fell to 2-8. Bortles has been picked off 13 times this season.
“They made more plays than we did – and made more big plays,” said Jacksonville Head Coach Gus Bradley said. “We just didn’t make enough plays to come up with a win.”
Running back Chris Ivory rushed 17 times for 39 yards but caught six passes for 75 yards. He totaled 104 yards. The rest of the team earned 181.
The Jaguars finished with 285 total yards and 16 first downs. Jacksonville held the Lions to 277 total yards.
“Two and eight – it’s tough,” Bortles said. “It’s difficult. It’s challenging. It’s not where anybody wanted to be, but I think it’s a special group of guys in there that when things aren’t going well they’re able to put their heads down and go to work.”
Bortles hooked up with Allen Robinson for a score. Wide receiver Marqise Lee caught four passes for 52 yards and his first touchdown of the season, a three-yard scoring reception.
It was the third consecutive Jaguars loss in which they outgained a playoff-contending opponent.
Roberts score made up for an earlier miscue.
“Obviously, you love to see a guy bounce back that way,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. “He’s shown the ability to do that on a number of occasions. He doesn’t shy away. Some guys will wilt in that situation and continue to make mistakes and compound them one after another. Andre’s able to get over it quickly and do something big for you later on.”
Jaguars punter Brad Nortman was forced to kick out of his end zone. After Roberts fielded the ball, he ran to his right and down the sideline for the final 10 yards with 11:13 remaining in the half.
“The game’s four quarters,” Bradley said. “There are plays throughout that game that were going to look at and wish we had back. We all just need to take a look at it, because there are plays throughout that need to get corrected.”
Roberts contributed another long gain as a wide receiver, catching a 44-yard pass from QB Matthew Stafford.
“He’s a talented player and obviously made a big play on special teams today with a great return, and had a big 44-yarder down the sideline,” Stafford said. “He’s an extremely fast guy, explosive player. He’s really made some big-time clutch plays for us this year.
The Jaguars’ defense failed to stop Detroit on a long drive that took 15 plays and covered 69 yards. The drive ended with a 43-yard field goal by kicker Matt Prater that gave Detroit a seven-point lead with 22 seconds remaining.
“That’s unacceptable on our part,” said Jags linebacker Paul Posluszny. “It felt like defensively we played well all game, but at the key time in the fourth quarter we have to find a way to get off the field and get the ball back to our offense. That’s not the way we want to finish a game.”
The Jaguars continue on the road Sunday at Buffalo to face a Bills team that won 16-12 over Cincinnati.
Walking wounded: The injury rundown from jaguars.com…Jacksonville cornerback Aaron Colvin sustained a chest injury and a concussion in the first quarter and did not return because of the concussion. Tight end Marcedes Lewis sustained a first-quarter calf injury. Left guard Patrick Omameh sustained a first-quarter foot injury and returned briefly but left the game after that. Running back T.J. Yeldon sustained an ankle injury in the second quarter. Defensive end Jared Odrick sustained a foot injury in the second half and returned, and wide receiver Arrelious Benn left in the second half with a concussion.