DETROIT, Michigan – The Jaguars were gutsy Sunday. Once again.
Once again, gutsy wasn't enough.
Quarterback Blake Bortles played through a shoulder injury to throw two touchdown passes, but also threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown for a second consecutive week as the Jaguars lost a fifth consecutive game – this one 26-19 to the Detroit Lions in front of 61,486 at Ford Field.
Tight end Eric Ebron's 1-yard touchdown run gave the Lions a 23-19 lead with 9:54 remaining in a back-and-forth game, and Detroit had an extended drive that consumed the final 7:57 of the final 8:19.
Jaguars defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks jumped offside on 4th-and-2 from the Jaguars 46 with 2:34 remaining to give the Lions a key first down. Lions kicker Matt Prater's 43-yard field goal with :22 remaining provided the final margin.
The Jaguars, who had five players leave the game with injuries, squandered what for three quarters was a stingy defensive effort. They outgained the Lions 285-277. It was the third consecutive week the Jaguars have outgained their opponent in a narrow loss.
The Lions had 144 total yards through three quarters.
The Jaguars (2-8), after not forcing a takeaway since a Week 4 victory over the Colts in London, forced two on Sunday. One led to an early field goal and the other did not produce points.
The NFC North-leading Lions (6-4) have won five of their last six games.
Bortles, who had his right (throwing) shoulder evaluated at halftime, completed 22 of 35 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.
The first interception was costly, with Bortles' high pass being deflected by wide receiver Marqise Lee. The ball caromed into the air and safety Rafael Bush returned it 39 yards for a touchdown.
It was the second time in as many weeks Bortles has had an interception returned for a touchdown. He has had 10 interceptions returned for touchdowns in three seasons.
That gave the Lions a 16-9 lead with 14:02 remaining in the third quarter. The Lions had 87 total yards at that point, having returned a punt for their lone first-half touchdown.
The Jaguars cut into the lead with a 52-yard third-quarter field goal by Jason Myers, then regained the lead when Bortles passed three yards to Lee late in the quarter. It was Lee's first touchdown reception of the season.
Lee set up the touchdown with a 29-yard reception to the Lions three, a play on which Lee tight-roped the sideline to stay in bounds.
The Jaguars snapped a couple of significant streaks early to take an early lead.
Tight end Ben Koyack fell on a muffed punt at the Lions 11 late in the first quarter. That gave the Jaguars a takeaway for the first time since the first quarter of a Week 4 victory over Indianapolis in London.
Myers converted a 27-yard field goal three plays later. The 3-0 lead was the Jaguars' first since the end of a 17-16 victory over Chicago in Week 6, a span of more than five games.
Lions wide receiver Andre Roberts returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter to give Detroit a 6-3 lead. Marks blocked the extra point, but the Jaguars trailed at that point despite 102-17 total-yardage advantage.
The Jaguars retook the lead with a three-yard touchdown pass from Bortles to Allen Robinson with 2:45 remaining in the half. That capped an impressive drive for Bortles, who played through his shoulder issue to complete three of five passes for 39 yards on the drive.
Prater's 27-yard field goal with :19 remaining in the half made it 9-9. The Jaguars held a 158-87 advantage in total yards at that point.
PLAYER OF THE GAME …
Marqise Lee, wide receiver.The third-year veteran continued to make a strong case as the Jaguars' best offensive player, catching four passes for 52 yards and a touchdown. Lee's two athletic catches keyed the Jaguars' lone second-half touchdown drive with his three-yard touchdown reception giving the Jaguars a 19-16 lead. His 29-yard reception came as he tiptoed the sideline to stay in bounds. Lee also returned a kickoff 42 yards.
The Jaguars finished with 285 total yards and 16 first downs. The Jaguars had 158 yards and eight first downs in the first half.
The Jaguars held the Lions to 277 total yards. The Lions had 87 yards and five first downs in the first half.
Special teams hurt the Jaguars again Sunday, with Myers missing an extra point and the punt coverage team allowing Roberts' 55-yard second-quarter touchdown. That marked the third consecutive game with a long return against the Jaguars setting up a key score. It was Myers' first missed extra point of the season after making his first 17 point-after attempts.
INJURY UPDATES …
Injuries took a major toll on the Jaguars Sunday.
Cornerback Aaron Colvin sustained a chest injury in the first quarter 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. All were ruled out at halftime.
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.
The Jaguars' seven game-day inactives Sunday were Otto linebacker Dan Skuta (back), offensive lineman Jeremiah Poutasi, quarterback Brandon Allen, wide receiver Bryan Walters (concussion), cornerback Josh Johnson, defensive tackle Richard Ash and defensive end Chris Smith (eye).
*Jaguars weak-side linebacker Telvin Smith started Sunday after missing practice Wednesday and Thursday. He had been away from the team much of the week following the shooting death of his brother – Brian Moore – in Valdosta, Georgia, last Sunday. Smith attended Moore's funeral Saturday and joined the team in Detroit later that day.
*With Skuta out, rookie second-round draft selection Myles Jack played the entire game at the Otto linebacker position. Jack had been the starter for the past six games and had been rotating with Skuta at the position.
*Ben Koyack started a second consecutive game with Lewis in the Jaguars' two-tight scheme. Tight end Julius Thomas played in passing situations. …
*Jaguars now have gone 24 games without scoring a touchdown on their first possession.
*The Jaguars' defense forced three consecutive three-and-outs in the first and second quarters. That's the first time the defense has done that since Week 1 against Green Bay.
*Robinson's three-yard touchdown reception in the first half was his sixth of the season. His 20 receiving touchdowns over the last two seasons lead the NFL.