DETROIT, Mich. – The Jaguars lost in one-sided fashion Sunday.
They also had a brief scare involving quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who sustained a hard hit late in the first half and was delayed coming out of the locker room at halftime.
Lawrence – the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft – returned to play most of the second half. But after trailing by 17 points at halftime, the Jaguars could not rally in a 40-14 loss to the Detroit Lions in front of 60,743 at Ford Field Sunday afternoon.
"We've got to lick our wounds," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said. "We've got two days to figure it out. We have a division opponent next week (the Tennessee Titans in Nashville). Nobody's going to feel sorry for us, so we're not going to feel sorry for ourselves.
"We're going to go to work and we're going to get things cleared up and try to make it right."
Lawrence called the performance "an ugly day for us, for sure" and "just embarrassing, honestly."
"Especially in a big game for us," he said. "That's the only way to describe it – embarrassing. I'm not going to lie: It feels that way, too. This was a playoff game for us. I'm not going to take anything away from them, but the way we came out on both sides of the ball – in all three phases – we didn't play anywhere close to our best football.
"We weren't detailed. We didn't execute. It's just embarrassing. To come out here and lay an egg, it can't happen. We've lost eight games this year and never have I felt like we got embarrassed.
"We have too much pride and work too hard to do that."
The Jaguars (4-8) lost for a second time in three games. The Lions (5-7) won for a fourth time in five games, winning a matchup of the teams that selected No. 1 (Jaguars) and No. 2 (Lions) overall in the 2022 NFL Draft last April.
"We've got to back to the work and go back to the drawing board," Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor said. "It was a tough loss. We've got to take this one on the chin and keep going."
The Lions scored on all eight of their possessions until kneeling at end of the game, with quarterback Jared Goff throwing two touchdown passes to wide receiver Amon-Ra St. brown – one in the first quarter and one in the fourth – and running back D'Andre Swift's one-yard touchdown run on the first drive of the second half giving the Lions a 30-6 lead.
"We just were not ready," Pederson said. "It's a combination of everybody, myself included. It's something we have to really look hard at in the next couple of days."
Lawrence, after three consecutive games with a passer rating of more than 100, completed 17 of 31 passes for 179 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions for a rating of 82.6. He had multiple dropped passes, including three in the first half.
He was hit hard on a sack by Lions linebacker James Houston on the final play of the first half and remained down for several minutes. He walked from the field at halftime and returned to the sideline during the Lions' drive to start the second half.
"He battled," Pederson said. "We'll continue to evaluate him. He showed a lot of toughness there coming back from a nasty hit. Very fortunate."
Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr., who left a victory over Baltimore last Sunday with a foot injury, rushed for 54 yards on 13 carries. His first-drive fumble gave the Lions possession at the Jaguars 38 and led to a 7-0 Lions lead.
Goff completed 31 of 41 passes for 340 yards with no interceptions. St. Brown caught 11 passes for 114 yards and Lions wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. caught five passes for 98 yards.
The Jaguars registered two sacks – 1.5 by rookie linebacker Chad Muma and .5 by nose tackle DaVon Hamilton. They did not register a takeaway.
"We have to make that decision to get back on track next week," Lawrence said. "That's where we're at in our season. After a game like this, you have to make that decision to go in the right direction and not go downhill.
"I believe in this team, but we have to have a great week and get back on track."
Step by step:
- Running back Jamaal Williams capped a seven-play, 38-yard drive with a one-yard run to give the Lions a 7-0 lead with 10:55 remaining in the first quarter; Lions cornerback Alex Anzalone recovered a fumble by Etienne at the Jaguars 38 to set up the drive. Riley Patterson's 31-yard field goal on the ensuing possession with 7:42 remaining cut the lead to 7-3; Lawrence passed 37 yards to wide receiver Christian Kirk on first-and-15 from the Jaguars 20. Goff's 10-yard touchdown pass to St. Brown pushed the Lions' lead to 14-3 with 4:04 remaining in the first quarter; a 41-yard pass from Goff to Chark gave the Lions a first down at the Jaguars 9.
- The Lions pushed the lead to 17-3 with a 45-yard field goal by Michael Badgley with 12:39 remaining in the second quarter, then extended it on the ensuing series to 20-3 with a 47-yard field goal by Badgley with 6:57 remaining in the quarter. Patterson's 42-yard field goal with 4:15 remaining in the half cut the lead to 20-6 before Badgely's third field goal of the quarter – a 38-yarder – pushed the Detroit lead to 23-6 with :31 remaining in the half.
- Swift's one-yard touchdown capped the opening drive of the second half and gave the Lions a 30-6 lead with 10:35 remaining in the third quarter. Lawrence's three-yard pass to tight end Evan Engram with 2:54 remaining in the third quarter and a two-point run by wide receiver Jamal Agnew pulled the Jaguars to within two scores, 30-14.
- Badgley's fourth field goal of the game came from 44 yards and pushed the Lions' lead to 33-14 with 12:21 remaining, with Goff's 10-yard touchdown pass to St. Brown capping the scoring.
- The Jaguars' five inactive players against the Lions were running back Darrell Henderson Jr., cornerback Tre Herndon, receiver Kendric Pryor, safety Andre Cisco and outside linebacker De'Shaan Dixon; the five also were inactive against the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday.
- Jaguars rookie linebacker Chad Muma sustained an ankle injury in the fourth quarter.