This one was over faster than the Jaguars expected. Too fast.
The Jaguars, after playing competitively on the road each of the last two weeks, returned home this week, but instead of a feel-good return, the result was yet another one-sided home loss – this time, 31-14 to the Detroit Lions in front of an announced 63,050 at EverBank Field Sunday afternoon.
It was the Jaguars' fifth consecutive loss, and their fourth loss in as many games at home.
"We were outplayed in all phases," Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey said. "You can look at the statistics to prove that."
And for a fourth consecutive home game, players talked in the locker room about how to respond after a difficult, one-sided loss.
"It's not about how hard you're hit," Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis said. "You just have to keep rolling."
The Lions (4-4) outgained the Jaguars (1-7) by a total of 434-279 and had 26 first downs to 19 for the Jaguars. Detroit also outrushed the Jaguars 149-64.
The first-half was even more one-sided. That was when the Lions pulled away, with running back Mikel Lashoure scoring on three short second-quarter touchdown runs:
*A 7-yarder with 12:16 remaining in the half.
*A 1-yarder with 7:58 remaining in the half.
*An 8-yarder with :29 remaining in the half.
The Jaguars picked up three first downs in the second quarter, but those were their only three first downs of the half. The Lions, for their part, had 18 first downs in the first two quarters, and when the half ended, Detroit led 21-0 and had outgained the Jaguars 285-57.
"I don't know what the stats were in the first half – I didn't want to know,' Mularkey said. "They were not good. I didn't need to see them."
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 15 of 24 first-half passes for 216 yards, and finished the game 22-of-33 passing for 285 yards. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson caught seven passes for 129 yards, including six first-half receptions for 111 yards.
Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who a week ago against Green Bay registered his first 300-yard passing game, completed 6 of 11 first-half passes for 41 yards, and while he finished the game with 27 completions in 38 attempts for 220 yards and two touchdowns, he also threw a pair of third-quarter interceptions.
The Jaguars, who haven't rushed for more than 70 yards since a Week 3 victory over Indianapolis, finished with 64 yards on 20 carries. Rashad Jennings had 45 yards on 12 carries in his second consecutive start for injured three-time Pro Bowl selection Maurice Jones-Drew.
The Jaguars were scoreless until the fourth quarter when a 5-yard pass from Gabbert to wide receiver Micheal Spurlock and a two-point pass to running back Rashad Jennings made it 24-8 with 8:36 remaining.
Detroit drove easily for its lone second-half touchdown on the ensuing possession, and running back Joique Bell's 10-yard run made it 31-8, Lions, with 2:42 remaining.
Gabbert's 6-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon with 50 seconds remaining made it 31-14. The two-point pass following Blackmon's first career touchdown failed.
The Jaguars, who have won once and lost in overtime twice in four road games, have lost their four home games by a cumulative 126-34.
"I can't really explain that," Jaguars safety Dawan Landry said. "Someone told me that coming into this week. Unfortunately, it happened again this week. It hurts to lose. Everybody hates to lose. You want to win every game, but you have to stay on an even course, correct the things you can correct. You never get too high or too low. You have to be ready for next week."