JACKSONVILLE – In a weekly feature for the 2022 season, NFL Media and Jaguars Media analyst Bucky Brooks breaks down the Jaguars' performance in a 40-14 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., Sunday
- The Jaguars were dominated by the Detroit Lions from the opening whistle to the final buzzer. Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell's scrappy squad hit the Jaguars in the mouth at every turn, and the visitors did not respond well to the intense environment. The physical whipping combined with a clever set of game plans on each side of the ball enabled the Lions to chalk up a blowout win that was not nearly as close as the score indicated.
KEYS TO VICTORY
- The Lions thoroughly outplayed the Jaguars in every phase. Despite having playoff hopes on the line, the Jaguars failed to bring the energy, effort and execution needed to win against a solid team. Whether it was the defense failing to get a critical stop at any point of the game or the offense appearing overmatched by the Lions' energetic defense, the Jaguars did not look like the same squad that knocked off an AFC heavyweight in the Baltimore Ravens the previous week.
- The Jaguars' franchise quarterback could not get it going against a Lions' defense that appeared vulnerable prior to the game. Trevor Lawrence completed just 17 of 31 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown for an offense that looked punch-less most of the day. Although the second-year veteran did not have his A-game, the "dropsies" from the Jaguars' receivers certainly did not help him find his rhythm from the pocket. The shoddy execution and lack of attention to detail from the offensive line and pass catchers impacted how the quarterback performed, and he could not overcome the struggles around him.
- Wide receiver Christian Kirk quietly put up a 100-yard game in a disappointing performance from the squad. The team's marquee free-agent acquisition caught six passes for 104 yards while displaying the precision route-running skills that made him a hot commodity on the open market. Although Kirk's performance and production did not positively impact the game against the Lions, it could help the veteran build a little momentum that leads to a productive stretch run.
- The Jaguars' offense was dominated by a lightweight defense that was viewed as one of the worst units in football. The offensive line could not control the line of scrimmage, and the inability to move defenders off the ball derailed the Jaguars' running game. With the frontline also failing to slow down the Lions' energetic pass rush, Lawrence could never find his rhythm within the pocket. Considering the Jaguars' pass catchers were dropping balls at an alarming rate, it would not have mattered if Lawrence had enough time due to the lack of execution from his playmakers on the perimeter. Overall, it was a poor performance from the Jaguars, and the coaching staff will need to figure out why the unit did not play well in a high-stakes game on the road.
- Defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell did not have an answer for the Lions' offense. The Jaguars could not contain the Lions' top playmakers on the perimeter (wide receivers Amon-Ra St. Brown and DJ Chark Jr.) while also playing soft against the run. The lack of execution and competitiveness was alarming for a unit that has emphasized effort, communication and attention to detail from Day 1. Maybe it was simply one of those days, but the Jaguars' defensive woes against the Lions are a major concern for a team that has invested significant resources (draft picks and free-agent signings) to upgrade the unit.
Through the Lens: My Cause My Cleats edition. Swipe through to view game day photos from the Week 13 matchup against the Lions. Zoom in to view the custom cleats many players wore in honor of causes that are important to them.