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Lions earn sixth comeback win of season vs. Jaguars

The Cardiac Detroit Lions are going to wear out the defibrillator before Christmas. Jim Caldwell's cats overcame their sixth fourth-quarter deficit to remain atop the NFC North at 6-4 with a 26-19 win over the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8) at Ford Field. Here is what you need to know:

  1. The Lions offense looked like it was still on the bye week in the first half. Detroit gained just 20 yards on their first five drives, including four straight 3-and-outs before getting a field goal to close out the half. Matthew Stafford wasn't his most accurate, but -- as he has all season -- made the plays in the fourth quarter. Stafford hit tight end Eric Ebron on a 61-yard catch-and-run to set up the game-winning score (a tight end Jet Sweep by Ebron). With no running game, Stafford was able to salt away the clock with a bevy of short passes on a 15-play, 7-minute, 57-second drive to ice the win.

Detroit has trailed in the fourth quarter in all 10 games this season, with each contest decided by seven or fewer points. They're the first team in NFL history to have each of their first 10 games decided by seven or fewer points. Coming out of a bye against a bad team, it wasn't the crisp game Detroit fans hoped for, but Jim Caldwell's team remains atop the NFC North ahead of a Thanksgiving tilt versus Minnesota.

  1. Blake Bortles cannot throw down the field. The Jaguars quarterback was grossly off-target on all but one of his throws of more than 10 yards -- even the 29-yarder to Marqise Lee (his longest of the day) forced the receiver to make a tough sideline catch. Bortles dinked-and-dunked his way for 202 yards on 35 attempts (5.8 average) with two short touchdown tosses. The struggling quarterback was battered all day, exiting at one point to have his shoulder checked at the end of the first half. He threw his 10th career pick six and another INT to end the ballgame. Against a Lions defense that was allowing a 112.4 passer rating, Bortles put up a meager 73.8 rating. His inability to stretch the field allowed Lions DBs to bum-rush short throws and make drive-stalling tackles.
  1. The Lions won a game in which they averaged 0.7 rush yards per attempt. That's not a typo. Detroit carried the ball 21 times for 14 yards. Rookie Dwayne Washington led the team with 13 carries but was repeatedly pounded in the backfield for losses and finished with 6 yards. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Ameer Abdullah would visit Dr. Robert Anderson to check out his injured foot on Tuesday in hopes he could return from IR later this season. The Lions sure need the help.
  1. Chris Ivory was the Jags offense. With T.Y. Yeldon exiting early due to an ankle injury, Ivory carried the load. The bruising back toted 17 times for just 39 yards but caught six passes for 75 yards. He totaled 104 yards. The rest of the team earned 181. Bortles' check downs to Ivory were Jacksonville's best plays.
  1. With the Lions' offense scuffling, special teams and defense picked up the scoring slack. After muffing a punt early, Andre Roberts took a punt for a first-half score. On the first drive of the second half, safety Rafael Bush grabbed a poor, deflected Bortles pass and returned to pay dirt. Detroit got defensive stops late when needed and several third-down tackles by rookie safety Miles Killebrew who delivered heavy wood in some big spots. Ziggy Ansah also is finally healthy, beating up Bortles on three QB hits.
  1. The Jaguars hadn't forced a turnover in its last five games. Sunday it snapped that streak, recovering an early muffed punt and stripping Golden Tate in the second half. Jacksonville, however, earned just three points on the takeaways.
  1. Jags defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks made one of the biggest boneheaded plays of the year jumping offsides on 4th-and-2 with 2:34 left from around midfield. The error squashed any chance for Bortles to mount a comeback. It's the type of play that keeps bad teams bad.
  1. The Jags and Lions did their part in the Missed-PAT-Palooza, with each team botching an extra point.
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