Despite a rough start, the Detroit Lions are in position to move back to .500.
The visiting Lions again look to post back-to-back victories for the first time Sunday against the Jaguars, who hope to avoid their second five-game skid in as many seasons.
Backed by a high-scoring offense, Detroit (3-4) won its first five games and was 6-2 halfway through its 2011 playoff season. Though the Lions rank second in the league in total offense, averaging 407.6 yards, they scored one first-half touchdown in the first six games before finding the end zone twice in the first two quarters of Sunday’s 28-24 home win over Seattle.
Still, Matthew Stafford needed to hit Titus Young from 1 yard out for the winning score with 20 seconds left. The Lions’ three victories have been by a combined 11 points, with two decided in the final 20 seconds of regulation and the other in overtime.
“That’s life in the NFL,” coach Jim Schwartz said. “You have to live in the moment. You have to win that game. You have to persevere through things.”
Detroit has done that, winning two of three since losing three straight.
“You want to keep clawing away to try to get even,” defensive end Cliff Avril told the Lions’ official website. “We can take steps forward.”
If that is to happen, the Lions might want to find ways to get star Calvin Johnson more involved. Johnson set career highs with 96 receptions, 1,681 yards and 16 TDs last season, but has three 100-yard games and one TD this year.
Constant attention from opposing defenses has limited the All-Pro to six catches for 80 yards in the last two contests, though he’s also contributed to Detroit’s 22 drops through Week 8 – tied for the most in the NFL.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with how many balls he gets,” Schwartz said. “He knows football. He just wants to win. Any player in our locker room will sacrifice personal performance for a win.”
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