After a dreadful start to the 2012 season, the Detroit Lions seem to have found a groove. Entering their bye week with a 1-4 record, the Lions needed to find momentum or result in having their playoff hopes diminish. With two wins in their last three contests, the Lions have done just that.
Detroit has allowed just 20 points per game since the bye week after giving up an average of 28.5 points in the previous four. Special teams have been a big reason for the improvement. The all important unit has not given up a single touchdown since the bye, after allowing four in the two contests before the bye.
They all showed a lot of heart and tenacity against the Seattle Seahawks, with Matthew Stafford leading the team down the field late in the fourth quarter. With 20 seconds remaining, Stafford connected with wide receiver Titas Young on a 1-yard slant to help the Lions win 28-24.
By facing the Jacksonville Jaguars this week, the Lions have a terrific opportunity to get to .500 on the season with their fourth win. At 1-6, Jacksonville is one of only two teams in the NFL with just one win on the season.
With Maurice Jones-Drew out with a foot injury, the Jaguars will struggle to score points more than they usually do. Even with Jones-Drew in the lineup for every game but last week’s 24-15 loss against the Green Bay Packers, the team averages just 14.7 points a game.
Going against a revived Lions pass defense that has allowed only four passing touchdowns in their last three games, it is going to be a difficult task for second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert to defeat a Lions squad that seems to have found their confidence.
Prediction: Lions 27, Jaguars 16
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Written by Matt Austin