Detroit Lions Scrap Their Way to Victory

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The Detroit Lions have now extended their winning streak to three with a 20-17 win over the New York Jets. They have now won six of their last seven games, improving their record to 7-7.

This game was exactly what it was expected to be: a battle. The two teams fought back and forth, resulting in 10 punts between the two teams. Of 20 drives, only six of them resulted in scores.

Here are my takeaways:

Defense

The Lions’ defense was anything but consistent. They came out extremely strong, shutting the Jets down in their first two drives with no remorse. But the Jets caught on quickly, and Zach Wilson started sailing the ball down the field. Jeff Okudah was the prey of choice for Wilson. He got burned on several occasions.

While they had several things to critique, they also had a lot of positives as well. This game was their 13th straight game in a row with a takeaway, which is the longest active streak in the NFL. The takeaway of the game was Jerry Jacobs interception early in the third quarter. That would be Jacobs first career interception, just a week after producing his first-career sack. He is now the first Lions cornerback to have a season with at least one interception, one sack, and four TFLs since 2012 when Jonte Green did it.

John Cominsky, Romeo Okwara, and James Houston recorded sacks. For Houston, it was his fifth sack in his first four-career games. Per the LionsPR, this ties for the 4th-most sacks by any NFL rookie through four career games. It is also Detroit’s record for sacks through the first four games of a player’s career.

Another notable defensive player was DeShon Elliot. He had several big plays and led the team with six tackles. He went down in the third quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return.

Offense

The Lions’ offense struggled against the Jets defense, despite missing stud Quinnen Williams. The Jets proved to be a problem for Jared Goff. The Lions were unable to score a touchdown on any drive. The only touchdown came from a punt return by wide receiver Kalif Raymond. He took the Jets’ first punt 46 yards to the house. That would be Raymond’s first punt return touchdown in his seven-year career.

Goff ended up 23 for 38 for 252 yards. Coming off of two 300+ yard games this was unusual for the quarterback. With so many healthy receivers, it’s clear there was a struggle in the pass game. Amon-Ra St. Brown led the offense with seven catches for 76 yards. The next closest receiver was Kalif Raymond with five catches for 53 yards.

The game-breaking play came at the most crucial point for the Lions. On fourth and inches with 1:49 left in the fourth quarter, tight end Brock right took a pass 51 yards to the house. This was a risky but tricky play call, instead of punching it down the middle or throwing to St. Brown, Wright was wide open. It put the Lions up to 20 points, which was enough for the victory.

Swift had one of his biggest games since his injury. He would record eight carries for 52 yards and five catches for 23 yards.

Next Up for the Lions

The Detroit Lions now gear up for their Week 16 matchup and Christmas Eve game on the road verse the Carolina Panthers.

Maddy Miller – Detroit Lions Beat Reporter

On Twitter: @madelynvmillerr

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(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)