Detroit Lions squeak past Jacksonville Jaguars 13-12


Aug 22, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley and Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell (right) shake hands after the game at Ford Field. Detroit won 13-12. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 13-12 on Friday evening, but it wasn’t all pretty. Although the Lions won, it was not an especially encouraging performance from a team that made crucial mistakes down the stretch and missed the playoffs last season.

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Detroit was stopped on fourth down inside the Jacksonville 5-yard line in the first half, and Mikel Leshoure lost a fumble deep in Jaguars territory in the fourth quarter. Ryan Broyles had a fumble at the Jacksonville 1 overturned on replay.

Even when Detroit’s top players were in, the Lions struggled at times. Stafford nearly had two passes intercepted on the first drive, and after Bush scored on his long run later in the quarter, Stafford was intercepted by Andre Branch on the first play of Detroit’s third possession.

Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The teams combined for 27 penalties.

It wasn’t all bad though.

Reggie Bush broke free for an 86-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and Calvin Johnson played for the first time this preseason, catching two passes for 27 yards.

On the Jaguars side of the ball, Blake Bortles threw for 158 yards and a touchdown for the Jaguars. Jacksonville started Chad Henne, but Bortles — the third pick in this year’s draft — was impressive in relief. He completed 10 of 16 passes, including a 13-yard touchdown to Allen Hurns.

Hurns had seven catches for 113 yards.

Jacksonville’s Josh Scobee kicked a 38-yard first-quarter field goal but was replaced by Kasey Redfern because of a quadriceps injury. Redfern made a 34-yarder in the second quarter but had a 45-yard attempt blocked in the third.

In the third quarter, Bortles took the Jaguars from their own 14 to the Detroit 27 before Redfern’s kick was blocked by Xavier Proctor. On its next drive, Jacksonville went 49 yards in four plays for its only touchdown.

Denard Robinson received a warm welcome from the crowd in Detroit after a tackle he made on special teams. Robinson, who is now a running back for the Jaguars, was once the starting quarterback at the University of Michigan in near by Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Lions last preseason game is Thursday, August 28 at 7:00 pm/ET against the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo New York.