Jaguars, Lions search for consistency and win No. 2
Inconsistency has plagued the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars. At least, that’s what their coaches have to say about their one-win teams.
Both sides will look for steadier performances when they clash at Jacksonville on Sunday.
The Lions (1-3) are coming off a bye week after losing at home to New Orleans 35-29 on Oct. 4. They notched their lone victory, a three-point triumph in Arizona, the previous week.
“Right now, we’re just too inconsistent,” Detroit’s third-year coach Matt Patricia said. “We’d like to make sure that the stuff we’re doing well, we’d like to see it every single play.”
Patricia and GM Bob Quinn are on the hot seat as the franchise continues to struggle along.
Even with a healthy Matthew Stafford, the Lions haven’t clicked on offense. Stafford has thrown just three interceptions but each one has been costly. He’s also missed numerous open receivers and hasn’t reach the 300-yard mark in any game.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell believes Stafford’s footwork is partially to blame after the veteran quarterback missed the second half of last season with a back injury.
“I think when you simplify it as easy as you can for the quarterback — I had a small conversation with him about it — I think it usually goes back to your feet,” Bevell said.
Matchups against Jacksonville and Atlanta (Oct. 25), which just fired coach Dan Quinn, give the Lions and their quarterback a chance to turn things around. But victories don’t come on paper.
“For us, look, we’ve only got one win,” Patricia said. “We’ve got to go out and play well. Doesn’t really matter what the opponent’s record is at that point.”
The Jaguars (1-4) defeated Indianapolis in their opener but a second victory has proved elusive. On Sunday, they were thrashed by previously winless Houston, 30-14.
Jacksonville hasn’t been making many impact plays on defense. It has just five sacks and hasn’t forced a fumble. The Jags did make two interceptions against the Texans but failed to cash in, missing a field goal after the first pick and losing a fumble after the second.
“I thought they were two really good plays. Those are the things you have do and do it consistently,” coach Doug Marrone said. “We’ve shown we can do it at times, but we haven’t put it all together.
“You look at what we did offensively after those turnovers, and we didn’t really come up with anything. You can’t let that stuff go. I think we’re doing enough not to give the game away but we’re not doing enough to get the game in our favor,” Marrone said.
Quarterback Gardner Minshew has thrown 40 or more passes in each of those losses and Marrone would like to see his team run the ball more often. It would help if it weren’t playing from behind.
“I love it when you get up on a team and balance is easy,” he said. “It always works out that way. It’s a whole lot easier.”
The Jags have a number of injury concerns, particularly on offense.
Wide receivers D.J. Chark (ankle) and Laviska Shenault (hamstring) and tight end Tyler Eifert (neck) missed Wednesday’s practice. Linebacker Dakota Allen (foot) and cornerback Chris Claybrooks (quad) also sat out.
The Lions’ biggest question mark is cornerback Desmond Trufant (hamstring), who missed Wednesday’s practice. Backup tight end Hunter Bryant (concussion) also sat out. Safety C.J. Moore (calf), linebacker Christian Jones (knee) and center Frank Ragnow (groin) were limited.
–Field Level Media