News & Analysis

NFL Week 6 PFF ReFocused: Detroit Lions 34, Jacksonville Jaguars 16

Oct 18, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) makes a reception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The battle of the one-win teams was not much of a battle at all, as the Detroit Lions found their stride on both sides of the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars, winning in dominant fashion 34-16.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

STORY OF THE GAME

The story of this game was the Lions' commanding outing on defense, showing strength against the pass and especially against the run. James Robinson entered the contest with the eighth-highest rushing grade among running backs with at least 25 carries, but he leaves this game with 12 carries for a paltry 29 yards. All credit to the defensive line, as it constantly destroyed rushing lanes and left Robinson with nowhere to go but into the arms of Lions defenders.

The passing game did not fare much better, as Gardner Minshew missed quite a few passes that would have normally been completed. It was not all his fault either, as his receivers struggled to gain separation against the Lions’ heavy man-coverage scheme. Minshew had all the time in the world to throw, as his offensive line was able to give him a relatively clean pocket, and he utilized his legs to escape and give himself even more time when the defense put him under pressure.

D.J. Chark spent some time on the injury report this week, and it showed. He hauled in just seven of his 13 targets for 45 yards. Although a few of the passes may be deemed uncatchable, Chark seemed not to give his all on some deep targets, whereas Kenny Golladay on the other side of the field did.

Keelan Cole took over the deep-threat role for Chark, providing one of the only bright spots on a struggling Jaguars offense this week. He caught six passes for a whopping 143 yards but was unable to find the end zone.

Despite his defense and running game having standout performances, Matthew Stafford and the passing attack was kept fairly quiet. Like Minshew, Stafford missed some easy throws, which could be due to having some rust coming off their Week 5 bye. He did enough to keep the chains moving and threw a strike to T.J. Hockenson for a touchdown near the goal line for his only score of the day.

After missing the first two weeks due to injury, Golladay was getting into a rhythm with his signal-caller in Weeks 3 and 4, catching 10-of-15 targets for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Their Week 5 bye did not stop the momentum, as he reeled in four receptions for 105 yards today, one of which was a spectacular 48-yard snag.

ROOKIE WATCH

The Lions’ rookies had a great week, with Jonah Jackson, D’Andre Swift and Jeffery Okudah all playing well. Jackson allowed zero QB pressures for the first time in his young career while also creating rushing lanes for his running backs to blow through. He notably made a key block that led to fellow rookie Swift plowing past the pylon.

Swift had by far his most productive game, rushing 14 times for 116 yards and two touchdowns. Thirty-four of his yards came after contact, tying the entire Jaguars rushing total on the day.

Okudah was tested once again, but he held his own. He was targeted five times, allowing four to be caught for 47 yards, but only one gained a first down.

On the Jaguars' side of the ball, fourth-round offensive lineman Ben Bartch was thrust into the starting lineup due to a shoulder injury to right guard A.J. Cann. He did not disappoint, allowing just one pressure — although he was beaten more than once — and he had some nice blocks in the running game.

Laviska Shenault Jr. was a non-factor, catching only three of his seven targets, although many were behind and inaccurate, for just 10 yards. Defensively, first-round rookies C.J. Henderson and K’Lavon Chaisson both saw plenty of playing time. Chaisson made little impact, generating two QB hurries on 20 pass-rushing snaps and had no tackles against the run. Henderson fared much better, allowing just one reception to be caught on his three targets for a measly 5 yards. He also made two tackles and one defensive stop against the run.

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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