Detroit — Safety Rafael Bush had to turn back the clock and channel his running back days.
On the third play of the second half, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles threw an intended pass for receiver Marqise Lee that was tipped in the air and Bush came over to make a leaping interception.
After stopping his momentum near the sideline, Bush made four Jaguars miss as he bobbed and weaved his way through traffic for a 39-yard interception return touchdown to highlight the three Lions’ takeaways in Sunday’s 26-19 win at Ford Field.
“My biggest thing first was just catching it,” said Bush, who finished with three tackles and a pass defensed. “I think I pride myself on having pretty good return skills and every time I touch the ball, whether it's in practice or in a game, I want to try and score.
“Our guys had bodies on bodies, getting blocks and I saw a lot of blue on the sideline. Once I got the ball, I just saw clear daylight and all I got to do is stay on my feet and that's what you saw."
It was Bush’s second interception this season and first touchdown of his six-year career, excluding one he had in his second year that was called back due to a penalty.
However, it wasn’t the only huge play Bush made. On the ensuing drive, the Jaguars were marching down the field and looking to counter with a touchdown of their own.
Facing a third-and-2 at the Lions’ 33-yard line, Bortles hit tight end Julius Thomas in the flat and Bush came racing in to trip him up for a 1-yard loss. It forced the Jaguars to settle for a Jason Myers 52-yard field goal to cut the Lions’ lead to 16-12 with 9:20 left in the third.
“Just got to get him down however you can get him down,” Bush said. “Like you saw on that play, I just kind of got his shoestrings on the tackle and was able to get off the field, which was big.”
The Lions’ other two takeaways sandwiched Bush’s score. In the second quarter, safety Glover Quin jarred the ball loose from running back Chris Ivory and rookie linebacker Antwione Williams recovered the fumble, and safety Tavon Wilson picked off Bortles with eight seconds remaining to seal the win.
“(Bush is) an usual guy just in terms of how much ground he can cover,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. “He can really run and he runs well. He’s active, he’s aggressive and once he gets the ball in his hand he can do something with it.
“He’s tough and brings a lot of passion and energy to the game. He made a lot of real big plays for us. That (third down) tackle was huge and then obviously the (interception) return was outstanding. I’m not certain I’ve seen a better run in a crowd than that one. He did a nice job of finishing it off.”
Matthew Stafford passed Greg Landry and Eric Hipple for most career games played (103) by quarterback in franchise history.
… Sunday’s win marked Caldwell’s 50th career victory as an NFL head coach.