After struggling to move the chains all game long, the Lions (6-4) picked up first downs and burned the clock when they needed to the most.
Matt Prater capped a 15-yard, 60-yard drive with a 43-yard field goal with 22 seconds left to put the finishing touches on a 26-19 win over the Jaguars.
Matthew Stafford started the pivotal final drive with back-to-back completions to Theo Riddick and Eric Ebron for 20 and 7 yards, respectively.
Stafford hit Anquan Boldin over the middle for eight yards on a third-and-4 to keep the drive and the clock going.
Then four plays later on a fourth-and-2 at the Jacksonville 46, Stafford drew a defender offside with a hard count to give the Lions another first down.
Riddick kept the chains moving with a 7-yard catch on a third-and-5 at the Jacksonville 36, which forced the Jaguars to burn their remaining timeouts before the two-minute warning.
The Lions’ defense keep the momentum in their favor by holding the Jaguars to a three-and-out on their prior drive. Defensive tackle Stefan Charles stuffed running back Chris Ivory for a 5-yard loss on first down.
Following a Blake Bortles incompletion, cornerback Darius Slay tackled Allen Robinson after a 4-yard gain on third-and-15 to get the offense the ball right back.
Ebron TD run puts Lions back on top
It’s better late than never.
After struggling through the first three quarters, the Lions’ offense put together a 7-play, 79-yard scoring drive that ended with a 1-yard run by tight end Eric Ebron around the right end to give Detroit a 23-19 lead with 10:03 left in the fourth.
Matthew Stafford started the drive by hitting Golden Tate over the middle for a 13-yard gain.
But after 2-yard gain by Theo Riddick, Stafford was sacked for a 5-yard loss to set up a third-and-13. Stafford hit an open Ebron down the left sideline for a 61-yard gain to give the Lions a first-and-goal at the Jaguars’ 8-yard line.
Riddick followed with a 7-yard run to the 1, setting up Ebron’s score.
Tate fumbles, Lions' defense holds
Just when it appeared the Lions’ offense was going to get something going, it shoots itself in the foot.
One play after Matthew Stafford hit Andre Roberts for a 44-yard gain to give the Lions a first-and-10 at the Jacksonville 28, Golden Tate was stripped by defensive end Jared Odrick and the Jaguars recovered the fumble at their 34.
However, the turnover didn’t turn into more Jaguars points as the defense forced a three-and-out. The Lions take over at their 21 trailing by three with 13:24 left in the game.
Jaguars score 10 unanswered, grab 19-16 lead
The Jaguars have rattled off 10 unanswered points to take a 19-16 lead over the Lions with 2:10 left in the third following an acrobatic 3-yard touchdown catch by Marqise Lee along the left edge of the end zone to cap a 9-play, 87-yard drive.
Lee’s nifty touchdown grab was set up by his 29-yard reception along the left sideline that set up a first-and-goal at the Lions’ 4-yard line.
Running back Chris Ivory opened the drive with nine yards rushing on two carries and two catches for 31 yards before former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson racked up 14 total yards on back-to-back carries.
Lions' offense still sputtering
After scuffling through much of the first half, the Lions’ offense had some much-needed adjustments to make a halftime.
But after picking up a first down behind a 4-yard run and 8-yard catch by rookie running back Dwayne Washington, the Lions couldn’t keep pushing the ball.
Washington was dropped for a 2-yard loss and Matthew Stafford hit Anquan Boldin for a 6-yard gain before Stafford misfired on a pass to Boldin on third-and-6.
Jacksonville will take over at their 13-yard line with 7:06 left in the third.
Jaguars respond with FG, cut deficit to 16-12
After throwing a costly pick-six, Blake Bortles led the Jaguars back down the field for a 52-yard field by Jason Myers to cut the Lions’ lead to 16-12 with 9:20 left in the third.
After Bortles threw a deep pass to Allen Robinson that drew a 17-yard pass interference on cornerback Darius Slay, he converted first-and-15 with back-to-back passes of nine yards to Allen Hurns and Julius Thomas to put the Jaguars in Lions’ territory.
Facing a third-and-2 at the Detroit 32, safety Rafael Bush came up with a huge stop, tackling tight end Julius Thomas for 1-yard loss in the flat to hold the Jaguars to the field-goal attempt.
Bush's INT return gives Lions the lead
After getting a touchdown on special teams in the first half, the defense got in on the act to start the third quarter.
On the Jaguars’ third play to start the second half, safety Rafael Bush picked off Blake Bortles’ intended pass for Marqise Lee and returned it 39 yards to push the Lions’ lead to 16-9 less than a minute into the third.
It’s the second turnover the Lions’ defense has forced this game.
Prater FG ties it at halftime
It took a while but the Lions’ offense finally started showing signs of life.
On the final drive of the first half, the Lions put together a 10-play, 67-yard drive that resulted in a 27-yard field goal by Matt Prater to tie it at 9 heading into halftime.
Stafford completed 6-of-8 passes on the drive for 66 yards, starting with a 14-yard pass to Theo Riddick, 12-yard pass to Golden Tate and another 12-yard pass to Riddick.
Following an incompletion to Marvin Jones, Stafford hit Anquan Boldin for eight yards and kept the drive alive with a 15-yard pass to Jones over the middle, giving the Lions a first down at the Jaguars’ 14.
The drive sputtered as Stafford threw an incompletion on second down and was crunched for a 1-yard gain on a third-and-5, setting up Prater’s field goal.
At the half, the Jaguars have 158 yards of total offense and nine first downs compared to 87 yards and five first downs for the Lions.
The Jaguars will receive the ball to start the second half.
Robinson's TD puts Jags back on top
The Jaguars reclaimed the lead with a 7-play, 54-yard drive that culminated with a 3-yard touchdown catch by receiver Allen Robinson (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s High) over the middle. Kicker Jason Myers missed the extra point to make it 9-6 with 2:45 left before halftime.
Running back Chris Ivory did much of the heavy lifting on the drive, with 11 yards rushing and receptions of 14 and 22 yards.
Robinson’s touchdown catch came one play after a defensive holding penalty on cornerback Darius Slay set up first-and-goal at the Lions’ 3.
Lions' offense off to woeful start
A woeful first half for the Lions’ offense continues.
After being pinned deep at their 3-yard line following a Jaguars’ punt, the Lions were unable to pick up a first down.
Graham Glasgow was called for a false start before Anquan Boldin and Dwayne Washington were held to gains of four and three yards, respectively.
Then on third down, Matthew Stafford was sacked for a 4-yard loss, ending yet another drive with a punt.
Meanwhile, the Lions’ defense continues to stifle the Jaguars.
After Blake Bortles threw an 8-yard pass to Marqise Lee for a first down, running back Chris Ivory was tackled for no gain by cornerback Nevin Lawson, Bortles threw an incompletion intended for receiver Allen Robinson and Ivory was tackled short off the first down by rookie Miles Killebrew to force a punt from Jacksonville’s 43.
Roberts puts Lions on top with punt return TD
After the defense came up with a big turnover, the Lions’ offense appeared to get something going with Golden Tate’s 17-yard catch pushing the ball to midfield.
However, Jacksonville challenged that the ball hit the ground on Tate’s reception and it was ruled incomplete after review, forcing a third straight three-and-out.
The Lions’ defense countered as Chris Ivory was held to two yards, Blake Bortles threw back-to-back incompletions and the Jaguars were forced to punt the ball back.
And Andre Roberts made amends for his fumble in the first quarter. He took the punt 55 yards for a touchdown to give the Lions a 6-3 lead after Matt Prater missed the extra point with 11:13 left in the second quarter.
Lions' defense forces turnover
The Lions’ offense is leaving a lot to be desired. The defense, though, continues to do its part.
After Detroit was held to its second straight three-and-out to close out the first quarter, safety Glover Quin forced a Chris Ivory fumble on the fourth play of the Jaguars’ drive and rookie linebacker Antwione Williams recovered the loose ball at the Detroit 36 with 13:34 left in the second.
The turnover came after the Jaguars had picked up 18 yards on a 6-yard run and 12-yard catch by Marqise Lee to give Jacksonville a first down at the Lions’ 48.
On the Lions’ previous drive, Dwayne Washington had a 2-yard run and 7-yard catch but Matthew Stafford was sacked for a 6-yard loss on second down to set up yet another third-and-long situation.
Lions' turnover leads to Jaguars FG
The Jaguars entered the game without a takeaway in five straight games. But after being held to a three-and-out, Jacksonville snapped the streak as Andre Roberts muffed the punt and the Jaguars recovered at the Detroit 11.
The Lions’ defense stepped up, keeping the Jaguars out of the end zone and holding them to a meager two yards. Jason Myers knocked home a 27-yard field goal to give Jacksonville a 3-0 lead with 1:36 left in the first.
On Jacksonville’s previous drive, running back Chris Ivory picked up four yards on first down before rookie A’Shawn Robinson tackled Ivory for a 3-yard loss.
A false start pushed the Jaguars back even further to make it third-and-14. Blake Bortles was tackled after a 3-yard gain to set up the punt that led to the Lions’ turnover.
Lions held to quick three-and-out
The Lions’ offense is still trying to kick into gear following the bye week.
After picking up a first down on the opening possession, the Lions were held to a quick three-and-out on their second drive that didn't even last a minute.
Matthew Stafford threw two incompletions and Theo Riddick was tackled for a 2-yard loss on second down as the Lions give the ball right back to the Jaguars. Jacksonville starts their second drive at their 42-yard line with 5:32 left in the first.
Lions, Jaguars trade punts on opening possession
The Jaguars picked up a pair of quick first downs but their first drive fizzled near midfield.
T.J. Yeldon opened it with a 7-yard run and quarterback Blake Bortles threw a 15-yard pass to tight end Marcedes Lewis for a first down.
Then after another 7-yard run by Yeldon set up a third-and-3, Bortles hit Yeldon for 14 yards to extend the drive as the Jaguars approached the 50-yard line.
But a false start made it first-and-15 and the Lions held Jaguars to 1-yard gains on first and second down before swarming to tackle Yeldon well short of the first-down marker to force a punt. The Lions will take over at their 15-yard line with 6:20 left in the first quarter.
Lions' offense gets off to shaky start
The Lions won the toss and wanted to ball first, wanting to make a statement.
After a touchback, Matthew Stafford hit Anquan Boldin for a 7-yard reception, with the ball coming loose at the end of the play. The Jaguars challenged that Boldin fumbled before being ruled down by contact, but the call stood after review.
Rookie Taylor Decker was called for a false start on the next play, but the Lions were able to pick up a first down after running back Theo Riddick's 6-yard catch set up a third-and-short. Receiver Golden Tate lunged forward on a short completion to move the chains.
However, the Lions were held to minimal gains on first and second down and Stafford thew an incompletion intended for Boldin as first drive sputtered at Detroit's 39-yard line.
HOW TO WATCH: DETROIT LIONS VS. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
When: Sunday, 1 p.m.
Where: Ford Field, Detroit
TV / radio: CBS / WJR-AM 760
Records: Lions 5-4, Jaguars 2-7
Line: Lions by 6