Detroit — Lions receiver Marvin Jones left Ford Field on Sunday with a handful of accolades that put him beside the biggest names in NFL history.
However, he and his teammates didn't leave with a win and in Week 7 of a season that’s starting to wobble off the track, consecutive losses to NFC North rivals turned Jones’ personal achievement of being just the third NFL receiver since 1950 to have multiple four-touchdown games into a mere footnote of a 42-30 defeat to Minnesota.
Jones pulled in 10 passes on 12 targets for 93 yards, also making him just the first player in the league’s 100-year history to catch four touchdown passes while accumulating less than 100 receiving yards. His first career four-touchdown game came as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013.
“I’ll think about that when I’m old,” Jones said. “The personal accomplishments, they come when you play this game for as long as I’ve been, but at the same time, we’re in it to win.
“That’s just something for me to put a football up when I’m old and say, ‘Hey, look at that.’”
Two of Jones’ touchdown receptions came in the first quarter, a 16-yarder that required some extra effort to give the Lions a 7-0 lead and a 3-yard catch from quarterback Matthew Stafford to go up 14-7.
“His first touchdown, by no means when I cut it loose was I going, ‘Oh yeah, touchdown,’” Stafford said. “He made a great play.”
His second touchdown of the day made him the first Lion to have two first-quarter receiving touchdowns since Calvin Johnson in Week 1 of the 2014 season. Both of those passes also came from Stafford, who surpassed 40,000 career passing yards in Sunday’s loss.
“Marv is a true pro,” Stafford said. “He caught a couple in there right, some contested catches, which is awesome. I was really happy for him. I wish I could have done more.”
Jones’ production was certainly high in volume, but it was also well-timed. His third touchdown catch came with 6 seconds left in the half, tying the game at 21, and his final touchdown pulled the Lions within a score late in the fourth quarter.
While Jones won’t be celebrating Sunday’s achievements anytime soon, there is a subtle silver lining for a Lions’ offense that kept its defense in the game, rather than the other way around.
“We started fast and had some good plays, we responded and stuff like that,” Jones said. “I think we had some success going down the field, especially when we needed it. When we needed it at times, we went in and punched it in."
Despite hauling in four scores, Jones didn't lead the Lions in receiving yards. That distinction belonged to Danny Amendola, who caught eight passes for 105 yards. Kenny Golladay finished with just one for 21.
Nolan Bianchi is a freelance writer.