Attaining the first back-to-back wins of the season may be tenable for the Detroit Lions Sunday as they meet the Jacksonville Jaguars at Everbank Field.
Detroit came into the season with high hopes after making the playoffs last season, but sputtered out the gate with a 1-3 record in their first four games.
The Lions may have turned a corner, winning two of their last three, including a 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks stout defense last week.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford tossed three touchdowns for the first time this year, going 34-for-49 for 352 yards, but needed a one-yard strike with 20 seconds remaining to Titus Young for the win.
The Lions run game didn’t provide Stafford much help, gaining 84 total yards, and are currently 22nd in the league in rushing offense.
But the run game might find some relief against Jacksonville, who is 25th in the league allowing 135.7 rushing yards per game.
The Jaguars are hoping to avoid a five-game losing streak, after losing 24-15 to the Green Bay Packers last week.
Despite the loss of running back Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville recorded 341 total yards, and held the Packers to a season-low 238 yards.
Second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert went 27-for-49 for 303 yards and a score, for the first 300-yard passing game of his career, but couldn’t put together a touchdown drive in the second half.
Second-year receiver Cecil Shorts was Gabbert’s main target, with eight receptions for 116 yards to lead all wideouts.
The Jaguars lost the game off a red zone fumble and a punt blocked and returned for a touchdown.
The game begins at 1 p.m. EDT and will be shown by FOX, or watch a live stream online by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
Betting Odds: Detroit is favored by 5.5 points
Over/Under: 44 points
Prediction: Stafford may miss top receiver Calvin Johnson, who hasn’t practice all week, but the Lions should still cruise past the Jaguars and reach .500 for the season.
Predicted Score: Detroit 30, Jacksonville 18