Lions' Jones busts out in 26-12 win

Kevin Jones has been waiting for the day that he could show his "greatness" in the NFL. That day came on Sunday when Jones rushed 196 yards on 26 carries, falling just one yard short of breaking the Lions all-time rookie single game rushing record held by Mel Farr.

(DETROIT) - Kevin Jones has been waiting for the day that he could show his "greatness" in the NFL. That day came on Sunday when Jones rushed 196 yards on 26 carries, falling just one yard short of breaking the Lions all-time rookie single game rushing record held by Mel Farr.

The feat was the most yards rushing by a Lions running back since Barry Sanders wracked up 216 yards against Indianapolis in 1997. Jones has felt he was on the verge of breaking out, but Sunday turned out to be his day.

"I felt like it was going to happen today," said Jones. "I thought it was actually going to happen last week because of the way I was running and the way the offensive line was blocking; we were having more success each week. I just try to get better each week and I figured that I could do nothing but get better this week. That's what I was striving for as well as getting the win."

Jones performance was the catalyst in the Lions win over Arizona. Detroit was not effective passing the ball and needed Jones to carry the mail. He responded by hitting the holes and cutting back effectively. Lions quarterback Joey Harrington (15-of-27 for 196 yards and 1 touchdown against 1 interception) said Jones was the difference in the game.

"That [running game] is the key. You want to look at one thing on offense – it was how the offensive line opened up those holes. There were some times when Kevin made a guy (miss). Getting the first down to keep the drive going in the fourth quarter (was big). He caught a ball in the flat, he made a guy miss in the open field and got the first down. He did it all today. That's great to see. I think that our confidence – the team is going to go up."

Harrington said that Jones deserved the breakout performance because he's worked hard to make the adjustments necessary to be more consistent.

"A few weeks ago, we sat down and he said ‘I'm trying to make too many big plays,'" explained Harrington.

"We weren't doing a whole lot on offense – we were kind of struggling a little bit. He was trying to make a big play each time he touched the ball, when really if he stuck with his blocks and what he knows how to do, good things will happen. He's reading his blocks, we've been blocking well. We've had some great blitz pickups the last couple of weeks. We've just kind of settled in. He's just playing. Instead of thinking that he's got to make a huge play every time, he's just playing. It's fun to watch."

The rookie gave credit to running backs coach Tom Rathman for his performance.

"I think the coaches are giving me an opportunity to get better each week. Coach Rathman is a great coach. He's emphasizing some things and coaching me up each week and I'm listening and getting the hang of it. It's all working for the better right now."

Jones' 74-yard run off left tackle - the longest run Detroit has had since Barry Sanders 80-yard TD run against the Colts in 1997- was sprung on a block by receiver Tai Streets. Then Jones was escorted down the sidelines by fellow rookie Roy Williams. Jones credited Streets, Williams and especially fullback Cory Schlesinger.

"Cory did a great job – he's a great fullback. I respect him a lot. I know that when he's out there in front of me that I can just be patient because he's going to hit the guy and I just run off of him."

Jones performances bodes well for Detroit as they head into a tough road game in Green Bay, a place they've historically had trouble winning. If Jones can run the ball effectively against the Packers, Detroit will have a chance at pulling the upset.

Lions Report Top Stories