SCOUTing the Lions

Finally, after growing up in Detroit and going through so much with the Lions, Drew Stanton got to play Sunday against Jacksonville. "It was great," Stanton said. "It was one of those things that you dream about as a kid. Obviously having it come to fruition was tremendous, to get a chance to get out there and play, especially in Ford Field in front of the home crowd."

The Lions drafted Stanton in the second round last year. He spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve with a knee problem, then had his mechanics changed for the second time in two years in the offseason, then suffered a sprained thumb in August.

As the Lions struggled this year, fans and media called for Stanton to play. But offensive coordinator Jim Colletto said he didn't want to embarrass Stanton by playing him because he wasn't ready, igniting a minor firestorm. And then the Lions signed veteran Daunte Culpepper and started him against Jacksonville even though he had only three days of practice.

Culpepper couldn't learn everything in three days, though. So the Lions had a goal-line package ready for Stanton, and when they faced a first-and-goal at the 3 in the first quarter, Stanton trotted into the field to cheers.

Stanton handed off on his first play, then threw a TD pass to tight end John Owens on his second play. The Lions led the Jaguars 7-3.

But with the Lions trailing 24-7 at halftime, Stanton was told he might play more. And when Detroit fell behind 38-7 in the fourth quarter, he got his shot.

"He was so excited in that huddle," left tackle Jeff Backus said. "Not to the point where it was bad. It just kind of surprised me. He was just talking and relaxed and ready to go."

Stanton took his lumps -- five sacks, to be exact. The Jaguars knew he had to throw and came after him, and his inexperience showed.

"Sometimes you've just got to get it out of there or throw it away," coach Rod Marinelli said. "I think it's just anticipating. Instead of waiting for the guy to get open, it's throwing to a spot knowing he's going to get open."

But Stanton also made some good throws and led a touchdown drive against the Jaguars' prevent defense, finishing 6-for-8 for 94 yards.

"Obviously being down by so much isn't what you would hope for," Stanton said. "But I think that's one thing I have to try and do: Whatever opportunities I get, make the most of them, because I don't know when they're coming."

--QB Drew Stanton's first NFL touchdown pass was TE John Owens' first touchdown catch. Stanton celebrated by running to Owens with his hands in the air and trying to take the ball as a souvenir, and Owens wouldn't let it go.

"He was trying to tug on it," Owens said, smiling, "and I was tucking it back."

Owens gave up the ball -- grudgingly.

"I had to do the extra point," Owens said, smiling, "so I couldn't really argue with him too long."

So now what?

"We were talking about having to cut it up," Stanton said. "We're going to have to work something out."

Owens smiled.

"I already tried to bribe a couple of the equipment guys," Owens said. "They said they'll take care of it."

--Why is the Lions defense so bad?

"We're making some errors that we shouldn't be making," coach Rod Marinelli said.

"In this time of the year, we shouldn't be making them."

Does Marinelli have to correct the same mistakes each Monday?

"I don't know if it's exactly the same one, but it's concepts," he said. "And as a staff, maybe we're missing something on some of this stuff that we can do a better job of. But it's some base things. ... Their effort was good. Sometimes it doesn't look like it from where you're at. But you watch the film. The guys are hustling to the ball and getting to the pile and doing those things that we're asking them to do. But we're beating ourselves at times."

--DE Dewayne White suffered a calf strain and likely won't play Sunday at Carolina. He wore a boot in the locker room Monday.

--DE Jared DeVries suffered a broken hand and is scheduled for surgery Tuesday. He said he has an outside chance of playing Sunday, but he likely will be out.

--CB Keith Smith suffered a groin strain and will be evaluated Wednesday.

--WR Mike Furrey suffered a mild concussion and will be evaluated Wednesday.

--C Dominic Raiola went to see a specialist about his broken thumb. He said he felt better, but it remains unclear if and when he will be able to return.

--QB Dan Orlovsky went to see a specialist about his broken thumb.

PASSING OFFENSE: C-minus -- It was about what you would expect from a guy who hasn't played in almost a year and a guy who has never played before. Daunte Culpepper ended his first series with an interception, but he also showed he still has a good arm, finishing 5-for-10 for 104 yards. Drew Stanton made a goal-line cameo and threw his first NFL pass for a 1-yard touchdown, then mopped up in the fourth quarter, finishing 6-for-8 for 94 yards -- with five sacks.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C-plus -- Rookie Kevin Smith has taken over as the starting running back. The Lions wanted to see what he would do with a full load of carries, and he carried 23 times for 96 yards and a touchdown. Veteran Rudi Johnson had only two carries for 4 yards.

PASS DEFENSE: F -- Too easy once again. David Garrard became the latest opposing quarterback to shred the Lions and post a huge passer rating. He finished 18-for-25 for 238 yards and two touchdowns. His rating was 128.4.

RUSH DEFENSE: F -- The Jaguars steamrolled the Lions. Maurice Jones-Drew ran up the middle and right over safety Kalvin Pearson at one point. He had 11 carries for 70 yards and three touchdowns. Fred Taylor had 18 carries for 80 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- The Lions were trailing 17-7 when Jason Hanson had a 33-yard field-goal attempt blocked. The Jaguars capitalized with a touchdown. What could have been a one-possession game became a three-possession game. It was Hanson's first miss of the season.

COACHING: F -- The Lions are 0-9, the only winless team in the NFL. They are 1-16 in their past 17 games, the worst stretch in team history. They looked horrible against the Jaguars, even though the Jags had just lost to winless Cincinnati and had all kinds of issues in the locker room. The Lions play hard, but they don't play well.

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