DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions can trace their turnaround to hitting more than missing in the draft.
Jahmyr Gibbs and Sam LaPorta are the latest examples.
Gibbs ran for a season-high 152 yards and a touchdown, LaPorta had eight receptions for 57 yards with a score, and the rookies helped the Lions beat the Las Vegas Raiders 26-14 on Monday night.
“We wanted to get Gibbs going,” coach Dan Campbell said. “You could tell he was feeling it.”
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The NFC North-leading Lions (6-2) stalled on three early drives, turned the ball over three times, missed a field goal and still won by double digits.
“When your defense plays that good, you can overcome that,” Campbell said.
Jared Goff threw an interception that Marcus Peters returned 75 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter, allowing Las Vegas (3-5) to pull within two points. Detroit’s next drive ended when Craig Reynolds fumbled at the Raiders 3.
The Lions kept the ball on their third drive of the second half, taking a two-score lead on Gibbs’ 27-yard touchdown run.
Riley Patterson made a 52-yard field goal to give Detroit a 12-point lead early in the fourth.
That was a comfortable cushion against the offensively challenged Raiders.
Las Vegas welcomed the return of Jimmy Garoppolo, but lamented that he threw a league-leading ninth interception one play after the Raiders recovered a fumble in the first quarter. Kerby Joseph picked off Garoppolo’s lofted pass into double coverage toward Davante Adams in the end zone.
“This was definitely a bad day,” Garoppolo said. “I just have to be smart with the ball.”
Sometimes, he didn’t have much of a chance.
Midway through the fourth, trying to rally, the Raiders gave up sacks on three of four snaps and turned it over on downs at their 28.
In all, Las Vegas allowed its beat-up quarterback to get sacked six times.
Garoppolo, who missed six quarters because of a back injury, was 10 of 21 for 126 yards.
Even when Garoppolo had time to throw and an open receiver, he misfired — as he did when Adams was all alone deep down field late in the game. When that series ended, the standout receiver slammed his helmet on the sideline and sat disgustedly on the Raiders’ bench.
Josh Jacobs’ lackluster season continued. The 2022 All-Pro running back finished with 15 carries for 61 yards and a 3-yard touchdown late in the first half that cut the Raiders’ deficit to 9-7. That was their only score on offense.
“I thought we did have some opportunities to make more plays on offense than we did, but we didn’t make them,” embattled coach Josh McDaniels said. “We just couldn’t string together each enough plays in the passing game.”
Goff completed 26 of 37 passes for 272 yards with an 18-yard strike to LaPorta for a touchdown that put Detroit up 16-7 late in the first half. Amon-Ra St. Brown had six catches for 108 yards.
Entering the game, Las Vegas had held an NFL-high five teams to fewer than 200 yards passing.
Detroit also had a dynamic running game to keep the Raiders on their heels.
Gibbs, the No. 12 pick overall, had a season-high 26 carries and five receptions for 37 yards.
“He’s a very talented player with a very dynamic skill set,” McDaniels said.
MAKING A MARK
LaPorta is the first NFL tight end to have at least three catches and 35-plus yards receiving in his first eight games.
Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby donated $1 million to Eastern Michigan’s athletic department, and the school is naming its field at Rynearson Stadium after its former star. The two-time Pro Bowler had a big night with eight tackles, including one for a loss, and he forced and recovered a fumble.
Raiders: LB Luke Masterson and FB Jakob Johnson left the game with concussions. … LB Divine Deablo (ankle) was inactive.
Lions: RB David Montgomery (ribs), C Frank Ragnow (toe, calf), and OG Jonah Jackson (ankle) were inactive.
Raiders: Host the New York Giants on Sunday.
Lions: Have their bye week before playing at the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 12.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL