DETROIT — The Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions reverted to form.
The Jaguars went back to their winning formula, relying on their efficient quarterback and tandem of running backs.
Detroit did what it had earlier in its miserable and winless season, getting routed.
Maurice Jones-Drew ran for a career-high three touchdowns in the second quarter alone after Detroit took the lead and David Garrard threw two touchdown passes in the second half, leading the Jaguars to a 38-14 victory Sunday over the winless Lions.
“We kind of rededicated ourselves to some of the things we believe in,” Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said.
The Jaguars (4-5) snapped a two-game losing streak, including a setback to winless Cincinnati last week when they ran for just 68 yards.
Jacksonville avoided the dubious distinction of being the first team in NFL history to get beaten in consecutive weeks by winless opponents who had lost at least six games.
“If we would have come out this week and laid an egg,” Garrard said, “and not showed up, guys not giving their all and came out with a loss, there’s no telling what would have happened to this team.”
Fred Taylor ran for 80 yards after having 25 yards rushing or fewer in the previous five games. Jones-Drew finished with 70 yards rushing after combining for just 62 in the last two losses.
“It was good to get back in a groove,” Taylor said.
Daunte Culpepper made his anticipated Detroit debut and didn’t make a difference.
The Lions (0-9) are off to their worst start since losing their first 12 games in 2001 and they might have what it takes to be the NFL’s first 0-16 team.
Detroit had shown signs of improvement, losing its previous four by an average of five points, after it was blown out in the first four games.
“I feel sick in my stomach,” rookie running back Kevin Smith said after running for a season-high 96 yards.
Culpepper made his Detroit debut in haste — just five days after signing, ending his brief retirement — and it lasted just three quarters.
“To come in quick was tough, but I was up to the challenge,” he said.
Culpepper threw an interception and was 5-of-10 for 104 yards, including a 51-yard rainbow to 6-foot-5 Calvin Johnson.
“You see he has a big strong arm. He chucked it up there pretty good for their big guy,” Del Rio said. “I think it’s going to take a little time. I think the league’s pretty tough to be able to come back and be razor sharp.”
Culpepper signed a two-year deal Tuesday. The 31-year-old Culpepper had 11 lackluster appearances in the previous two seasons for Oakland and Miami after a knee injury stunted his career in Minnesota.
He is joining a team that has won only one of its last 17 games, falling to an NFL-worst 31-90 since 2001.
Culpepper was replaced briefly by Drew Stanton, who took over a drive late in the first quarter and threw a TD pass on his first career attempt to put the Lions ahead 7-3.
Detroit’s lead didn’t last long.
On the ensuing three possessions, Jones-Drew scored from 6, 1 and 8 yards to give the Jaguars a 24-7 lead at halftime.
Jacksonville opened the second half with a run-first, throw-when-necessary drive and capped a 9:20 possession with Garrard’s 7-yard pass to Jerry Porter.
On his next and final drive, Garrard connected with Troy Williamson in the end zone and took 4-plus minutes off the clock.
“As players and coaches, they physically beat us,” Detroit coach Rod Marinelli said.
Garrard was 18-of-25 for 238 yards and two TDs without a turnover. He had a season-high 119.1 passer rating before giving Cleo Lemon a chance to play for the first time this season for the Jaguars.
Stanton, who was sacked five times, was 6-of-8 for 94 yards and a score.
Jacksonville’s Matt Jones had a team-high five receptions for 62 yards before leaving the game in the third with a bruised thigh.
Notes Jags LB Mike Peterson was inactive. Peterson rejoined the
team Friday after Del Rio sent him home after they had a confrontation during a team meeting, according to players. … The Lions, celebrating their 75th season, honored their all-time team at halftime. Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders easily drew the largest cheer from fans who have seemed to forgive him for retiring suddenly just before the 1999 season. … The Jags joined the 1939 Eagles, 1940 Steelers and 1991 Bills as the teams who played winless teams — with at least six losses — in consecutive weeks, according to STATS.