The Detroit Lions have won four of their last five games. Their most emphatic victory came on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a 40-14 rout. A big reason the team has played well is their young defense.

Many key contributors are rookies, but they are getting results. Detroit has forced eight turnovers in their last four games. They forced and recovered a fumble on the second play of the game.

The way this team has played defensively, and creating these turnovers, is a big difference from the Lions form earlier in the season. Star rookie pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson echoed that sentiment on Sunday.

“It’s a testament to us and consistently having ‘strip that ball out’ in mind,” the Lions second overall pick told the media. “We consistently think about those things, and it comes from repetition from practice.”

Detroit safety DeShon Elliott punched the ball from Jaguars running back Travis Etienne. The Lions recovered, scored on the ensuing drive, and never looked back.

“We needed a spark. We said that in the meeting the night before, that we need to go out there, play physical and our type of game. Our brand of football, and I think we did that,” Elliott said.

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The Lions scored 40 points for the first time this season, but have scored at least 25 in each of their last four games. Their offensive production combined with a surging defense has helped turn Detroit’s season around.

They currently sit second in the NFC North with a 5-7 record. Detroit takes on NFC North division leaders Minnesota Vikings next week at home. A win will bring them within .500, and within striking distance of the final playoff spot in the NFC.