Share & Connect
Sunday’s showdown between the Detroit Lions (1-2) and Tennessee Titans (1-2) in Nashville ended up turning into a good old fashioned shootout. One which needed an extra 8:25 to decide a winner.
And at the end of the day, it was the Titans who found themselves on top, 44-41, in what was probably the wildest game the day had to offer.
“Both of us looked at each other and said, ‘We’ve never been through something like this in our lives,’” said Titans head coach Mike Munchak of his counterpart Jim Schwartz. “It’s hard to put in words what to say about that. We both could’ve won in so many ways.”
Titans quarterback Jake Locker threw for 378 yards and two touchdowns while completing 29 of 42 passes and leading his team to their first win of the season.
Tennessee, who was previously winless, went into halftime with a 20-9 lead over a Lions team that is anything but a pushover.
After only seven points were scored in the third quarter via a one yard Mikel Leshoure rushing touchdown, the fourth quarter saw scoring come from left and right in every which way, through offense, defense and special teams.
A total of 46 points were scored in the final period of regulation.
Brandon Pettigrew’s fumble at the Tennessee 28 yard line with the Lions trailing 34-27 with about three minutes remaining in the fourth was recovered by Tennessee cornerback Alterraun Verner and run back 72 yards for a touchdown and what undoubtedly appeared at the moment to be the final dagger.
But Lions backup quarterback Shaun Hill had other plans.
Matthew Stafford, the Lions starting quarterback, did not return to the field due to injury following Pettigrew’s fumble. He had an outstanding day nonetheless, going 33/42 through the air for 278 yards and a touchdown.
Hill suddenly found himself thrown into a game trailing two touchdowns with just 1:16 left on the clock. He would put together an 80 yard touchdown drive in just 58 seconds, which ended with a 3 yard scoring toss to Calvin Johnson, who had yet another monster performance with 164 yards on 10 receptions to go with that touchdown grab.
Detroit successfully recovered the ensuing onside kick, and was stationed at the Titans 46 yard line with just 18 seconds remaining.
Hill’s prayer on second down was answered downfield by receiver Titus Young, as he hauled in a touchdown that set up the game-tying extra point as time expired.
Locker remained composed, however, and put Tennessee in position to take a 44-41 lead with 10:36 left in overtime.
Schwartz wanted to end it once the Lions made their way all the way down to the Tennessee seven. It would be a decision that would come back to bite him, as Hill attempted to scramble for the first down on fourth and one, but lost a yard and came up short to seal the victory for the Titans.
The play did undergo a booth review and was upheld, ending the madness.
Trying to somehow put everything into words, Munchak said, “I can honestly say, 30 years being around the NFL, I never saw anything close to what we experienced in this game, the highs and the lows, both sides of the ball.”
Image Courtesy of Official Tennessee Titans