The Detroit Lions defense had more of a whimper than a roar on Sunday, allowing Ryan Tannehill five total touchdowns in 46-25 defeat.
We all know that Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is tough, but good God. Stafford entered Sunday’s game still dealing with issues to his thumb on his throwing hand, and also with a rib cartilage injury suffered in last week’s loss to the Green Bay Packers. To make matters worse, his starting center Frank Ragnow was out while healing up from what can fairly be called a “broken throat.”
The Titans won the toss to start the game and drove down the field rather easily on the opening drive by completing short passes and putting the ball in the hands of the NFL’s leading rusher, Derrick Henry. The Lions defense looked like that of a D2 college, and Henry capped the 12 play, 75-yard drive off with a four-yard touchdown run.
The score after 6:20, 7-0 Tennessee.
Stafford and company took the field looking to respond, and to the pleasant surprise of many, were able to methodically move the ball down the field through the hands of wide receiver Marvin Jones. Stafford delivered a touchdown pass through a very tight window to Jones after 14 plays to tie the game at 7.
Here is where the Lions defense begins to show how truly horrible they are.
On the ensuing drive, Ryan Tannehill only needed one play to take the lead back, completing a 75-yard pass and run to wideout Corey Davis for the score, effectively making Duron Harmon look like a weak-link, even for a D2 school defense. The lead was back out to seven for the Titans.
The Lions would fail to do anything on offense upon getting the ball back and settled for a punt. Newly signed Alexander Myers was charged with a costly pass interference on the following drive, but things were about to get much worse for him on a personal level.
As Tennessee continued to feed Henry the ball, Myers found himself directly in the way of a freight train — and the modern-day version of being posterized followed.
Tannehill would cap off the 93-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown run, his first of two on the afternoon. Romeo Okwara found himself badly out of position on the Tannehill run but did try to make things right when he sacked Tannehill in the endzone on the Titans following drive for a safety.
Stafford and Jones were able to keep their rhythm alive as they drove down the field with the end of the first half approaching, and D’Andre Swift ran the ball in from two yards out to make the score 21-15. The Matt Prater extra point was no good.
Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski added a 38-yard field goal to make it a 24-15 game at the half.