The Titans thoroughly dominated the Lions from the outset of the game, coming through with a convincing 47-10 win over the Lions. As expected, the Titans were able to establish the running game against the, um, lacking Detroit defense. We even had a Vince Young siting. All in all, a pretty good start for the day.
- Tennessee got back on track in a hurry. Granted, the Lions are the Lions, so there shouldn’t be too much stock placed on the win in and of itself. How they won, though, is a different story. After an early Detroit turnover, it took all of six offensive plays from scrimmage for the Titans to score two touchdowns. Because of Tennessee’s quick scores, and Detroit’s turnovers, the Lions led the Titans after the first quarter in an unlikely category: time of possession. A first quarter which ended with the Lions trailing 21-3. Detroit had two first quarter 1st downs, which equaled their turnovers for the period.
- Chris Johnson and LenDale White were able to, as expected, reestablish the Titans running game against Detroit (Quinton Ganther too- no Chris Henry). In fact, on Thursday, Johnson and White became just the third teammates to each rush for over 100 yards on a thanksgiving game in NFL history. Tennessee’s 292 yards on the ground was their highest total since week 7 against Kansas City, which was also the last game that either back eclipsed the 100 yard mark. In the “this bodes well for the future” category: in accumulating the aforementioned yardage, neither featured back carried the ball as many as 25 times. Neither back is on pace to carry the ball close to 300 times, so there should be some “freshness” come playoff time.
- Tennessee’s 47 points, and 37 point margin of victory, both achieved new records of futility in Detroit’s Thanksgiving history. The Titans comfortable lead gave Vince Young his first playing time since his very public fall in the depth chart, after the first week of the season. Young finished 1-1 passing, with 54 yards- his sole pass being a relatively short throw that FB Ahmard Hall almost took to the house ( which would have been his second TD in as many games). If it was a pleasant surprise to see VY on the field (which it was), it was a total surprise (period) to see Drew Henson relieve Daunte Culpepper. I (with 100% honesty) had absolutely no idea that he was in the league. The more I think about it, though, the Lion’s brass does have a pretty good rationale. Culpepper had only been retired for six months. If that doesn’t work out, lets bring in a guy with 18 career passing attempts who hasn’t played in four years (there are wishbones in the NFL too!). All of this in light of the fact that they placed a surprisingly effective Jon Kitna on IR for an injury that wasn’t season ending. Seriously, is it a surprise that this team is run at the top by a member of the big three? Maybe, just maybe, if Detroit is lucky, Jeff George is out there, in “game shape.”
Tennessee’s win was as easy as it should have been. If the Titans win against their next two opponents (Cleveland and Houston), they’re in the driver’s seat for homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. The Titans’ short week of preparation for Thanksgiving’s game quickly started to look like it would provide some extra rest for next week’s game, less than a quarter into the action. The only thing that didn’t go seamlessly on Thursday was the post-game “All Iron” awards, involving trophies and cobbler. Four recipients were featured (Albert Haynesworth, Kevin Mawae, Chris Johnson and LenDale White). All four got trophies, but only three spoons were provided. LenDale looked legitimately disapointed. I’m not kidding.