The Tennessee Titans beat the Detroit Lions 16-15 in a comeback win that featured a late touchdown catch and subsequent interception.
It wasn’t pretty. Offensive penalties on the Lions were beneficial. I don’t know what just happened. That game was the definition of an emotional roller coaster. Three quarters through the game and Mike Mularkey’s head was on fans’ pitchforks. One quarter after and all Titans fans are singing joyous hymns and toasting beers in celebration. This game went from the lowest of lows to the highest highs.
Here’s how it all went down.
It all started ominously. The Titans first drive stalled and Ryan Succop missed a long field goal. The following drive ended after one play on a Lions safety after DeMarco Murray was smothered behind the line. The Lions kept racking up yards, but a bevy of penalties on both teams kept taking points off the board and had drives going back and forth. The Lions had three offensive touchdowns nullified by penalties.
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It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Titans began to come alive. It started with a bang, with Marcus Mariota finding Delanie Walker on a 30 yard touchdown. Mariota delivered a bullet with touch that was perfectly timed and out of the reach of the Lions defensive backs.
The Titans defense forced two straight punts from a Lions offense that struggled to be two-dimensional after Ameer Abdullah went down with an injury. The Titans got the ball back with seven minutes left and embarked on a six minute journey to find their inner selves as a united football team.
Using Murray as his main chain-mover, Mariota found Andre Johnson on an eight yard gain that moved the Titans to the one-yard line. But a Rishard Matthews offensive pass interference penalty brought it, and the offense, back. Two plays later, the Titans were stuck in a fourth-and-four from the nine-yard line.
Mariota lofted a pass over triple coverage and into the bread basket of our ageless wonder, Andre Johnson, who held onto the ball and gave the Titans a one-point lead. I wasn’t at the stadium and I wasn’t at a Titans watch party, but I unleashed a scream heard around the world when I saw that Johnson came down with that ball.
Still, there was a lot of time left and I was very concerned with how our bend-but-don’t-break defense could keep Matthew Stafford from getting into field goal range. Sure enough, as poetry would have it, Perrish Cox (who was really bad today and drew the ire of nearly every Titans fan) came up with an interception on an errant throw by Stafford that sealed the win.
This was not a perfect game. In fact, we might have been lucky to win at all. But it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that there’s now a “1” in the wins column. That and the fact that Mariota is an absolute stud and we should feel blessed to have him as our quarterback. That also matter.