Detroit Lions lose to Tennessee Titans, 46-25: How it happened

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Carlos Monarrez and Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press
·10 min read
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Detroit Lions game score, live updates and analysis vs. the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville on Sunday (1 p.m., CBS).

The Lions (5-8) are on the verge of playoff elimination, holding a 2% chance at making the postseason. They're far more likely to retain a top 10 pick in the NFL draft for the third straight season.

The Titans, under coach Mike Vrabel, are 9-4 and in first place in the AFC South. Vrabel has become the successful ex-Patriots coach the Lions thought they were getting when they hired Matt Patricia. That did not work out for Detroit.

But what about Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith? He's a hot coaching name.

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The Lions' suspect run defense faces a daunting challenge in the NFL's leading rusher Derrick Henry (1,532 yards, 14 touchdowns), who averages 118 rushing yards per game. The Titans also have two talented receivers in the electric second-year man A.J. Brown (837 yards, nine touchdowns) and former Western Michigan standout Corey Davis (835 yards, four touchdowns). — Marlowe Alter

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Free Press sports writer Carlos Monarrez recaps each drive and big play during the game. Join the discussion in the comment section of this story.

Box score

Live updates

4:03 p.m.: Safety Kevin Byard intercepted Daniel’s pass to Amendola and the Titans took over from their 40 with 1:32 left. The Lions started from their 25 after a touchback and reach the 41 after an 11-yard pass to Jones. After the pick, the Titans kneeled it out to improve to 10-4. The Lions were eliminated from the playoff hunt and fell to 5-9. Swift ran for two touchdowns. Derrick Henry finished with 147 rushing yards.

3:56 p.m.: Tannehill threw a 3-yard pass to Evans to put the Titans up, 46-25, with 2:07 left. After the Titans recovered the Lions’ onside kick, they started from the Detroit 45. On third-and-4, Brown caught a 12-yard pass to reach the 27. The Titans didn’t face another third down until the touchdown pass came on third-and-3.

3:44 p.m.: Swift scored on a 6-yard run to cut the Titans’ lead to 39-25 with 6:23 left. Chase Daniel replaced Stafford on this quick drive that started at the Detroit 40 after Agnew’s 43-yard kickoff return. Daniel ran for 11 yards, then connected with Jones for 21 yards followed by Jesse James for 11 yards to reach the 6. The six-play, 60-yard drive lasted 2:37.

3:37 p.m.: The Titans took a 39-18 lead on Tannehill’s 2-yard pass to A.J. Brown with 9 minutes left. The Titans started from the Detroit 34 after the Lions’ failed fake punt. Evans made an incredible play after he caught a pass that was tipped by Nick Williams and ran the short catch for 24 yard to the 5.

3:30 p.m.: The Lions failed to convert on a fake punt run and the Titans took over from the Detroit 34 with 12:02 left. The Lions started from their 25 after a touchback. On the second play, a bad snap by backup center Joe Dahl led to a hard sack on Stafford by Teair Tart for a 7-yard loss. On third-and-15, Stafford’s pass to Danny Amendola went for 11 yards. The Lions lined up for a punt and direct snapped to C.J. Moore, who gained 3 yards on fourth-and-4.

3:22 p.m.: The Titans took a 32-18 lead on Tannehill’s play-action 3-yard run and Henry’s 2-point conversion run with 14:30 left in the fourth quarter. The Titans started from their 17 after Evans’ 17-yard kickoff return. The Lions’ defense dropped Henry for a 2-yard loss when Austin Bryant and Frank Herron tackled him. But the Titans avoided a three-and-out when Tannehill hit tight end Anthony Firkser for 20 yards up the middle to reach the Tennessee 36. Davis turned a short catch into a 14-yard gain to get into Lions territory at the Detroit 45. On third-and-1 from the Detroit 36, Henry ran off right tackle for 33 yards. Harmon’s tackle saved a touchdown, but the Titans scored on the next play.

3:10 p.m.: Prater converted a 53-yard field goal and the Lions cut the Titans’ lead to 24-18 with 4:09 left in the third quarter. The Lions were backed up at their 7 but started fast with a 10-yard run by Swift followed by Stafford’s deep sideline pass to Quintez Cephus for 36 yards to the Titans’ 47. After a pass interference call on the Titans’, the Lions moved to the 35. But the Lions couldn’t gain another yard on three downs.

3:03 p.m.: The Lions forced a punt after Tannehill’s deep pass to Cameron Batson was broken up and nearly intercepted by Amani Oruwayriye, who crashed into Tracy Walker, who was injured on the play. After a punt, the Lions took over at their 7 after a 1-yard loss on Agnew’s return with 5:58 left in the third quarter. The Titans started from their 20 and got a little breathing room when Henry ran for 10 yards, then 5 yards to reach the Tennessee 40.

2:54 p.m.: The Lions had another promising drive ended by a lost fumble when Hockenson was tackled on a third-and-1 outside run. The Titans won the challenge after the play was initially ruled a 1-yard run. The Titans recovered the ball at their 20 with 9:22 left in the third quarter. The Lions started from their 25 after a touchback. The Lions narrowly avoided going three-and-out after Stafford threw a bullet to Sanu for 14 yards to the Detroit 48 on third-and-13. The Lions got behind the sticks after a false start by Matt Nelson, who took over at right tackle after Halapoulivaati Vaitai left to be evaluated for a concussion, and Stafford was called for delay of game. Sanu made a great shoestring catch on a tipped ball for 7 yards and a first down to the Tennessee 30.

2:25 p.m.: Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 38-yard field goal to give the Titans a 24-15 lead at the end of the first half. The Titans started from their 28 after a 28-yard kickoff return by Darrynton Evans. Brown and Davis each caught passes of 14 yards and the Titans made up for a false-start penalty with Tannehill’s 16-yard pass to Smith to reach the 25.

2:17 p.m.: Swift scored on a 2-yard run with 1:02 left to cut the Titans’ lead to 21-15 after Matt Prater missed the extra point wide left. The Lions moved 55 yards in 2:29 thanks to Stafford’s deep throw to Jones for 39 yards to the Titans’ 2 on broken coverage by the Tennessee secondary.

2:06 p.m.: Lions defensive end Romeo Okwara sacked Tannehill in the end zone for a safety to cut the Titan’s lead to 21-9 with 3:31 left in the second quarter. Okwara hurdled left tackle David Quessenberry and took down Tannehill from the blind side. After the Titans’ free kick and Agnew’s 13-yard return the Lions took over from their 45 with 3:28 left.

2:04 p.m.: D’Andre Swift lost a fumble when he tried to dive over the pile and into the end on third-and-goal at the 1. DaQuon Jones knocked the ball out of Swift’s hands and recovered it at the 3 with 4:12 left in the second quarter. The turnover ruined a promising drive that started after a 28-yard return by Agnew put Lions at their 25. They narrowly avoided going three-and-out when Stafford hit Swift for a 5-yard gain on third-and-3. On the next play, tight end Hunter Bryant made his first career catch a beautiful grab on a great pass from Stafford up the middle for 44 yards to the Titans’ 19. Stafford scrambled out of bounds for 12 yards when his receivers were covered to reach the 5.

1:53 p.m.: The Titans took a 21-7 lead on Tannehill’s 17-yard naked bootleg with 9:28 left in the second quarter. The Lions were called for two penalties on the first three plays of the Titans’ drive on an offside call on Bryant and then a pass interference call on Alexander Myres, a practice-squad callup. The call on Bryant was declined after a 12-yard gain but Myres’ P.I. gave the Titans 23 yards and put the Titans at midfield. After a 13-yard run by Henry, the Titans reached the Detroit 37. Jayron Kearse broke a deep pass to tight end McCole Pruitt. Then Myres had another tough play when Henry embarrassed him by throwing him down with one arm on a 7-yard run to the 17.

1:40 p.m.: The Lions got into Tennessee territory but had to punt. After a 32-yard kickoff return by Agnew, the Lions started the drive from their 31. The Lions avoided going three-and-out when Stafford hit Mohamed Sanu for 4 yards on third-and-3. The Lions to the Titans’ 43 on 15 yards from D’Andre Swift with a pass and two runs. But on third-and-6 from the 43, Stafford couldn’t find Jones and had to throw it away while being hit. After a 36-yard Jack Fox punt and a fair catch, the Titans will start from their 7 with 12:42 left in the second quarter.

1:28 p.m.: The Titans took a 14-7 lead on Tannehill’s 75-yard deep throw to Corey Davis with 1:22 left. The Titans scored on the first play of the drive after a touchback. Davis, a Western Michigan product, juked safety Duron Harmon and scored easily.

1:23 p.m.: The Lions tied the score at 7 when Matthew Stafford threw 2-yard pass to Marvin Jones in the back of the end zone on third-and-goal with 1:34 left. The Lions started from their 25 after a touchback. Quarterback Matthew Stafford appeared to be wearing extra protection around list left chest area to protect his rib cartilage injury. But he didn’t seem bothered by it. The Lions avoided a three-and-out when Stafford hit Marvin Jones for a 4-yard gain on third-and-4. A short pass to Jamal Agnew turned into a 13-yard gain that took the Lions to the Titans’ 45. On third-and-7, T.J. Hockenson made a nice diving catch for 11 yards to the 31.

1:11 p.m.: The Titans scored on their opening drive when Derrick Henry ran it in from 3 yards on an outside pitch to take a 7-0 lead over the Lions with 8:40 left. The Lions won the opening coin toss and deferred and the Titans started from their 25 after a touchback. The Titans avoided a three-and-out when Ryan Tannehill completed a 6-yard pass to A.J. Brown to the Tennessee 39. On the next play, Austin Bryant blew up the play and tackled Henry for a 4-yard loss to force second-and-14. But the Titans responded with a nice pass up the middle to tight end Jonnu Smith for a 19-yard gain to the Detroit 46.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions lose to Tennessee Titans, 46-25: How it happened