NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It was almost the Music City Miracle in reverse.
Detroit scored two touchdowns in the last 18 seconds of regulation to force overtime, but Tennessee recovered to win the season's craziest game 44-41 on Sunday when Rob Bironas converted a 26-yard field goal with 10:36 left.
The Lions eschewed a potential game-tying 26-yard field goal from Jason Hanson and went for it on fourth-and-1 from the 7, but Jurrell Casey stuffed backup quarterback Shaun Hill for a loss of 1 yard. It withstood a replay review, ending the 3-hour, 49-minute classic.
The Titans appeared to have clinched the game with 1:16 left when cornerback Alterraun Verner ripped the ball from Brandon Pettigrew's hands and raced 72 yards for a touchdown to give them a 41-27 lead.
But Hill, who came in after Matthew Stafford injured his leg, led an 80-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 3-yard scoring pass to Calvin Johnson with 18 seconds to play.
Two plays after the Lions' Amari Spievey recovered an onside kick at the Tennessee 46, Hill lofted a pass to the end zone. Akeem Ayers tried to knock the ball down but deflected it to Titus Young, who fell into the end zone as the remnants of a sellout crowd at LP Field stood in stunned silence.
Tennessee wiped out a 27-20 deficit with three touchdowns in less than 5 1/2 minutes, started by its second special-teams score of the day. Darius Reynaud reaped the benefits of a huge block by Taylor Thompson, who obliterated Jonte' Green and cruised 105 untouched yards down the right sideline to even the score at the 6:41 mark.
Tennessee then forced a punt and took over with 3:30 left. After a penalty wiped out a first -down run by Jake Locker, he and Nate Washington connected for a tiebreaking 71-yard touchdown at the 3:11 mark, with Washington plucking the ball from behind cornerback Jacob Lacey and waltzing to the end zone.
The Titans took a 10-6 lead with 33 seconds left in the first quarter with a beautifully executed trick play on a punt return. Reynaud fielded Ben Graham's 38-yard punt at the 37, ran to the 40 and lateraled from left to right. Tommie Campbell caught it and zoomed 65 yards to the end zone.
Tennessee (1-2) established a 20-9 halftime lead, but the Lions appeared to take control in the second half. Mikel Leshoure, who rushed for 100 yards on 26 carries, scored on a 1-yard run with 6:36 left in the third quarter to slice the deficit to 20-16.
After Hanson's 26-yard field goal with 12:39 remaining, Titans rookie Kendall Wright fumbled the ball to DeAndre Levy at the Tennessee 46 to set up Detroit's go-ahead score.
Notes: Detroit LT Jeff Backus extended his streak of consecutive starts to 179, the longest among current NFL offensive players. Tennessee LT Michael Roos made his 115th straight start, ranking him fourth in that category ... Lions TE Tony Scheffler was among the inactives for this game as was Titans MLB Colin McCarthy ... Tennessee backup QB Matt Hasselbeck was one of 12 current or former players who signed a letter written by the NFL Players Association Thursday asking commissioner Roger Goodell and the owners to settle their lockout of the referees. The letter was released Sunday morning.