Titans' Arthur Smith befuddles Detroit Lions, who are eliminated from playoffs, 46-25

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Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press
·3 min read
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. —

NASHVILLE – Derrick Henry added two more stiff-arms to his legendary collection Sunday, one that sent cornerback Alex Myres tumbling into the Tennessee Titans sideline, and another that slammed the door on the Detroit Lions’ slim playoff hopes.

Henry ran for 147 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries as the Tennessee Titans beat the Detroit Lions, 46-25, at Nissan Stadium.

The Lions fell to 5-9 and were officially eliminated from the playoffs with their loss and a win by either the Chicago Bears’ or the Minnesota Vikings.

Matthew Stafford started and played into the fourth quarter a week after suffering a painful rib injury in a loss to the Green Bay Packers. Stafford completed 22 of 32 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown before taking two big hits early in the fourth quarter and giving way to Chase Daniel.

Stafford kept the Lions close despite lost fumbles deep in Tennessee territory by D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson, but the undermanned Lions defense had no answer for Henry or the rest of the Titans’ high-powered offense.

Henry, who is vying to become the eighth player in NFL history to top 2,000 yards in a season, carried seven times and scored on a 3-yard run on the game’s opening drive, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill ran for two touchdowns and passed for three more as the Titans averaged more than 7 yards per play.

Tannehill hit Corey Davis for a 75-yard touchdown pass on a play-action fake on Tennessee’s second drive, and the Titans (10-4) did not punt until the third quarter.

The Titans led 21-7 midway through the second quarter when Swift lost a fumble trying to leap for a touchdown at the goal line.

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Romeo Okwara sacked Tannehill for a safety and Swift followed with a 2-yard touchdown run to cut the Lions’ deficit to 21-15, but the Titans added a field goal before halftime then pulled away in the second half

Hockenson lost a fumble trying to stretch for a first down on the opening possession of the third quarter, and Tannehill threw touchdown passes of 2 yards to A.J. Brown and 3 yards to Darrynton Evans in the fourth quarter.

The Titans, the NFL’s second-ranked offense, set a season-high for points and had their second most yards (463) of the season.

Swift, in his second game since missing time with migraine headaches, ran for 67 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, and Marvin Jones had 10 catches for 112 yards for the Lions, who close the season with home games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings.

Daniel finished 5 of 6 for 55 yards and one interception for the Lions.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions eliminated from playoffs by Titans, Arthur Smith, 46-25