The Titans entered today simply needing to take care of business against an inferior opponent. That’s been an issue in the past, but it was not today. Tennessee held serve in the AFC Playoff race, grabbing win No. 10 on the year.
Here’s how it happened.
To open, the Titans put together a 12 play, 75 yard drive, capped off by Derrick Henry. To answer, the Lions manufactured a long drive of their own. It was a 14 play, 75 yard drive to answer and bring us to a 7-7 score.
On the third drive of the game, Corey Davis decided to speed things up a bit. The Titans went play-action on first down, and Davis beat his man (a few times) to find the endzone.
The Titans got a stop, and then Derrick Henry embarrassed some poor defensive back.
Ryan Tannehill would finish that drive off with a touchdown run of his own, extending Tennessee’s lead out to 21-7.
Needing a spark, Stafford delivered one for the Lions. A 44 yard strike to Hunter Bryant flipped the field and set up Detroit in the redzone. Poised to make this a one score game again, D’Andre Swift took a goal line carry at the one, but fumbled. It was DaQuan Jones and Will Compton teaming up to force the fumble, and Compton came away with the football to stop the drive.
The turnover set up the Titans on their own goal line, and things didn’t go well. David Quessenberry whiffed on a cut block, freeing up Romeo Okwara for a free shot on Tannehill in the endzone for a safety.
Stafford got the ball back and connected on a big play to Marvin Jones, and then Swift punched it in on the following play. The extra point was missed, making our new score 21-15. Gostkowski hit a field goal at the halftime buzzer to give the Titans a nine point halftime lead.
The Titans dodged a bullet on the opening drive of the second half as T.J. Hockenson fumbled away a chance a points for the Lions. Detroit did come back on the following drive to add a field goal, making it a six point game.
It took the Titans until the fourth quarter to score again. A nine-play drive went 84 yards, with a big run from Derrick Henry setting things up. Tannehill kept the ball on a read-option to score, then handed off to Henry to add two more points.
Our new score was Tennessee 32, Detroit 18.
A quick three and out forced a Detroit punt, but they ran a fake instead. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine made the tackle just short of the sticks, setting Tennessee up with a short field. Darrynton Evans took a screen pass down inside of the ten, and Tannehill found A.J. Brown to score and put this one out of reach.
Both sides traded garbage-time touchdowns from there, which included Tannehill finding Darrynton Evans for his first career score.
Final Score: Tennessee 46, Detroit 25
It wasn’t always pretty today for the Titans, but they pulled away when it mattered. Tennessee has some very real holes on defense that aren’t going away, starting with a non-existent pass rush. The good news is that this offense just keeps pumping out 30 point games.
The Titans will head north next Sunday night to face the Packers.