BY RICKY LINDSAY, Staff Writer
The Detroit Lions looked to rebound Sunday afternoon in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans after suffering a close loss to the San Francisco 49‘ers the week before on Sunday Night Football.
The Lions were looking to continue their late game heroics so far in 2012. They were down 20-9 at halftime, but somehow managed to climb all the way back, late in the fourth quarter.
Starting quarterback Matthew Stafford was injured late in the fourth quarter, and an improbable drive was led by backup quarterback Shaun Hill.
With 18 seconds remaining in the game, Hill quickly led the Lions offense down the field, scoring a touchdown on his first drive.
After an onside kick recovery, Hill threw a Hail Mary pass that landed in the arms receiver Titus Young for a dramatic, game tying touchdown, sending the game to overtime. The Lions became the first team in NFL history to score two touchdowns in the final 18 seconds of the game to go into overtime.
The Lions, however, would falter in overtime after a failed fourth down conversion inside the Titans’ goal line, giving Tennessee their first victory in 2012.
Stafford saw a dip in yards after the Lions tried to rely less on the passing game and more on the urning game against the Titans. He had 33 completions on 42 attempts for 278 yards and one touchdown.
Stafford was outplayed by Titans quarterback Jake Locker. Locker torched the Lions secondary, going 29 of 42 for 378 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Running back Mikel Leshoure made his long awaited NFL debut against Tennessee, taking the pressure off of Stafford and the passing game. Leshoure had 26 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown. He was the first Lions running back to have 100 yards in his NFL debut since Billy Sims in 1980.
Calvin Johnson, the Lions’ top receiver, made his first trip to the end zone in 2012. He had 10 receptions for 164 yards and a touchdown.
The Lions’ secondary looked awful on deep passes. They became the first team in NFL history to give up five touchdowns of 60 or greater yards in one game. This will be something they will look to improve on as the season progresses.
The Lions will try to rebound at home against the Minnesota Vikings after their two game losing streak on the road to start the year. The Vikings sit atop the NFC North after their shocking win against the San Francisco 49ers. The game against the Vikings can be seen next Sunday at 1:00 PM Eastern Time on FOX.