Lions vs. Titans - Week 15 Recap - Ryan TanneThrill!

The AFC South is truly up for grabs, with every game providing the biggest implications. Both the Titans and the Colts are neck and neck, and neither do not want (or need) to get upset by a team they can bear. That is exactly what the Tennessee Titans did to the Detroit Lions, defeating them in their last home game of the season, 46-25. The Titans move one step closer to securing up a playoff spot, as Detroit falls to 5-9 on their disappointing season.


Game Recap

The Titans got the ball to start, as the Lions deferred to the 2nd half. Ryan Tannehill was on point all drive, and put the offense in a successful position to score. Derrick Henry punched it in on a 3 yard run. Stephen Gostkowski made the point after, making the score 7-0, Tennessee. The Lions answered via a Matthew Stafford 2 yard pass to Marvin Jones Jr. Matt Prater made the extra point to tie it up at 7-7. The Titans answered very quickly, as on the first play on the new drive, Tannehill faked to Henry and lofted a pass to wide receiver Corey Davis. Davis did the rest juking out a defender and taking it to the house, 75 yards. Gostkowski made the PAT making it 14-7, Titans. The defense held on 3rd and 6, making the Lions punt. On that drive, the King made his presence felt as he threw a Lions defender down, and out of bounds.



PHOTO CREDIT: titanswire.usatoday.com


The Titans cashed in on it, as Tannehill scrambled into the endzone, from 17 yards out. Gostkowski made the extra point, extending the Tennessee lead to 21-7. Detroit got down inside the Titans 5 yard line, but on 3rd and goal, rookie running back D’Andre Swift fumbled and Tennessee recovered! Sadly the offense could deliver a knock-out punch to the Lions, because on 2nd and 8, Tannehill was leveled by Romeo Okwara in the endzone, resulting in a safety. That cut the deficit to 21-9. After the safety, Detroit got the ball back and punched it in as Swift got revenge on a 2 yard run. However, the PAT was missed and that kept the score at 21-15! Tannehill delivered a 2-minute drill and set up Stephen Gostkowski for a last-second 38 yard field goal, which he made down the middle. The first half was over, with the Titans leading 24-15. The only score of the 3rd quarter was a 53 yard Prater field goal, which shortened the Titans lead to 6 at 24-18. That’s when the Titans decided to end the game. The first score of the 4th was Tannehill taking it in for 3 yards. On the 2 point conversion, Tannehill gave to Henry and El Tractorcito took it in, broadening the lead to 32-18. The Tennessee defense held, and the offense converted the knock-out blow on a 2 yard Tannehill pass to AJ Brown making the score 39-18. After that, the Lions took out Stafford and put in back-up Chase Daniel. Daniel brought the Lions offense down in the redzone, and found paydirt on a 6 yard run by Swift. Prater made the point after and the score was 39-25. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel pulled Henry to give the rookie back-up Darrynton Evans some exposure, and Evans found the endzone on a 3 yard pass for 6.



PHOTO CREDIT: titanswire.usatoday.com

Gostkowski made the extra point, and that made it 46-25. However, on 1st and 10, Daniel was picked off by All-Pro safety Kevin Byard! The Titans back-up QB Logan Woodside kneeled down and the game was over.


Pros

  • Everything! Not only was this a good win, since the Colts won as well, but Tannehill has been playing great football, the King played well, notching 24 carries for 147 yards and one TD.

  • The defense. Once the Lions got a bit close, they shut ‘em down and got the ball back to the offense. The big thing was the turnovers they created, though. If they can do that next week it will be key.



PHOTO CREDIT: wkrn.com


  • Adoree’ Jackson!!! Adoree’ is back! The former first-round pick had not played at all this year due to injuries, and with the Titans playing the Green Bay Packers next week, they will need all the cornerback help they can get, and Jackson will definitely be a part of that.

  • The receiver corps (This includes all the tight ends). Davis had a big ad with 4 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown. Brown did well and caught a TD. But the big thing was Jonnu Smith. The star tight end showed signs of life today, with 5 receptions, for 52 yards. Tennessee will need him to contribute down the stretch.

  • Stephen Gostkowski! This man was a liability at the start of the year, missing 4 total kicks in week 1. He has been very good recently and we’ll need him for some clutch kicks later on in the year.


Cons

  • There isn’t much in this section, but rookie corner Kristian Fulton did not play. I understand that Vrabel will want him to be 100% against the Pack, but he has not played since October and will need to get back to speed.

  • Vrabel pulling the King! Normally I’d be fine with it, but Henry has a shot at joining the 2,000 yard club and against a weak run defense, he could have gotten a good chunk of the yards this Sunday. And speaking of the 2K club…


Will King Henry Rush Into History?

As I mentioned earlier, Derrick Henry has a chance to join the exclusive list of NFL stars who have rushed for 2,000 yards in a season. He currently has 1,679 rushing yards, with 2 games to go. He needs 321 more to join the list. That would mean he needs 161 per game. To break the Titans’ single-season franchise record, set by Chris Johnson, or “CJ2K” of 2006 yards in 2009, the King needs 327 more yards. That means 164 per game. But the biggest challenge is to break the all-time, single-season record, set by Rams legend Eric Dickerson in 1984, with 2,105 yards.



PHOTO CREDIT: latimes.com


Henry needs 426 more yards, which is 214 per game. To break Dickerson’s record means he needs to run wild, vs the Packers and the Texans. The Texans do have a weak run defense, but the Packers have a decent one. What would help is if Henry is able to be the first person to rush for over 300 yards in one game. If Tractorcito is able to do it, the Titans would be the first team in NFL history to have multiple 2,000+ yard rushers. Good luck, Derrick!


Final Thoughts

Overall it was a good game, as Tannehill had zero turnovers and the defense forced a fumble. This will have to continue next week as Tennessee takes on Green Bay in Lambeau, next Sunday night! The final stat leaders were: Passing; Tannehill, 21-27, for 273 yards, and 3 touchdowns through the air, and 2 on the ground. Rushing; Henry, 24 attempts, for 147 yards, and a TD. Receiving; Davis, 4 catches, for 110 yards, and a touchdown.



PHOTO CREDIT: titanswire.usatoday.com


My MVP of the game goes to Ryan Tannehill! This man has been on fire! Again he had a clean game, threw dimes, and even took matters into his own hands (or feet), and had a couple of scores running! He is so valuable, as he takes the pressure off Henry, the way Marcus Mariota could never do. For who needs to improve is our receiver options besides Brown and Davis. Currently, Adams Humphries is on IR, and will be unavailable until week 17. The other option, Kalif Raymond, who was a postseason breakout star last year, has been non-existent this year and was placed on the COVID-19 list this week. Will Cam Batson step up? Or will GM Jon Robinson sign a free agent, like veteran Kenny Stills, who is Tannehill’s former teammate? Whoever it may be, they will have to step up and produce in the postseason.


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