Titans 44, Lions 41: Good, Bad and Ugly

Mikel Leshoure was among the few bright spots from Detroit's cruel loss at Tennessee on Sunday. Lions' insider Mike Mady breaks down the good, bad and ugly as Detroit falls to 1-2 on the season.

The Detroit Lions were handed a 44-41 overtime loss by the Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon.

The game featured a slew of material for highlight reels and a dramatic comeback attempt by Detroit.

The Lions failed to translate their exciting fourth-quarter comeback into overtime success as the game ended when they failed to convert a fourth-and-short deep in Titans territory.

Let's look at the Good, Bad and Ugly from the loss.

The Good – The Debut of Mikel Leshoure

The Lions waited over a year to get Leshoure on the field.

Drafted in the second round in 2011, Leshoure tore his Achilles early in training camp causing him to miss all of his rookie campaign and, after two offseason arrests, served a two-game suspension to open 2012.

Leshoure looked good in his first action, rushing 26 times for 100 yards and a score, adding 34 more yards through the air.

The second-year running back offers the Lions another dimension on offense, which is crucial in counteracting defenses that insist on taking away big plays through the passing game.

Leshoure appeared as advertised; he could make defenders miss, run with power and contribute as a receiver.

The Bad – Allowing the Big Play

There were multiple areas where the Lions had less than desirable performances and many of them helped contribute to back-breaking big plays.

The first play was a 65-yard punt return in the first quarter that included a cross-field toss, reminding many of the Music City miracle . On the very next drive, Titans quarterback Jake Locker hit tight end Jared Cook for a 61-yard touchdown pass that included missed tackles.

The Lions were able to battle back and take the lead in the fourth quarter but instantly surrendered it when Darius Reynaud returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown. Minutes later, the Titans extended the lead when Locker hit Nate Washington for a 71-yard score, which included an acrobatic catch over the back of cornerback Jacob Lacey.

On the next drive, as the Lions were moving up the field and threatening to score when Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner ripped the ball from Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew's hands and returned it 72-yards for a touchdown.

Now, I know that's a lot to keep track of but, in short, the Lions were victimized by five touchdowns of over 60 yards in all three phases of the game. Five critical plays accounted for 35 of the Titans points and left the Lions needing a miracle to threaten a comeback.

The Ugly – Third Down Holding Penalty

That miracle almost happened.

The Lions scored two touchdowns in the last 18 seconds of the game, forcing overtime. The Titans won the coin toss, putting Detroit's defense on the field first.

After giving up a 24-yard pass on first down, the Lions forced the Titans into a third-and-long situation.

From their own 38-yard line, the Titans needed 16 yards to convert, Locker managed to scramble for only nine.

However, rather than being forced to punt, the Titans offense was given new life because of an inexcusable hold by rookie cornerback Bill Bentley.

Several plays later, the Titans kicked the game-winning points and Lions fans are left to discuss a controversial quarterback sneak at the end of the game.

Had Bentley not been flagged, the Titans would have punted and the failed fourth-down attempt would never have occurred.


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