Tennessee Titans Beat Detroit Lions 44-41 in Thrilling Inter-Conference Clash
The Tennessee Titans defeated the Detroit Lions in a wild finish that featured one unexpected play after the other.
Tommie Campbell scored a touchdown on a punt return in which the Titans' return team used the same across-the-field pass that led to the “Music City Miracle” in 2000. Tennessee took a 20-9 lead into the locker room after the second quarter.
Detroit then started the second half with 18 unanswered points to take a 27-20 lead with 6:58 seconds left in the game. But after the Lions' second touchdown of the half, Darius Reynaud returned the ensuing kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown to start one of the most improbable series of events NFL fans have ever seen.
Jake Locker hit Nate Washington for a 71-yard touchdown pass to give the Titans a seven-point lead. On the Lions' next possession, Brandon Pettigrew was stripped of the ball and Alterraun Verner ran 72 yards in the other direction for a touchdown.
This score put the Titans into the history books for acquiring such a wide variety of touchdowns in a single game, as noted by ESPN Stats and Info, via Twitter.
Via Elias: The Titans are 2nd team in NFL history with a pass TD, kick return TD, punt return TD, fumble return TD in game (2002 Chiefs)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 23, 2012
On the same play, Matthew Stafford limped off the field and did not return, as noted by the Associated Press. Backup quarterback Shaun Hill came in and led the Lions 80 yards down the field and found Calvin Johnson in the end zone with 20 seconds remaining in the game.
Detroit was able to recover the onside kick to set up one final chance. Hill heaved the ball toward the goal line, and the ball was knocked down directly into Titus Young’s hands. The Lions receiver fell into the end zone and the game was sent into overtime after a successful Jason Hanson extra point.
In overtime, the Titans were able to kick a field goal, but under the new NFL overtime rules, the Lions received another possession. Detroit drove the ball into the red zone but was faced with 4th-and-inches inside the 10-yard line.
Jim Schwartz opted to try and pick up the first down, as a touchdown would win the game for his team. But the Tennessee defense held and did not allow a quarterback sneak from Hill to gain the necessary yardage.
The Lions turned the ball over on downs, giving the Titans a victory in one of the most incredible games in league history.
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