The Lions-Titans game on Sunday was all over the map. The Titans built a 20-9 halftime lead behind Jake Locker who went off for 378 yards and 2 TDs, but who in the ened, were determined to give it all back. The Titans collapsed in the fourth quarter like a tiki hut in a typhoon allowing the Lions to score 25 points in the one quarter of play, which included two TDs in the last 1:16 of regulation.
This fourth quarter eruption of points by the Lions sent the game into overtime, where things only got more interesting. The Titans methodically marched down the field on their first possession of overtime and kicked a 26-yard field goal. This gave them a 3-point lead, but the Lions then took 9 plays and drove the ball all the way down to the Titan 14-yard line. They were faced with a 4th and 1, so the decision came down to whether or not you kick the easy field goal and tie the game or go for the win?
The Lions felt rowdy and decided to go for the win. They decided to try for the first down and gave the ball to fill-in quarterback Shaun Hill to do a QB keeper up the middle. This resulted in a monumental 1-yard loss. Oops.
In the Lions' defense, they had been running the ball fairly well all day long. They had run the ball 36 times for 141 yards, averaging 3.9 yards per rush. I don’t question the decision to run the ball so much as where they chose to run it and with whom.
I know Hill is 6-3 and 220 lbs., but why go away from a running game that’s been working for you all day? Both Detroit running backs Joique Bell and Mikel Leshoure were having great games. This wasn't the time to get fancy.
The Titans hadn't been able to stop either running back from running outside the tackles all game, so why on earth would you choose now to explore the middle with your quarterback. This is of course besides the fact that a QB keeper on fourth and 1 is about the most predictable play call on the planet.
In the end, the Lions out-thought themselves and coached themselves right out of a win.
They'll try to pick things up against the Vikings next week. However, after defeating the mighty 49ers on Sunday, the Vikings don't look like a cake walk.
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