Well, the Lions pulled off their own Music City magic Sunday in Tennessee, scoring 14 points in the last 18 seconds, but it still wasn’t enough to avoid a tough, 44-41, loss in overtime Sunday.
“I've been around a lot of crazy games. I don't know if I've ever been around one like that,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said after the loss. “I give credit to the Titans. They made the plays in the game to win the game. We didn't make the plays. We had opportunities. We kept drives alive with penalties. We turned the ball over. We gave up special teams scores, two of them. And when that happens, we were lucky to just be in the game at the end.”
Ultimately, the Lions undoing in overtime was a simple case of miscommunication between center
Trailing, 44-41, on their first opportunity to possess the ball, Schwartz said he had every intention to try and draw the Titans offside on the play to get a free first down. If that didn’t work, he was going to call a timeout to set up the field goal.
Instead, Raiola snapped the ball and Hill tried sneak the 1-yard, which was unsuccessful.
“That was a miscommunication,” Schwartz said. “We were going to try to draw them offsides and the crowd was loud and if they didn't jump we were going to take the time out and the ball ended up getting snapped.
“We need to obviously make sure that all eleven guys get the calls right there and be able to play it. I didn't want to take the delay of game if they didn't jump because then if they're offsides on the field goal, then you're still going to be short of the first down.
“I was getting ready to call a time out but unfortunately that's where we were. We had a great chance to get them offsides too. They were in a goal line type defense and I think we would have had a great chance to get them that way. If not, then we kick the field goal.”
Hill, who was in the game for the injured
“I’ll take full responsibility for that,” he said. “There was a miscommunication and it’s up to the quarterback to get all 11 on the same page, for sure.”
The fact that the Lions were even at that point in the game was improbably in it self.
They scored on a 3-yard
With seven seconds left in the game, quarterback Shaun Hill, heaved one last desperation pass to the end zone that found the arms of receiver
Sunday’s game will go down as an instant classic, but there wasn’t much special about the way the Lions played for the first 58 minutes and 42 seconds of regulation, and then in overtime.
All three phases of the game had a hand in the loss.
The Lions special teams allowed a punt return touchdown and a kickoff return touchdown. The defense allowed two passing touchdowns of 71 and 61 yards.
“Can't give up big plays,” Schwartz said. “We get a play down the seam that even if the guy makes a circus catch behind our guys back, gotta get that guy cleaned up and get off the field.
“We have a safety back there that needs to be able make the play. The other one we have a chance to either break a ball up or make a tackle we do neither one and they go a long way. You don't play good defense by giving up big plays. We kept drives alive with penalties. That's poor defense when you're giving up big plays and you're keeping drives alive with penalties.”
The 105-yard kickoff return by Darius Reynaud and the 71-yard touchdown pass from Titans quarterback Jake Locker to receiver Nate Washington came after the Lions had taken a 27-20 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford tried to lead an 80-yard scoring drive with 3:10 left in the game to tie the score, but the drive was stalled when Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner stripped Lions tight end
It was just another in a string of big plays for the Titans on Sunday.
Even worse for the Lions on the Verner touchdown is that Stafford came up limping on the play and did not return. His injury was described as a strained leg muscle. “I’m okay,” he said after the game. “It’s just something that was bothering me during the week a little bit. I didn’t miss some plays at practice or anything, but I could feel it.
“Trying to treat it, get it ready and felt it on the scramble early and then felt it going after that guy late in the game. I don’t know, we’ll see. I’ve got to take a look at it.”
The loss ruined a great NFL debut by running back
Johnson also had a big game in defeat with 10 catches for 164 yards and his first touchdown of the season.