The Detroit Lions knew they had their hands full this week trying to contain running back Derrick Henry and the explosive Tennessee Titans' offense.
Henry imposed his will on a Detroit defense ranked 29th in the NFL stopping the run coming into Sunday. He racked up 147 rushing yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, and Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill was nearly flawless, as the two helped propel Tennessee to a 46-25 victory.
The Titans rushed for 195 yards as a team in the contest. It's the third time this season the Lions have allowed an opponent to rush for 195-plus yards in a game. It's also the fourth time Detroit's allowed an opponent to score at least 40 points in a contest.
Tennessee scored touchdowns on their first three possessions to build a lead they'd maintain throughout the game.
The Lions had a couple nice performances in the loss, particularly from veteran wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. and rookie running back D’Andre Swift.
Jones caught 10 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown. Swift rushed for 67 yards with a couple touchdowns and caught four passes. Swift did lose a fumble trying to jump over the offensive line and into the end zone at the Titans' 1-yard line in the second half.
View photos from Detroit Lions vs. Tennessee Titans Week 15 game in Nashville on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020.
QB comparison: Matthew Stafford, who started despite suffering a painful rib injury last week, completed 22-of-32 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions and a 102.6 passer rating before leaving the game in the fourth quarter.
Chase Daniel replaced him and went 5-of-6 passing for 55 yards with an interception.
Tannehill was spectacular in this one. He completed 21-of-27 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns. He finished with a 145.8 passer rating. Tannehill also rushed for two touchdowns, giving him five total touchdowns for the game.
Promising trend: After shaking off the rust last week in Green Bay after missing his previous three games, Swift was back to his productive self with 67 rushing yards and adding four receptions for 15 yards.
He was quick and elusive, and looked to be the same player we saw in Washington Week 10, when he made his last start.
Worrisome trend: Detroit's struggled to stop the run all year long and it continued again Sunday.
Sunday marked the 10th time this season the Lions' defense has allowed at least 100 yards rushing to an opponent. It's the fifth time they've allowed at least 149 rushing yards in a game.
When the new general manager and head coach sit down this offseason and begin to evaluate the roster on defense, one of the biggest adjustments has to be the way that unit defends the run from both a scheme and personnel standpoint.
Key stat: The Lions turned the ball over three times. Swift had a fumble, tight end T.J. Hockenson also lost a fumble, and Daniel threw an interception in the final two minutes trying to lead a comeback. Tennessee won the turnover battle 3-0 in this one.
Injury report: Right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai just came off IR (foot) Saturday and unfortunately left Sunday's game with a concussion. He did not return.
Already short at cornerback coming in, the Lions lost cornerback Mike Ford to a foot injury.
Next week: vs. Tampa Bay (9-5)