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Lions Lose to Titans 40 - 44

The Lions were beat by the Tennessee Titans, 44-41, and the blame filled pie should be cut in many ways.

The Lions tried hard to give the game away in regulation as they took part in an NFL record for having 5 touchdowns of more than 60 yards, scored against them. This is how they happened.....

TD#1 - When the Lions punted the ball, Darius Renaud caught the punt, took two steps back and turned, then he threw the ball three yards back and to the other side of the field where Tommie Campbell was waiting. With no Lions around him, he sprinted 65 yards for an easy touchdown.

TD#2 - Jake Locker passed the ball down field to TE, Jared Cook. After a couple of missed tackles (no shock coming from the Lions defense), he sprinted free for a 61 yard touchdown catch.

TD#3 - After Stafford threw a TD to Burleson, then again to Burleson for the two point conversion, the Lions had a 7 point lead. On the ensuing kickopff, Darius Renaud, who had tossed the ball to his teammate for a TD on a punt, took the ball from 5 yards deep for a 105 yard kickoff return of his own.

TD#4 - Locker threw the ball deep down the left sideline to Nate Washington, who was fairly well covered by Lacey. Unfortunately, Lacey never knew the ball was coming because all he had to do was turn around for an easy pick. Instead, Washinton jumped up and reached over Lacey to catch the ball off the Lions CB's back. By that time it was too late for Lacey to turn around, but that was what he did, and Washington ran away with the ball for a 71 yard touchdown.

TD#5 - Matthew Stafford threw the ball to Brandon Pettigrew for a six yard completion. However, Pettigrew had to turn around for the catch and bobbled it slightly as he was spinning around. As he secured the ball in his hands and was turning around to run, but before he had a chance to tuck the ball in safely, he was hit by two Titan players. Alterraun Verner stripped the ball from Pettigrew's hands and ran it 72 yards for the score.

It seemed at this point, the Lions were doing everything they could to give the game away. Down by 14 points with only 1:16 left in the game, it looked like they did a good job of it. Considering that Stafford had left the game with an injury (no word as to how serious yet), the odds of a come back looked impossible. When the Lions, led by Shaun Hill spent :58 to drive down the field and score a touchdown, leaving them with only 18 seconds left on the clock, it looked like the loss was a lock. Then the Lions kicked the on-side kick and Amari Spievey recovered it at the Titans 45 yard line. With 16 seconds left on the clock and still on the Titans 45 yard line, Shaun Hill threw one up for a hail mary in the endzone. A Titans player won the jump, but rather than slamming the ball to the turf, he tipped it away. Right into the hands of Titus Young, who took a step and dove into the endzone for the score. Hanson kicked the extra point  and in 18 seconds, the Lions scored twice to tie it up.

In overtime, the Lions defense aloud the Titans to once again move the ball down field, but finally got the job done and held them to a 26 yard field goal. The Lions were still alive. Shaun Hill once again under center, moved the Lions from their own 22 yard line, to the Titans 7 yard line. And then the drama continued.

With it being 4th down and 1 to go, at the Titan's 7 yard line, the Lions decided to go for the win. A field goal would have tied it up, but they decided to go for it. Then for some strange reason, Dominic Raiola snapped the ball early and Hill took the ball for the QB Sneak and lost a yard, and the game. And the drama of the game was finished, but the drama off the field was only beginning.

According to Schwartz, the ball was never supposed to be snapped at all. They were meant to have a hard count to draw the defense off-sides, and if they did not jump, Coach Schwartz was going to call a time-out and kick a field goal. He tried taking the blame for not calling time out if he felt the call was not communicated clearly enough. Shaun Hill tried taking the blame because he should have made sure the call was communicated clearly. Raiola would not speak to the media.

There is a lot of blame going around. I have seen people blame Pettigrew for being stripped of the football. I have heard blame directed towards the special teams for giving up two returns for touchdowns. I have heard people blame the secondary because they couldn't cover at all and I have heard blame placed on the D-line for not putting enough pressure on Locker. Schwartz and Hill both admirably blamed themselves while trying to draw eyes away from Raiola. Blame was put on Gunther Cunningham because once again, there were no stunts on the D-line and no blitzes disguised. Plenty blame Linehan because for the third straight game to start the season, he could not get the explosive Lions offense going until the second half.

I say it was a team effort. They tried to give this game away in every faction of the game and in the end, they finally succeeded. They screwed up as a team, and the lost as one. Go team! (Eyes roll sarcastically upwards as that is said.)

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