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Tennessee Titans beat the Detroit Lions in Overtime 44-41
Posted By Mark Haynes On Sunday, September 23, 2012 @ 11:20 pm In Sports | No Comments
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans got the ball first in overtime. Starting on their own 20 yard line, the Titans took the ball down to the Detroit Lions 15 yard line in 13 plays. Rob Bironas kicked a 26 yard field goal to put the Titans on top 44-41.
After the ensuing kickoff, the Lions started on their own 22 yard line. After 8 plays, the Lions had fourth and one at the Tennessee 7. Lions coach Jim Schwartz decided to go for it instead of letting Jason Hanson kick the tying field goal. Detroit backup quarterback Shaun Hill tried a quarterback sneak up the middle that was stuffed by defensive tackles Jurrell Casey and Sen’Derrick Marks giving the Titans the win.
The Titans saw their 20-9 halftime lead evaporate as the Lions scored 18 unanswered points to make it 20-27. That’s when Titan’s Darius Reynaud set a Tennessee record by returning the kickoff 105 yards to tie the game at 27.
After the Lions were force to punt, Jake Locker threw a pass to Nate Washington who caught the ball off the back of Lions cornerback Jacob Lacey and ran 71 yards to put the Titans ahead with 3:11 left in the game.
On Detroit’s next possession, Matthew Stafford threw a short 6 yard pass left to tight end Brandon Pettigrew who then had the ball stripped away by Alterraun Verner who goes 72 yards for the touchdown.
Detroit gets the ball back on their own 20 with 1:16 left. They march down to the Tennessee 3 in 7 plays. On the next snap, Hill hits Calvin Johnson for 3 yards and the score with 0:18 left on the clock.
Detroit kicker Jason Hanson’s onside kick is recovered by the Lion’s Amari Spievey at the Tennessee 46. On the second play, with 0:06 left in the game, Hill hits Titus Young deep down the middle for a 46 yard touchdown that ties the game at 41.
In the fourth quarter, both teams combined for 46 points. Bironas hit the field goal in overtime to give the Titans the win.
For Tennessee, Jake Locker was 29 of 42 for 378 yards and two touchdowns. Locker also ran four times for 35 yards. Chris Johnson was held to 24 yards on 14 attempts. Nate Washington had three receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown. Jared Cook had 77 yards on four receptions and a touchdown.
The Tennessee Titans are on the road next week to take on the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. The game is Sunday, September 30th at 12:00pm CDT.
#11 QB Rusty Smith
#21 RB Javon Ringer
#38 S Al Afalava
#52 LB Colin McCarthy
#66 T Mike Otto
#72 G Deuce Lutui
#87 WR Lavelle Hawkins
Titans lineup changes:
#92 Will Witherspoon will start in place of McCarthy at middle linebacker.
#55 Zach Brown will start at weakside linebacker.
#26 Jordan Babineaux will start in place of Robert Johnson at strong safety.
#17 QB Kellen Moore
#26 S Louis Delmas
#50 LB Travis Lewis
#70 T Jason Fox
#78 T Corey Hilliard
#85 TE Tony Scheffler
#94 DE Lawrence Jackson
Lions roster move:
#31 CB Drayton Florence was placed in injured reserve with the designation to return.
Lions lineup changes:
#29 John Wendling will start in place of Delmas at safety.
#89 Will Heller will start in place of Scheffler.
#25 Mikel Leshoure will start in place of Kevin Smith at running back.
(on if he had ever been a part of game like that)
Unfortunately, they came back and put 14 on the board on us in about a minute and a half. So we found out that was really fast, which you can’t do. That’s a team that can make plays. So, it was back-and-forth and luckily we made the last play. I think it was one of those games where obviously one of us was going to make it at the end and on fourth down they tried to sneak it to get the first down, you know a great play by the defense to rise to the occasion when they had to. That was happening all day. I mean there was a lot of stuff in there to correct. But when you win one like this you just worry about that tomorrow or the next day.
For us, we won a football game that we needed to win. We all knew how badly we needed to win. We made a lot of big plays in this game, which was fun to watch. We know we’ve got things to fix, but we just got to enjoy this win right now. It was good to watch a lot of guys step up. Because (of) injuries, guys kept stepping up, coming back, both sides I am sure, both teams. So, great win for us and hopefully we can build on this.
(on what the defense needs to do to become more consistent)
I think a good thing early for them (the defense), we held them (the Lions) to three points three or four times. The score got so high…we held them to four or five field goals; that was probably what kept us in the game. If we are giving up touchdowns there, we are way behind. Our offense, again, the same thing, we got bottled down there a little bit. We had to go for fields goals. We missed two, which is rare for us, which gave them a chance to get back into the game at times, too. Like I said, it was back-and-forth.
Yes, there are things on defense, obviously, we have to get better. You can’t give up 14 points with whatever was left, a couple of minutes with their backup quarterback in there. You know, we can go and drill ourselves for that. We can work on that. We will get that right, but they’ve got great receivers, great players, which we knew coming in. They’re big-play type people. They made plays, too. Great players make plays. I think hopefully that we learned that no matter what happens in the game, the highs and lows, it’s never over.
(on being able to finish the game)
On both sides, you have to find a way to finish the game. You have to find a way to make plays and win it and not let the plays, even though we blew a 14-point lead, we erased a seven-point lead, but then we blew a 14, but we found a way to come back. The offense did a great job. I thought Jake was great all day against a very good defensive front. I thought the protection was really good for him. Very rarely did he get hit or pressure against a really good group. He made play-after-play. Guys caught balls for him. He’s competitive. He took us down the field on that last drive to get the field goal to give us the three points to go ahead. So, just a lot of good things to watch from the sidelines. It was an emotional day for all of us. It was great that we found a way to make the last play.
(on the decision to kick a field goal on fourth-and-two in overtime)
(on the end-of-the-game conversation with Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz)
I think we both just looked at each other and said we’d never been through something like this in our lives. It’s hard to put in words what to say about that because we both could’ve won in so many ways. When you talk to your team, there’s so many things that we could have…the plays that we didn’t make that could have won the game, and the same for him. I think it’s one of those where we basically say, ‘Hey, let’s talk later in the week.’
(on mistakes at the end of the game)
I think that those are the things we have to learn from. We had something like that in preseason. You can’t re-intercept the ball in the end zone. The game’s over and you have a penalty on roughing the passer. That can’t happen. That’s just something you can’t have in this league if you’re going to win. That’s just a play that didn’t have to happen. That’s when you go back and…that’s a huge learning—hopefully—play for all of those guys, you just can’t do something like that. That was hard to take. Yeah, batting the ball down, that’s stuff like you practice and you practice and you wonder why we’re practicing this, onside kick. Why are we practicing this every week? That’s why. You can practice all you want, but when you’re in the battle and you actually have to do it, you find out that we didn’t do two things, the last play batting the ball down, we didn’t get that done, onside kick, we didn’t get that done. They out-executed us on both of those plays and then we have a 15-yard penalty that the game is over on that we didn’t have to go through all of this. Now that we won the game, I don’t mind going through it all because we learned a lot.
We got the experience of those things so the guys can see now that as a coach, when we put them through practice, they realize why we cover, why Alan Lowry (special teams coach) and Chet Parlavecchio (special teams assistant coach) will cover all of those situations and why they have to work to get good at it because right there could have cost the football game, all three of those plays could’ve cost us. I just want to say kudos to our special teams, Alan Lowry and Chet Parlavecchio. I thought they had a great plan, they did a great job. The throwback play there really gave us a lot of momentum. It changed the game really for us when things were kind of stale. I thought it was a huge play. D-Rey (Darius Reynaud) gave a part of that, with Tommie Campbell, again because of his speed he was part of that play last year we had. It’s something they put in, the players were really excited about it. You knew it was going to work just the way the guys practiced and believed in it, so it was the perfect time to do that. The return for 105 yards, those plays win you football games and believe me that’s obviously why we were in this game, those two plays, 14 points was huge in a game like this. Great job by them, by the special teams and again, we’ve been struggling as an offense and a defense, the last two games, but the special teams is one area that’s played well all three games. It was good to see them score points like that.
He (Kenny Britt) tweaked his ankle a little bit, his knees are fine. He kind of hurt his ankle, came back in, it was a little sore so we took him out right in the overtime part, at the end of the fourth quarter. Cookie (Jared Cook) got the shoulder but his looked pretty good and he should be okay for next week. (Keyunta) Dawson got a hamstring early in the game, so he wasn’t able to play. We were really short at the defensive end. For the most part, the other guys were…Stevens (Craig), how he survived that hit, I don’t know. He went back in and played, so he’s OK.
(on offensive line and protection for Jake Locker)
Yeah he did, but I think the protection hasn’t been…the first game I thought he played pretty well. Again, he’s playing exactly how I thought he would. He threw one interception in the opener, he threw one interception in the second game, obviously the second play which he thought he was throwing it away and didn’t throw far enough, after that, was solid. This is a game where he had a chance to play more and made plays and we had the ball more on offense. I think he’s exactly where we thought he’d be. He’s a competitor, not one time that game did he waver on what was going on, the highs and lows didn’t affect him one bit. In even the first two games when he had a play or two that he wanted to take back, he learned from it, he files it, and moves on. I think that’s what people here in Nashville are going to appreciate about him. That’s his first win as a pro, which is a great accomplishment for him in a game like this. I don’t know what the yards were but he obviously threw very well, made some great throws, the receivers made some great plays for him, which you have to have. We ask him to do a lot, as a young man, and he should just get better and better every game.
(on composure on the sidelines)
In the game, until the end there when we scored the 21 right off, you hate to say in a football game, that you start feeling good about your situation, but we felt good about our situation. We knew we had to make plays, we knew we had to go finish the game, all of that, by no means did we…obviously we went into a little prevent to kind of kill the clock, to try to get the clock run out, those kinds of things, but they kept making plays. As a head coach, you try to keep them going, you try to keep the…there were so many highs and lows in that game that we just had to realize, you know what, you weren’t sure what was going to happen next. We just keep making plays, do your job, here comes the huddle call, do what you’re supposed to do and just go from there. I think that’s what we did. I think the defense, again, they started getting yards those last three drives, but again, we got the big play by Vern (Alterraun Verner), we really had the big play in the end zone to finish the game off if we don’t have the penalty on the quarterback and at the end, we get the quarterback sneak deal. They got a lot of yards in between all of that, but we found a way to make three plays that should’ve ended that game, the last one finally did. I’ve been around a long time, like I said, but I don’t think anyone has ever seen one quite like that game today.
(on officiating the last 30 minutes)
Yeah, it got, because everything was going on, I never felt like there was a problem there. Are we going to complain about calls? Sure we are. I felt that they had control over it. They had a replay, they did it the way they were supposed to. I may not agree with some of the things but ultimately I thought they had control.
(on the Titans’ first win)
I think these guys are so tired, I don’t think they’ll be much celebrating going on. I think a lot of these guys will sleep well tonight and come in tomorrow knowing that yeah, there’s some plays you want to take back, but you know what…Oh, me? Coaches, we just move on to the next one. My parents came in town last year we beat the Ravens and the Broncos and this is the last game they’re back for so they’re 3-0, so I’ll have to fly them in every weekend.
(on taking the field in overtime after the 14-point lead disappeared)
You know, I think that for us today especially, our focus all week was to kind of forget about things that were in the past that we can’t control anymore and so I think it was real fitting for kind of everything that we faced this week. I’m just so proud of the guys for rallying together, sticking together, believing in what we had going on and finding a way to win that game.
(on Nate Washington’s play)
I’d be highly disappointed for his sake if it’s not a top play on the Top 10 this week. It was just a great catch at a time in the game when a play like that really picked our team up, I feel. Something we talked about on the sideline, tried to give him a chance. I didn’t really give him a real good one but he made the best of it.
(on this being his best game instead of the previous two contests when he was more inconsistent)
We had confidence in what we were doing today. I think you saw that everywhere. We were firing on all cylinders. You know, there’s still things we can clean up and can get better at but I thought we consistently moved the ball today and that was encouraging as an offense.
(on preparing to face the No. 1 defense next week)
(on being involved in a game this crazy even as a kid)
No, no, no. I don’t think I could have dreamt them up any crazier than that when I was five years old. Somebody asked me after the game and it’s definitely one that I’ll never forget for my first win.
(on the receivers and their collective ability to make plays)
I’ve talked about it all year. I think that’s what’s special about our wide receiving corps, tight ends, and running backs included. When you put the ball in their hands, they can make guys miss and get five, 10, 20 more yards after the catch and that’s always exciting as a quarterback. You can throw them short passes and watch them work.
(on recording five touchdowns and over 60 yards)
You’d love to be able to have that every week. Obviously that’s not going to happen but you talk about trying to create explosive plays and that’s a culmination of everybody working hard to make that happen. That’s not just the guy that’s got the ball in his hands. It’s everybody included and that’s what makes them so special.
(on how much of a boost special teams are)
You can’t say enough about it. Special teams, defense, you score a defensive touchdown like that, you get two scores on special teams and not just scores but really exciting. You’ve got the throwback, then you’ve got the huge block by Taylor (Thompson) on the kickoff return. Those are plays that ignite a sideline, ignite a team. They were at big points in the game and we needed that. You’re able to feed off of it.
(on how it felt to seemingly win a game three times before it was decided)
Oh yeah, it feels good to put in the work all week at practice and then it was so crazy, so much of an up and down game and then in the end see them throw the Hail Mary and get the touchdown, it looked like things were going their way. It was good we stuck with it and came out with the victory.
(on putting together an entire game)
I’m not sure. Just keep working on it and keep running the ball and things like that. Situations that I have to go back and look at the film and just see what was all going on but at the end of the day, just happy to get the win.
(on being involved in as crazy a game as today on any level)
No, I don’t think I have. Don’t think I have. I’ve been up by like two touchdowns or whatever and then them coming back at the end. Then us getting three and then they drive all the way down the field and we stop them on fourth-and-1or whatever. It was a crazy game. Good game to be a part of though.
(on having the team score five touchdowns but none belonged to him)
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s the type of thing. We’ve got a lot of playmakers on this team or whatever. I think we’ve got a lot of guys that can make real big plays and if we’ve got guys like that, it will be hard for defenses to stop us.
(on preparing to face the No. 1 defense next week)
Basically, we’ve just got to put it behind us in order for us to get a victory, we’re going to have to make big plays like we did this week.
(on if Locker seemed effected by the miscues during the game)
No, not really. He was poised in the huddle and being a leader, keeping us up, letting us know we were still in the game. He was just out there comfortable, still making plays.
(on being tired after overtime)
I am very exhausted right now. It’s a long game. I’ve got to get some rest up and get ready for next week. It’s more exhaustion. It’s not physical tired or anything like that. It’s just been exhausting after a long game. If you give it your all, you are going to be exhausted, so that’s how I am right now.
(on Titans defensive effort in overtime)
You know their offense is going to bring it when you get to overtime, so it’s your job to keep on pushing and keep on stopping them. That’s when a lot of times the offense has their advantage when it’s overtime. You know the defense has to get out there on the snaps and determine what’s going on and you have to stay as a whole. That’s what we did today as a defense, we stayed as a whole. When it came down to it no matter if it was fourth-and-one, or third-and-long, we stopped them on that fourth-and-one, and we stopped them and got the job done as a whole.
(on how the Titans defense played today)
We feel good today coming out and stopping them, holding them to three-and-outs, hold them to field goals. It was our game plan to get the job done and our DB’s (defensive backs) played a great game in the back and we covered the long and stuffed the run. Everybody played their role and got the job done.
(on his catch)
It was just an opportunity where Jake (Locker) gave me the opportunity to make a play. He felt like he trusted in me and I’m grateful that he did. I trusted him to make the play when it’s that type of crunch time. It was just gratifying that he trusted in me to make that play and I was able to make it.
(on craziness of the game)
I’m not going to lie. I kind of, sort of did. This is a crazy league. We have to do a better job of closing. I’m grateful that we got the win but we can’t let those types of things happen at the end of a game where they are able to come back. I have never been involved in a Hail Mary that got caught. It’s kind of crazy. You go through those types of situations all the time in practice and never really see them succeed in the game. But today they did a good job of making it succeed and we have to do a better job of making sure they don’t.
(on if he’s ever thrown a ball in the regular season)
Never threw it in high school, never threw it in college, never threw it in my career in the league. The whole time in practice, it was practice perfect. Tommie (Campbell) kept emphasizing to me and kept telling me don’t throw it high, keep it to his numbers or below. We practiced on it real good, and all I had to do was just give him a good ball in the game.
(on if he’s right-handed)
No, I’m left-handed. So it wasn’t a problem for me. All I had to do first was secure the catch.
(on how much he practiced that throw this week)
As soon as the last game, we came in on a Monday. We started that Monday. Monday all the way through Thursday, coaches kept emphasizing about it, so we kept watching film on how those guys play on the coverage and it was set perfectly.
(on how much pressure there was for him to make that play)
It was a lot, man. Coach looked at me before the play happened like, ‘We’re going to call a Maroon.’ So when he called it, my heart, it just pounded. It was on the 20, and I’m watching the gunners come down, and they were set up just how we practiced. When I threw the ball, I knew Tommie (Campbell) was going up there.
(on if he thought about taking a knee on the kickoff return for a touchdown)
When it’s five yards deep, Coach wants us to take it out, just make sure you secure the catch when you’re going for it, catching it. Right before that play, Taylor (Thompson) came to me and he was just telling me, just follow me. So when I hit the sideline, it was a bounce-and-turn and hit the sideline, and all I see is Taylor coming in front of me. He laid out the one, and I saw Tommie (Campbell) coming in front of me and he laid out the kicker. That play was just set up perfectly.
(on if he thought he was going to score after Taylor Thompson’s block)
I had to, or I was going to head to the sideline. After he made that block, the sideline was wide open, and I just used my speed and just hit the hole.
(on how much the special teams touchdown helped the offense)
We needed that. The whole week of practice, (Jordan) Babineaux, he came in the meeting room and he was saying, “Special teams has got to be special this week. We’re going to need to you guys big this week.” We played a big part in this game here and hopefully we can continue doing what we’re doing.
(on Lions completing “Hail Mary” to send game to overtime)
They found a way to keep the ballgame alive and they made it thrilling. We tried to jump for it and it was one of those things that their player did a very, very smart thing. He didn’t jump and he waited for the ricochet and it just so happened the ball went right to him. One of those things you know, I wouldn’t say luck but it just so happened that it went to him. So we’ll look at it. We have to find a way to play that better if we get in that situation again. Hopefully not. Hopefully we just win it. But if we get into that situation again, we will know what to do.
(on taking the ball away from Lions receiver, and scoring a touchdown)
(on his surprise of Lions completing “Hail Mary”)
It was definitely #1. You sit back and you see the “Hail Mary” and you say ‘it can’t happen’. But then when you actually see something like that happen you’re like ‘wow’. But somehow, some way we still pulled through. You know, fourth-and-inches and we stopped them on a quarter back sneak, so we did something nobody probably thought we could do today.
(on his special kickoff return for a touchdown)
We needed to force them to that side of the field … Once (Ryan) Mouton pushed them aside, D-Ray (Darius Reynaud) took a couple of steps up the field and threw it back to me. I just had to make sure I catch it. D-Ray had to make sure that he didn’t throw it over my head. Then after that everything else worked out.
I’ve been around a lot of crazy games but I don’t know if I have ever been around one like that. Good job by 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, particularly third down and long. We turned the ball over, we gave up special teams scores, two of them, and when that happens we were lucky just to be in the game at the end.
(on the final play being a run)
No that was miscommunication. We were going to try to draw them offsides. The crowd was loud and we said if they didn’t jump we were going to take the timeout and the ball ended up getting snapped. We need to obviously make sure all 11 guys get the calls right there and be able to play it but I didn’t want to take the delay of game if they didn’t jump. We had a great chance to get them offsides. They were in a goalline type defense. They were in four-point stances.
(on the intent of kicking a field goal to tie)
I was very clear on what I said. I am not going to go any further on that.
(on the spot of the ball during the Titans drive in overtime)
I kept on trying to alert them to that fact. It’s overtime and I can’t challenge anything. Obviously, there was a miscommunication, I don’t know what you would call it, from an enforcement standpoint. As soon as the play was declared incomplete it should have been a first down 15 yards from the play before. We all saw it. We got them stopped and we get a penalty on third down. That’s another inexcusable type play.
(on the status of Matthew Stafford)
He wasn’t able to finish the game. He has a muscle pull or whatever you call it. Hamstring, leg pull. It started bothering him early in the game. His mobility was limited through the game. It got to the point we had to go with Shaun (Hill) and Shaun is always ready. Our guys have a lot of confidence in Shaun.
(on Nate Burleson being out of the game in the final minutes)
(Nate) Burleson was cramping up.
(on the overall play in the game)
You can’t give up big plays. Even if a guy makes a circus catch behind our guy’s back, you get that guy cleaned up and get off the field. It’s not like we’re in an all-out blitz. We got a safety back there and he should be able to make that play. The other one we have a chance to either break the ball off or make a tackle and we do neither one and they go a long way. You don’t play good defense by giving up big plays. Like I said, we kept drives alive with penalties.
(on the special teams performance)
Poor play. They caught us on the throwback. We had all the momentum in the world. We go and score and give it right back to them on a kickoff. That’s a combination of kick and coverage. Ball placement wasn’t good, our coverage wasn’t good.
(on Mikel Leshoure’s performance)
He had played a lot and unfortunately he dropped that one ball but we have confidence in him and being able to make plays. He made plays all throughout the game. That was a long game, it was hot and we were just going with a fresher guy at that point.
(on Shaun Hill’s play at the end of the game)
That’s stuff that we work on a lot. We were trying to keep ourselves alive and trying to make plays at the end of the game and unfortunately it was not enough. Shaun has always stepped in and played well for us.
(on Calvin Johnson not getting the ball early)
They were playing, basically, prevent defense. They were trying to not give up the big play. When a team does that you are really forced to execute your way down the field.
(on the defensive line not getting a sack)
We have got to rush better. We had some injuries on the back end and we rely on those guys up front. Not only do we need to rush better but also do a better job of containing a quarterback who we knew had good legs and the ability to create a play on his own.
(on the team jelling at this point of the season)
We are 1-2 and there is a lot of clean up.
(on the leg injury)
I’m OK. It was something that was bothering me during the week a little bit. I didn’t miss any plays at practice or anything but I could feel it. I was trying to treat it and get it ready. I felt it on a scramble early and I felt it going after that guy (Alterraun Verner) late in the game…It’s a upper leg. I don’t know if it’s a glut or a hamstring or something. It’s just high right leg.
(on his pain during the week)
It was something that had bothered me a little during the week. I kind of felt it all week. I was trying to get it loose and sit on a heat pack all game and keep it warm. I felt it a couple of times and after that guy (Alterraun Verner) started going the other way with it I tried to take off. I didn’t want it to go out on me.
(on settling for field goals in the first half)
It’s just third downs in the red zone. We didn’t execute plays on third down in the red zone early on in the game. In a game like that every point counts.
(on getting Calvin Johnson more involved early)
We honestly didn’t see one single snap of single high coverage. It’s kind of tough to impose your will when they have seven, eight or nine dropping every time. We have to be able to run the ball and we were able to move the chains with it a couple times. We got in some third-and-ones and couldn’t convert and that’s frustrating as an offense. We kind of threw because we had to get back into it later in the game. We were able to make some tight throws and great catches to keep it going.
(on if the coverage didn’t change on the touchdown drive when Calvin Johnson had three catches)
Yeah we were taking some chances trying to fit balls into some tough spots and he made some great catches. He (Scott Linehan) made some great calls. It’s not fun losing a game and we just have to get back to the drawing board and get ready for next week.
(on watching Shaun Hill lead the comeback)
I told him I hate leaving him out there like that. He sat the whole game and the guy played unbelievable. I was really happy for him. The guys kept playing and anything can happen. I have never been a part of anything like that where you score a touchdown and get an onside kick and throw a Hail Mary and it works, and then go to overtime. There were some tough breaks along the way today. We had too many balls bounce the wrong way. Mistakes and penalties cost us this week.
(on if the leg injury may keep him out and if he has ever had something similar)
I have no idea. I have to look at it…I’m not fast enough to pull muscles so I don’t know. We’ll see.
(on being back on the field)
It felt good to be back out there with my teammates on the battlefield. I just wanted to come out and make plays for my team. That’s what I went out to do. I thought my performance was good, but obviously, not good enough because we didn’t come out with a W.
(on giving up big plays on defense)
One of those passes he made a great catch. The other ones are stuff that we have to take off the field and on film because other teams are going to continue to do that. If we eliminate those big plays on special teams and on defense then we got a chance. We were obviously in the game and we shouldn’t have to fight so hard to come back and try to get a win.
(on the overtime drive by the Titans)
We weren’t really exhausted, we just shot ourselves in the foot when we were off the field. Without those penalties, they are probably not in field goal range and they would have to plan on kicking a field goal and miss. We held them to three points and got the ball back to our offense.
(on what he attributes the defensive penalties to)
I just think that we have to be detailed. We know teams are going to do that to our defensive line all the time and we have to know that and just be smarter in the secondary as a unit. We have to eliminate those plays because they came back and shot us in the foot.
(on how high the emotions were on the sideline)
They were real high because we were executing and doing things and stopping them and getting the ball back to our offense. That’s the game plan that coach put on the board and we executed some of that for the most part, then to have the game go the way it did was kind of heart breaking.
(on what was being said on the sideline)
I don’t really see too much, but as a unit that’s what hurt us last year and the year before. We just have to eliminate those things because if we do then they don’t complete some of those third downs.
(on the quarterback sneak in overtime that fell short of the first down)
I will take full responsibility for that. It was miscommunication. It is up to the quarterback to get all 11 on the same page.
(on if he felt the referees made the correct spot on the quarterback sneak)
It is not my job to spot the ball. I don’t second guess them. I don’t question them. Where they put it down, that is where we play it.
(on if he had warmed up throughout the game prior to entering late in the fourth quarter)
I tried to stay warm on the sidelines all day. That is kind of what I always do. I try to stretch from time to time and I’ll throw from time to time. That is my sideline routine. When something like that happens, that is a long time to sit on the sidelines and then just strap it up and go if you are not keeping yourself warm during the game. That is something I have always done.
(on the last-second touchdown throw to Titus Young to send the game into overtime)
Obviously that is a play that you really don’t get to practice a whole lot full speed. But guys were locked in and knew their assignments and executed it to perfection.
(on if he felt the pass had a chance to be caught when it left his hand)
I saw Titus [Young] kind of come in and grab it. As far as when I thought he had a chance at it, I probably knew about the same time everybody else did – whenever he was in the end zone with it. It was quite a play by him.
(on if execution was the difference for the offensive improvement in the second half)
Yeah, that’s it. Just sticking to the plan, we know that eventually things are going to turn and we are going to be able to make some plays and move the ball. We just have a very resilient group. You go out and you have a half of ball that doesn’t go the way you want, then you just come back and keep going and keep grinding.
(on the emotions in the locker room following the game)
It was a tough one – a lot of ups and downs throughout that game. To be right there at the end, with a chance to win it, I know I liked our chances there at the end.
(on if the defense needed more of a pass rush)
Yeah, that is what we are designed for. You pressure the quarterback and you get sacks. We need to look at the film and rectify it and fix it. That is our job up front. We have to do a better job and get some sacks.
(on if the Titans were using quick passes to eliminate the Lions pass rush)
It felt like it was coming out quick, but I don’t know. There is no excuse. We need to get back there and get some more pressure.
(on being 1-2 following the loss to the Titans)
This team is not going to feel sorry for ourselves. We know what we’re capable of and we know what we have to do. We just have to keep moving forward. The only thing that this means is that we are not going to go 15-1. That’s all that this means. We have to come back and bounce back next week.
(on if he’s ever been a part of a game as unpredictable as today’s game)
No, that was definitely a roller coaster. Never been a part of that—crazy—you’re down 14 with a few minutes to go, and then the next thing you know you’re back in the game. It was definitely crazy, as far as for us there are a lot of corrections that we have to make on our part to be able to pull that game out.
(on if they were surprised by some of the plays Tennessee was able to pull off today)
It’s an NFL team, these guys are pros too. You can’t take anybody for granted. There are 32 teams that are professional teams, so they game-planned a few things and some of those plays definitely hit us. Those are things that we have to be prepared for.
(on how you handle all of the ups and downs of a game like today and stay ready to go out and play)
That’s tough. It’s definitely tough because like I said we were down and some of the guys were taking their tape off with a minute to go and you’re down 14 points. Next thing you know we’re back in it and defense get ready. It was definitely an emotional roller coaster, for sure, but that’s part of being a pro.
(on where he was when Titus Young caught the touchdown at the end of regulation)
I was definitely one of those guys on the sideline saying, ‘Man, it’s going to be a rough flight back.’ Then next thing you know it’s defense you’re back up, defense get ready. It was an emotional roller coaster for myself and I’m sure for the rest of the team.
(on the feeling in the locker room after today’s game)
The feeling was that we should have won. I felt like the way things were panning out with the tip, it was like, ‘Man, this has to be our win.’ We fought, even with so many penalties and all that stuff, we still had a chance. It’s crazy—you’re always in it, obviously, you’re always in it until the last play and we just couldn’t pull it through.
(on his touchdown reception off the tipped ball on the last play of regulation to force overtime)
We practice that play all throughout camp—situational practicing. I saw Calvin (Johnson) running down the middle, and I knew everyone was going to try and get in front of him. He was our post-up guy, basically the guy who was going to go for the ball, so I just put myself in the best position I could from the pile and it just came to my hands.
(on what it was like watching the tipped ball fall into his hands)
It was unreal, but I prayed about it so I knew I had a blessing on my way—it was cool.
(on how the team can stay positive after a loss like this dropping to 1-2 on the season)
Nate (Burleson) said it best, we have to put this game behind us—actually watch the film first, then put the game behind us because it’s a long season and it’s not always going to go the way things are planned to go , but the work doesn’t stop. We’re still able to work, so that’s the great thing about this.
(on what he attributes the slow starts to in games this season)
We still haven’t gotten into our rhythm that we had last year. We still haven’t been clicking on all cylinders for the majority of the game. We just got Mikel (Leshoure) back, and he’s a great added dimension to our offense. We’re going to have to get used to running the ball, and setting up plays off of play-action because, I’m pretty sure, he’s going to start drawing more attention to the box because he had a pretty good day. Our offense is still coming along. We put up a good amount of points today, but we still want to put ourselves in the best position to help our defense out and that’s to outscore their offense. This next week we’ll go into the film room and see what we did wrong and we’ll pick up from there.
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