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Tennessee Titans’ history against Detroit Lions

Tennessee TitansNashville, TN – This week’s Tennessee Titans-Detroit Lions matchup is the 13th all-time meeting between the Titans and Lions. In the 12 previous bouts with the Lions, the Titans built a 9-3 advantage.

The Titans have won the last five matchups, including victories in 2001; the 2004 season finale; a Thanksgiving game in 2008; an overtime thriller at Nissan Stadium in 2012; and a come-from-behind, one-point win at Ford Field in 2016.

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Andre Johnson (81) scores the game winning touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Tennessee won 16-15. (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Andre Johnson (81) scores the game winning touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Tennessee won 16-15. (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)

Most recently, on September 18th, 2016, Marcus Mariota led the Titans back from a 15-3 deficit in the second half, completing a nine-yard, game-winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Andre Johnson with 1:13 on remaining on the clock in the fourth quarter.

The touchdown provided a 16-15 victory.

In Week 3 of 2012, the Titans defeated the Lions 44-41 in overtime and in the process became the first team in NFL history to score five touchdowns of at least 60 yards in a game. Their touchdowns included Tommie Campbell’s 65-yard punt return, Jared Cook’s 61-yard reception, Darius Reynaud’s 105-yard kickoff return, Nate Washington’s 71-yard reception and Alterraun Verner’s 72-yard fumble return. The Titans’ three total return touchdowns tied a franchise record.

The 2008 contest marked the Titans’ first appearance at Ford Field, which opened in 2002. The Titans rushed for 292 yards and won by a final score of 47-10. Running backs Chris Johnson (125 yards) and LenDale White (106 yards) combined for 231 of the club’s yards on the ground. With the 2008 victory, the Titans moved to 2-0 in all-time Thanksgiving meetings with the Lions. Prior to 2008, the Oilers earned a 24-21 victory on November 26th, 1992.

The Oilers first encountered the Lions one season after the 1970 merger between the American Football League and the National Football League. The Lions prevailed at the Astrodome by a final score of 31-7 on October 17th, 1971.

Most Recent Matchups

2004 Week 17 • Jan. 2, 2005 • Lions 19 at TITANS 24
Linebacker Keith Bulluck puts up the first points of the day, forcing Lions quarterback Joey Harrington to fumble and returning the ball 39 yards for a touchdown. Billy Volek finds Drew Bennett for a 32-yard score to give Tennessee a 14-10 lead at halftime. Detroit battles back from an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit with a 17-yard touchdown from Harrington to Roy Williams but fails on the two-point conversion attempt. With less than two minutes to play, safety Donnie Nickey breaks up a critical fourth-down pass attempt from Harrington, ending Detroit’s comeback on the Tennessee 16-yard-line.

2008 Week 13 • Nov. 27, 2008 • TITANS 47 at Lions 10
Chris Johnson and LenDale White lead Tennessee on the ground, each eclipsing the 100-yard mark and adding two scores apiece in a Thanksgiving Day victory. Defensive end Dave Ball scores on a 15-yard interception return in the first quarter. Kicker Rob Bironas goes a perfect four-for-four on field goals (49, 41, 45, 43 yards) in the second half to stretch the lead. The Titans defense stifles the Lions, holding them to 154 total yards, forcing three turnovers, tallying four sacks and not allowing a third-down conversion all game.

2012 Week 3 • Sept. 23, 2012 • Lions 41 at TITANS 44 (OT)
The Titans survive in overtime after allowing two touchdowns in the final 18 seconds of regulation, including a Hail Mary touchdown from Shaun Hill to Titus Young. The Titans become the first team in NFL history to score five touchdowns of 60 yards or longer, reaching the end zone on a punt return by Tommie Campbell, a kickoff return by Darius Reynaud, a fumble return by Alterraun Verner and two touchdown passes by Jake Locker. Locker passed for 378 yards, while Hill and starter Matthew Stafford combined for 450. Rob Bironas kicks a 26-yarder in overtime, and the Titans defense follows with a fourth-down stop from their own seven-yard line.

2017 Week 2 • Sept. 18, 2016 • TITANS 16 at Lions 15
Marcus Mariota leads a game-winning, 13-play, 83-yard drive, culminating with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Andre Johnson on fourth down with less than two minutes remaining. The Titans overcome a 15-3 deficit in the second half. The two teams combine for 29 penalties, including 17 by the Lions. Perrish Cox seals the victory by intercepting a Matthew Stafford pass with less than 30 seconds remaining.

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