The Lions rallied with two touchdowns in the final 18 seconds yesterday at Tennessee, including a Hail Mary catch on the last play of the second half to send the game into overtime but the Titans prevailed in the extra period, getting a winning 26-yard field goal to beat Detroit 44-to-41. Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford had to leave the game with 1:16 remaining in the fourth quarter. Stafford will have an MRI today to examine the upper right leg strain that he aggravated while trying to chase down a Titan’s cornerback who stole the ball from Lion’s tight end Brandon Pettigrew and ran 72 yards for a touchdown. That score put Tennessee ahead 41-to-27, setting the stage for Detroit’s improbable rally that also featured a recovered on-sides kick. However, in the end, the Titans made too many big plays on special teams and the Lions too often settled for field goals and hurt themselves with penalties.
A bright spot for Detroit: Mikel Leshoure had the team’s best debut by a running back since Billy Sims in 1980 as Leshoure gained 100 yards on 26 carries, including a one yard touchdown run. The Lions and Titans are both now 1-and-2. Detroit, in last place in the NFC North, returns to action Sunday at home against the Minnesota Vikings, who yesterday upset the San Francisco 49’ers 23-to-14. The Vikings share first in the North at 2-and-1 with the Bears, who yesterday beat the Rams 23-to-6 at Soldier Field. The Packers, who are 1-and-1, play tonight at Seattle. Last night, in a battle of AFC powers in Baltimore, the Ravens got by the New England Patriots 31-to-30. And in a major surprise, the New Orleans Saints are 0-and-3 after they were upset at home yesterday in overtime by Kansas City 27-to-24.