NFL Football

25
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Detroit 7 8 3 7 25
Tennessee 14 10 0 22 46
46
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET18:00 GMT2:00 11:00 AM MST1:00 PM EST12:00 PM CT22:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00 , December 20, 2020
Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee  Weather: 46°, Cloudy  Attendance: 13,797

Lions-Titans Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans

  1. The Titans have won five straight meetings with the Lions, Tennessee's longest active winning streak against any opponent. Four of those wins have been by a combined 11 points (including one in overtime) while the other was a 37-point rout in 2008 (47-10).
  2. The Lions enter their Week 15 game against Tennessee with a 5-8 record overall, with four wins coming on the road. A win over the Titans would make Detroit 5-3 on the road but 6-8 overall. Only two teams in the last ten seasons have been over .500 on the road but under .500 overall in a season (2019 Tampa Bay -- 5-3 on the road, 7-9 overall and 2015 Chicago -- 5-3 on the road, 6-10 overall).
  3. Detroit has allowed at least 30 points in each of their last three games (1-2). They last went four straight games without holding an opponent under 30 points in November of their 0-16 campaign in 2008.
  4. The Titans' 31-10 win over Jacksonville in Week 14 gave them their ninth win of the season, guaranteeing a winning record for the fifth straight campaign. Only New England (19), Seattle (9) and Kansas City (8) have longer active streaks of above-.500 seasons.
  5. Derrick Henry ran for 215 yards against Jacksonville in Week 14, his second game with at least 200 yards rushing this season (212 versus Houston in Week 6). Henry has as many 200-yard rushing games as the rest of the NFL since the start of the 2018 season (4).
  6. A.J. Brown recorded his ninth receiving touchdown of the season in Week 14 at Jacksonville, a new single-season career high. Only Drew Bennett in 2004 has recorded double-digit receiving touchdowns (11) for the Titans since they moved from Houston to Tennessee in 1996.
Team Comparison

Detroit
 
Tennessee
23.8 Points 30.0
280.4 Pass Yds 247.4
90.3 Rush Yds 157.8
12 Takeaways 18
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee has gone 12 long seasons since last winning the AFC South, and the current Titans are in no mood to be distracted with this big goal so close at hand.

They could clinch at least this franchise's third playoff berth in four years Sunday by beating the Detroit Lions. But they'll still need outside help under a trio of scenarios involving losses by Baltimore, Las Vegas, Miami and Cleveland.

First things first. The Titans (9-4) know they must focus on trying to beat the Lions (5-8) because their spot atop the AFC South is only due to having the divisional tiebreaker over Indianapolis.

"When you start looking around and worrying about things that are out of your control or things that don't really matter to this team, you're wasting time, you're wasting your energy, and you're not focused on the things that you need to focus (on)," Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said.

The Titans are coming off a perfunctory 31-10 win over Jacksonville, and this will be their final home game of the season if they don't take care of business with three games remaining.

"Hopefully nobody talks about anything past this week," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said.

The Lions haven't been eliminated from playoff contention just yet. They're 10th in the NFC with home games against Tampa Bay and Minnesota still left. Interim coach Darrell Bevell is 1-1 since the Lions fired coach Matt Patricia.

Bevell said people are watching the Lions to see if they keep competing or throw in the towel.

"If I have anything to say about it or these players do, we're going to keep fighting," Bevell said. "And 1% (playoff chance)? We'll take it. I don't even know if that's right, but we'll take it."

STAFFORD STATUS

Matthew Stafford was unable to finish Detroit's 31-24 loss to Green Bay last week because of a rib injury. The Lions plan to wait as long as possible to determine if Stafford would be in or out against the Titans.

If Stafford can't play, 34-year-old Chase Daniel would be in line for the sixth start of his career with second-year pro David Blough his backup. Daniel has one touchdown and one interception this season in relief with eight career TD passes and six interceptions. Blough lost all five starts last year.

"Stafford is tough as nails, one of the toughest dudes I've ever been around, but Chase is ready," Lions wide receiver and kick returner Jamal Agnew said. "Chase has been established in this league."

CLOSE TO MORE HISTORY

Derrick Henry is just 8 yards away from matching his career-high of 1,540 yards from last season when he led the league in rushing. The NFL rushing leader also is tied for the most rushing touchdowns with 14.

Even better, the Titans running back needs one rushing TD to become the fourth player in NFL history to run for at least 1,500 yards and 15 TDs in back-to-back seasons, a group that includes Terrell Davis (1997-98), Shaun Alexander (2004-05) and Larry Johnson (2005-06).

HEAVY ON HENRY

The Lions know any chance they have at pulling off an upset would increase if Henry has 60 yards rushing, as he did two weeks ago in a loss to Cleveland, and not 215 yards on the ground as he had last week against Jacksonville.

"We know that the game is going to go through him," Bevell said. "If you're able to stop that guy, you're able to make them be more one-dimensional."

BALANCED TITANS

Focusing on only Henry is risky. The Titans are the only team in the NFL with at least 3,000 yards passing in addition to 2,000 yards rushing this season. Tannehill has a career-high 28 TD passes to nine different Titans.

Tennessee is the sixth NFL team since 1960 to reach those yards through 13 games and the first since the 2013 Eagles.

SACKS ANYONE

The Titans are last in the NFL in sacks with 14. Only six teams have allowed more sacks than Detroit with 37, and the Lions could be without center Frank Ragnow who hurt his throat in last week's game. Ragnow finished but has been told not to talk to protect his vocal chords.

Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons said they want sacks and saw that Tennessee is last in the league. For now, they're focusing on affecting quarterbacks however possible.

"Me personally, I want sacks because that's another way you create negative plays," Simmons said. "Right now we're going to keep working toward it. We want want to get that negative play, a sack, and maybe get the ball out of the quarterback's hands."

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Follow Teresa M. Walker at https://twitter.com/TeresaMWalker

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Updated December 17, 2020

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