The 2012 Detroit Lions figured to make a run at a second-consecutive playoff appearance when the season began. Even with a disappointing 1-3 start, the Lions still have an opportunity to make some noise in the NFC. Improved special teams play, consistency on defense and a little offensive swagger and the Lions will look a lot more like the playoff team they were a year ago.
The problem is that while the Lions staked themselves a 5-0 start last season, they must dig themselves out of a 1-3 hole to make a playoff run this season. It might take a 9-3 run in their last 12 games to secure a playoff berth and if they come up short their play in week three will have a lot to do with it. The Lions’ 44-41 week three loss to the Titans was an ugly loss in its own right but could look even uglier by the time the season ends.
Simply put, the Tennessee Titans are not a good football team. That’s a fact all football fans should know but as Lions fans, it’s easy to ignore the Titans apart from their game against the Lions. Doing so fails to recognize just how bad the Titans are. The local media is already asking whether or not this is the worst Titans team since they moved from Houston in 1997. Consider the Titans’ other results so far:
Lost to Patriots by 21
Lost to Chargers by 28
Lost to Texans by 24
Lost to Vikings by 23
Add in the Titans’ win over the Lions and we have ourselves a classic game of “one of these things is not like the others”.
At this point it would be easy to point to the two special teams touchdown and the defensive touchdown the Titans scored as the difference. Unfortunately, the defense doesn’t come out looking very good either. Consider the Titans’ passing yardage totals through the first five weeks:
264 vs. Patriots
174 vs. Chargers
378 vs. Lions
167 vs. Texans
215 vs. Vikings
The Titans put up 114 more passing yards on the Lions compared to their next highest total. Ouch.
It was a complete and utter failure by the Lions in all regards. If the Lions happen to come up just short in a playoff push, it will be awfully tough to not look back at the loss to the Titans as the biggest reason why.