The Titans took care of business and ran a bad opponent off the field, advancing their record to 10-4 and maintaining their slim lead on the AFC South. The performance showed the power of the Tennessee offense as they ran up 463 yards and 46 points while avoiding turnovers yet again.
The defense gave up big chunks of yardage and once again failed to register a sack, but they managed to create three turnovers and that was more than enough for a comfortable victory. Tennessee also seemed to leave this game relatively healthy and got a couple interesting pieces back (more on those shortly). Here are the winners and losers from Titans 46, Lions 25.
Winner: Corey Davis
Another massive game for Davis as he and Brown seem to be alternating monster performances at this point. He finished with 4 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown, setting new career highs in all categories and pulling within 55 yards of his first 1,000-yard season with two games to go.
His biggest play was a 75-yard touchdown that featured him absolutely cooking Duron Harmon with a route and then beating him again after the catch to take it in for a score.
However, that wasn’t Davis’ only contribution. He also came down with a couple impressive contested catches on big third downs as well. Davis’ price tag continues to rise, but the Titans are probably okay with that given the boost he’s given this offense in 2020.
Loser: Pass Rush
The Titans almost had a sack, kinda. Matthew Stafford fumbled a snap and Teair Tart quickly got into the backfield and crushed him, but the fumbled snap negated the sack statistically. Still a great play by Tart, but it stood out because of how rare it was to see Stafford taking a hit.
I’ve been saying it for weeks, but it’s time to let go of any hope of the pass rush figuring it out at this point. The Titans defense is going to have to win by stopping the run and making plays in coverage. Hopefully the improved personnel on the back end allows Mike Vrabel and Shane Bowen to get more aggressive with some of their schemed pressures because that’s the only hope this team has of sniffing a quarterback.
Winner: Derrick Henry
It’s pretty remarkable that we can look at a 147-yard rushing performance and almost shrug our shoulders and “yeah, that’s on the low end of what I thought might happen”, but that’s where we are with Henry. Henry also unleashed another monster stiff arm to posterize another helpless defender like only the King can.
Henry is now up to a career high 1,679 yards and 15 touchdowns. He holds almost a 200-yard lead on Dalvin Cook for the rushing title which seems like a lock at this point. It’ll be an uphill climb to get to 2,000 yards, but it’s still within range. He’d need to average 161 yards per game against the Packers and Texans to get there.
Winner: Ryan Tannehill
While the yardage total won’t wow anyone, this was a massive game by Tannehill, who became the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for 3 touchdowns, rush for 2, and have a passer rating of at least 145.8.
Tannehill’s 21-of-27, 273-yard, 3-touchdown performance moved his season totals to 3,482 yards and 31 touchdowns through the air. He’s just the third quarterback in franchise history to hit the 30-TD mark in a single season, joining George Blanda (36 in 1961) and Warren Moon (33 in 1990).
He will almost certainly blow past Matt Hasselbeck’s Titans era single season passing yard mark of 3,571 yards next week, ending one of my least favorite statistics.
Tannehill is currently steering an offense that will rank as the top scoring unit in the entire NFL heading into Week 16, something that would have seemed like unrealistic fan-fic just 14 months ago. He should cruise to another Pro Bowl appearance and is looking to be worth every penny of the $118 million deal he signed back in March. Last year wasn’t a fluke, Tannehill is an outstanding quarterback.
Winner: Darrynton Evans
An appearance in the winners column from a 2020 Titans draft pick? Yes, you’re reading that right. Darrynton Evans made his return to the lineup after missing the last 9 games with an injury and got a good bit of work. He returned kicks, but his real impact was felt on offense, where he turned 10 total touches into 57 yards and a touchdown.
Evans looked explosive with the ball in his hands and turned a screen into a nice chunk play, a rarity in the Titans offense this year. He is one of those guys that is just clearly moving at a different speed on the field and that’s an element that is really exciting to see added to the NFL’s highest scoring offense this late in the season.
We also saw Evans split out wide a couple times which would be an interesting wrinkle to add to Arthur Smith’s ever-expanding playbook.
Winner: Kevin Byard
Byard’s interception slump came to an end with a pick of Chase Daniel, but more importantly, he finally had a game where he showed up consistently in a positive way.
In addition to the pick, he was frequently in tight coverage against the Lions excellent young tight end, T.J. Hockensen. Hopefully this is a springboard to more All-Pro type performances like the ones we have become accustomed to over the past four years.
Winner: Adoree’ Jackson
Jackson played 27 snaps in his much-anticipated 2020 debut, contributing 2 tackles on the stat sheet and some good moments in coverage as well. This was a positive step for Adoree’ just to get back on the field at all and it sets up well for him to get up to full speed before the playoffs begin.
Getting to a point where the Titans can play with Malcolm Butler, Adoree’ Jackson, and Desmond King on the field together provides Tennessee with a discernible strength on defense for the first time this season.
Winner: Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
The Titans reserve wide receiver showed up big on special teams again. After catching a pass from Logan Woodside to convert a fake punt a few weeks ago, he made a tackle that stopped a fake punt by the Lions today in addition to a great tackle to pin Detroit inside their own 10-yard line.
Westbrook-Ikhine is earning his roster spot on the special teams units lately. Another contribution from what’s been a solid haul of UDFAs this year.
Winner: Will Compton
The Boy!!! Everyone’s favorite linebacker/podcaster came up with a huge play today, helping stuff a goal line run and recovering a fumble forced by DaQuan Jones to get the Titans out of a jam in the first half. Good to see Compton finding ways to make plays.