JOE BIDDLE: Titans ambush Lions - WKRN News 2

JOE BIDDLE: Titans ambush Lions


Jokingly asked if the Titans' 44-41 overtime thriller was just another day at the office, Mike Munchak was speechless.

He was not alone. This game pitting two former Titans assistants against each other was one for the ages.

"I've been around a lot of crazy games, but I don't know if I have ever been around one like that,'' said Lions Coach Jim Schwartz, whose team wound up on the short end of the scoreboard.

"I've been in the NFL for 30 years, but there has been nothing close to what we experienced today,'' Munchak said, echoing Schwartz's sentiments.

And for all you fans who fled from LP Field when your Boys in Blue got up 41-27 with 1:16 left in the game, it should teach you a lesson. A football takes unexplained bounces and no lead is safe.

It was truly unexplainable.

If you are the Lions and pile up 583 yards, 15 more first downs than the Titans and hold on to the ball 13 more minutes, how on earth could you lose?

If you are the Titans and lost two fumbles, were held to 59 yards rushing and missed two field goals, please explain how you won,

Titans quarterback Jake Locker picked a doozy to record his first NFL victory.

He, too, was at a loss for words after the game. At no level of football has Locker been involved in a game that had more big plays than a Las Vegas casino on a Saturday night.

"I couldn't have dreamt that one up, even when I was five years old,'' Locker said after throwing for 378 yards and two touchdowns to go with 35 yards on the ground.

How do you explain Darius Reynaud, a guy who was out of football last season, cut by two different NFL teams and working with his father on a garbage truck, playing such a pivotal role in a couple of special team plays that resulted in touchdowns?

Late in the first quarter, Reynaud fielded a punt, started up-field, then turned and threw a perfect pass across the field to teammate Tommie Campbell. The speedy Campbell then took it 65 yards to the house on a designed play the Titans installed the day after taking a beating in San Diego.

"I never threw (a pass) in high school, never threw it in college, never threw it earlier in the (NFL),'' Reynaud said. "The whole time in practice, it was practice perfect. Tommie kept emphasizing to me and kept telling me to not throw it high, (to) keep it to his numbers or below.

"Coach looked at me before the play happened, like 'We're going to call Maroon.' So when he called it, my heart, it just pounded.''

Reynaud later returned a Lions kickoff 105 yards that allowed the Titans to tie the Lions at 27-27.

Those were just two of five touchdowns in the game that were more than 60 yards.

A lot of professional teams treat their fans to fireworks after the game. These two teams turned LP Field into a pyrotechnic playground during the game.

"It was a crazy game to be a part of,'' said Titans running back Chris Johnson. "We've got a lot of playmakers on this team – guys who can make big plays.''

The first win of the season could not have come at a more opportune time. Suffering two embarrassing losses was not a way to start a season.

Munchak hopes the momentum carries over to the next game. It better, because the 1-2 Titans face a trip to Houston to meet the AFC South preseason favorite and undefeated Texans.

Houston is one of the top-ranked defensive teams in the NFL, and undefeated.

It's a safe bet Sunday's showdown in Texas won't provide goosebumps like this one.

"As a head coach, you try to keep them going. … but there were so many highs and lows in that game that you weren't sure what was going to happen next,'' Munchak said.

Munchak never panicked. Just another day at the office.

Sports Columnist Joe Biddle can be reached at

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