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Titans feast on starving Lions

Titans feast on starving Lions

Posted: Friday, November 28, 2008 11:10 am
By: By LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions took another step toward NFL infamy.
Chris Johnson ran for 125 yards and scored twice in the first quarter and LenDale White had two touchdowns in the second and finished with 106 yards rushing, setting up the Tennessee Titans for a 47-10 win over Detroit on Thursday.
“This was terrible from the beginning to the end,” Lions cornerback Travis Fisher said. “We didn’t do anything right.”
If the Lions (0-12) don’t figure out a way to win one of their final games — against Minnesota and New Orleans; and at Indianapolis and Green Bay — they will become the league’s first 0-16 team.
“We have four games to get a win and hopefully we’ve got some fire to do that,” kicker Jason Hanson said.
Do the Lions have any fire left after being routed for the fourth straight game and eighth time this season?
“I think so, but every time you lose like this, you’re in danger of extinguishing it,” Hanson said. “I hope that we do something different than we’ve done as players for these last four games (and) risk anything to get a win.”
The Titans played it safe to earn a victory, running the ball 46 times and throwing just 19 passes.
“We’re going to have to depend on the run heavily if we’re going to win more games, go deep in the playoffs and eventually the Super Bowl,” White said. “That’s our bread and butter.”
The Lions were toast early against the Titans.
Tennessee (11-1) bounced back from its 21-point loss at home to the New York Jets quickly, surging to a 28-3 lead early in the second quarter and reaching the best 12-game record in franchise history.
“It’s no knock on them, but we expected to win and there was no way we were going to lose,” White said. “It’s not being cocky — we just thought we were the better team. The Jets loss was hard because we knew we were better than them, too, but we took one on the chin.”
The Lions took blows all over the field and in every facet, leading to a franchise-worst 37-point defeat on Thanksgiving and giving up a franchise-high 47 points in their 69th game on the holiday.
They have lost the past five games on Thanksgiving by an average of three-plus TDs.
It was a rare nationally televised game for both teams — and it didn’t take long for the nation to witness why Tennessee is terrific and Detroit is awful.
“We only confirmed what everybody was thinking about us as far as outside of Detroit and in Detroit,” Hanson said.
Did the Titans prove anything to their doubters?
“No, because people are going to say, ‘It was just Detroit,’” cornerback Nick Harper said.
Six teams have lost at least their first 12 games since Tampa Bay finished 0-14 in 1976 — and the Lions have now done it twice.
They started 0-12 in 2001 before beating Minnesota, their next opponent.
The Lions fell to 10-34 in nearly three seasons under Rod Marinelli and lost for the 19th time in 20 games, leading to more questions about whether he deserves to keep his job.
“The record doesn’t show it, but I have great belief in myself,” Marinelli insisted.
White said he still believes in Vince Young.
“He came in the huddle and said ‘Hey, haven’t seen you guys in a while,”’ White recalled. “Vince is there for us 100 percent. He understands what’s going on right now, but the thing is in this game it’s only one play away.
“No matter what happens, it’s still Vince’s team. He’s going to be the guy here for a long time.”
Notes: Since the Buccaneers were the last franchise to finish a full season winless, the current Lions, last year’s Dolphins (0-13), the 2001 Lions (0-12), the 1986 Colts (0-13), 1980 Saints (0-14) and 1977 Bucs (0-12) are the only teams to lose at least their first 12 games. … Tennessee ran for 292 yards, the third-highest total in Titans/Oilers history. … The win leaves the Dolphins as the only team Collins hasn’t beaten. … Tennessee improved to 18-3 over the past two seasons when it runs at least 30 times. … The Lions were 0-11 on third down. … Detroit RB Kevin Smith had a 21-yard run and finished with 22 yards on 12 carries. … Hanson kicked his 40th field goal from 50-plus yards, tying Morten Andersen’s NFL record, and made his seventh of the season, pulling him within one of Andersen’s single-season mark.

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