Here we are Lions fans. Week 2 is upon us. Last week, we chronicled the history between the Detroit Lions and the Indianapolis Colts. One thing we learned is that the Lions hadn’t defeated the Colts since 1997. That streak is now no more. Will the Lions break another streak this week? We shall see soon enough. Until then, let’s take a look at the history between the Lions and the Titans.
No music city miracles
Remember that part of the article about breaking streaks? Well here is the streak I was referring to. The Detroit Lions have never beat the Tennessee Titans. That’s not as odd of a fact as it may seem. The Lions and Titans have only played each other four times since the Titans became an NFL team in 1999.
The closest the Lions have ever come to beating the Titans was their first matchup. The late Steve McNair led the Titans to a 27-24 win over the Charlie Batch led Lions on October 21st, 2001.
Drilling for oil
There’s an entirely different side to this coin. In case you didn’t know it, the Tennessee Titans were once the Houston Oilers from 1960 to 1996. Then the team had a brief stint as the Tennessee Oilers before beginning the Titan era before the 1999 season.
The Lions and Oilers clashed seven times in all. With their first meeting going back to October of 1971, when the Lions were led by Greg Landry and the Oilers by Dan Pastorini. The Lions would pick up a 31-7 win that day, but would ultimately go 3-4 against the the Oilers all-time. Interesting enough, the Lions would beat the Oilers in their final matchup in December of 1995. This would be the last time the Lions would beat this franchise.
The Lions have historically struggled with this franchise at home. Of the four times that the Lions have welcomed this franchise to Detroit, the Lions can only say they’ve won one of those times: an Eric Hipple-led win in October of 1986.
The last two times the Lions have faced the Titans, Tennessee has dropped 40 points on the Lions. The first being the infamous Thanksgiving game of the Lions 0-16 2008 season. LenDale White and Chris Johnson went to town and new GM Martin Mayhew spotted the Lions future coach in then Titans defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz.
The second was a 44-41 overtime loss in 2012. This was a game that shocked many Lions fans. After heading back to the playoffs in 2011, the following season was supposed to produce similar results. This game was supposed to be an easy win for the 2012 Lions. Instead, Brandon Pettigrew had one the worst fumbles in NFL history when Alterraun Verner simply took the ball out of his hands, Jake Locker had the best game of his career, Shaun Hill came in for an injured Matthew Stafford and Dominic Raiola botched the snap on what would have been the game-winning, or at least game-tying, drive.
Now four years later, both teams have completely different looks and different staffs. Will the Lions be able to snap their losing streak and beat the Titans for the first time ever? Or will they falter and try again four years from now? We’ll see this Sunday.
Until then, be sure to leave your comments below or come chat with me on Twitter @POD_Payton.