What a waste of a miracle.
The Lions scored 14 points in the final 18 seconds of regulation, but a costly fourth down decision in overtime dashed their comeback dreams as they lost to the Titans, 44-41.
On a fourth-and-short play from the Tennessee 14, quarterback Shaun Hill fumbled the snap on a quarterback sneak, and the Lions lost a yard and the game.
The Lions could’ve tied it with a field goal after the Titans kicked one to open the extra period, but decided to go for it on fourth down. The decision and lack of execution ended the game.
The Titans took advantage of nearly every Lions mistake throughout the game on offense, defense and special teams, converting big plays for touchdowns while the Lions too often settled for small gains.
The Lions also have to wait for news on quarterback Matthew Stafford, who suffered a strained leg muscle in the fourth quarter and was relieved by Hill.
Titans quarterback Jake Locker had a career day, completing 29 of 42 passes for a career-high 378 yards and two touchdowns.
Things were looking up for the Lions when they took a 27-20 lead on a Nate Burleson touchdown catch and two-point conversion with 6:58 remaining. But the Titans tied it on a 105-yard kick return touchdown by Darius Reynaud.
And on the Titans next possession, Locker hit wide receiver Nate Washington, who made an impressive catch over cornerback Jacob Lacey and ran it in for a 71-yard touchdown to take a 34-27 lead with 3:23 left in the game.
The Lions had time to tie it, but on the ensuing possession, Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner stripped the ball from tight end Brandon Pettigrew and scored a 72-yard fumble return to make it 41-27 with 1:32 remaining.
Tthe Lions didn’t go quietly. Shaun Hill entered the game for Stafford and quickly marched the Lions down the field, ending with a three-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson with 18 seconds remaining.
Amari Spievey then recovered the onside kick for the Lions, and on a Hail Mary play, Titus Young came up with the ball and a 46-yard game-tying touchdown as time expired.
Then, in overtime, the Titans drove easily down the field and converted a 26-yard field goal by Rob Bironas. The Lions chose to go for it on fourth down, ending the game.
Stafford was 33 of 42 for 278 yards and a touchdown, but couldn’t convert big plays like the Titans, who also scored on a 61-yard pass to tight end Jared Cook and a 65-yard punt return on a trick play where Reynaud threw it across the field to Tommie Campbell.
The Lions also cost themselves several times in the game and were flagged 10 times for 91 yards.
Leshoure had a strong NFL debut for the Lions, running 26 times for 100 yards, including a one-yard touchdown. He also had three catches for 27 yards.
Kevin Smith didn’t have a single touch in the game.
Johnson finished with 10 catches for 164 yards and a touchdown. Until the sneak play, Hill was great in relief, finishing 10 of 13 for 172 yards and two touchdowns.