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A Look at Plays Before the Scoring Plays

Posted Sep 24, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans made NFL history Sunday by becoming the first team to score five touchdowns of 61 or more yards.

Players took turns creating multiple “remember-where-you-where-when…” moments in one game as the Titans scored touchdowns on offense and defense and scored twice on kick returns in the same game for the first time in franchise history.

“You can’t say enough about it,” quarterback Jake Locker said. “Special teams, defense, you score a defensive touchdown like that, you get two scores on special teams and not just scores but really exciting. You’ve got the throwback, then you’ve got the huge block by Taylor (Thompson) on the kickoff return. Those are plays that ignite a sideline, ignite a team. They were at big points in the game, and we needed that. You’re able to feed off it.”

The exciting plays hid important plays and erased mistakes that occurred immediately before them. Here’s a look at overshadowed plays that were also part of the Titans’ 44-41 defeat of the Lions in overtime at LP Field.

65-YARD PUNT RETURN: Darius Reynaud and Tommie Campbell collaborated on a remix of the Music City Miracle when Reynaud fielded a punt and lateralled the ball across the field to Campbell, who sprinted 65 yards untouched for a touchdown.

HIDDEN PLAY: One play earlier, officials originally ruled a pass from Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson as a gain of 17 on a third-and-5, but Titans coach Mike Munchak challenged the ruling, and officials determined Johnson did not complete the catch as he landed out of bounds.

61-YARD TD PASS: Locker completed a 61-yard catch-and-run to Jared Cook, who maintained concentration and survived contact from Lions defenders to zoom the remaining 29 yards for the score.

ERASED PLAY: The TD pass to Cook quickly erased a running play that opened the possession with a loss of seven yards. The Lions committed a neutral zone infraction to give five yards back and make it second-and-12 from the Tennessee 39.

105-YARD KICKOFF RETURN: Reynaud returned a kickoff a Titans/Oilers franchise-record 105 yards for a score to tie the game at 27 with 6:41 remaining.

COUNTERED PLAY: Detroit’s first and only lead of the second half lasted 12 seconds. The kick return provided an immediate response to a TD pass from Stafford to Nate Burleson and a two-point conversion by the duo.

71-YARD TD PASS: Nate Washington jumped up and reached his hands and arms over the head of Lions cornerback Jacob Lacey, snagged the pass from Locker near the Detroit 44-yard line and coasted to the end zone with 3:11 remaining.

PENALTY OVERCOME: The Washington TD occurred on the Titans’ first official play of that possession because a nine-yard designed run by Locker was nullified by an illegal motion penalty, which set up first-and-15 from the Tennessee 29.

72-YARD FUMBLE RETURN: Alterraun Verner ripped the ball from the arm of Brandon Pettigrew as he tackled the Detroit tight end. Verner deftly kept his balance and sprinted 72 yards to the end zone for his first career touchdown.

DRIVE HALTED, DRAMATIC ENDING CUED: Verner’s alert play put the Titans up 41-27 with 1:16 remaining. The Lions had moved the ball from their own 20 to the Tennessee 28 and were within scoring distance.

Stafford left the game because of a leg injury, and Shaun Hill improbably led the Lions to two touchdowns in 18 seconds, including a 46-yard Hail Mary as time expired to force the dramatic overtime.

Locker led the Titans to a field goal in the extra period, and Tennessee’s defense capitalized on miscommunication by Detroit to seal the victory.

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