Today’s Titans-Lions game was a sloppy showing between two teams that seemed to have no self-discipline on the field.
With just over a minute left in the game and the Titans down 10-15, Marcus Mariota threw a touchdown pass to Andre Johnson for a 16-15 lead, and was sacked on the two-point conversion attempt. Detroit’s Matt Stafford used two timeouts to drive the Lions all the way to their own 45-yard line before throwing an interception to Titans cornerback Perrish Cox with 18 seconds left in the game. Mariota’s backup Matt Cassel came out to take a knee and seal Tennessee’s win.
In the time between kickoff and Cassel taking a knee, the teams were flagged 29 times: 12 for the Titans and 17 for the Lions. The record for most penalties in a game for both teams is 37, and the record for most penalties in a game for one team is 22, so today wasn’t quite record-breaking, but it certainly was ridiculous.
The Lions alone had three touchdowns—Three!—nullified by penalties in the first half. The first, a 14-yard rushing TD by Ameer Abdullah that came back on a holding call on Eric Ebron, was redeemed when Stafford hit Anquan Boldin for 24 yards into the end zone. The other two nullified touchdowns came in the second quarter on consecutive offensive pass interference and offensive holding calls. Lions kicker Matt Prater ended that drive with a field goal.
The Lions lost a total of 138 yards on their penalties; the Titans lost 83 yards. Pity anyone who had to watch this battle of wits between Jim Caldwell and Mike Mularkey.