Bironas' boot tames Lions
Back-up Hill stopped on fourth down as Lions come up just short
Last Updated: September 24, 2012 1:43am
Nate Burleson: scored a touchdown for Detroit, though it wasn't enough for the Lions
Rob Bironas slotted over a field goal in overtime to help the Tennessee Titans clinch a thrilling 44-41 win over the Detroit Lions.
A 26-yard attempt from Bironas put the Titans ahead and their defense managed to stop back-up Lions quarterback Shaun Hill on a fourth-and-one play to finally resolve a see-saw battle.
Tennessee had led 20-9 at half time thanks to a special teams score from Tommie Campbell on a punt return and Jake Locker's 61-yard pass to tight end Jared Cook.
All the Lions managed in the first two quarters were three field goals from Jason Hanson before Mikel Leshoure cut the gap to four by going in from a yard out in the third.
However, few could have predicted what would happen in a quite stunning fourth quarter that saw the two teams combine for 46 points.
The Lions pushed themselves ahead thanks to Nate Burleson's three-yard catch from Matt Stafford, with the same pair then teaming up again for a successful two-point conversion.
Yet the Titans responded immediately with a 105-yard kick-off return from Darius Reynaud and they went 34-27 up when Locker connected with Nate Washington on a 71-yard scoring pass.
When Alterraun Verner took a fumble 72 yards to the end zone, Tennessee looked to be cruising towards their first win of the campaign.
Detroit, though, had other ideas; Calvin Johnson caught a three-yarder from Hill, who replaced the injured Stafford, with 18 seconds left.
After successfully recovering the onside kick, Hill then connected with Titus Young on a 46-yard TD that tied the scores on the final play of regulation, a desperation pass being tipped into the wide receiver's path.
Bironas' third field goal edged Tennessee ahead again in the overtime period but it seemed the Lions would draw level when they drove into Hanson's kicking range.
Detroit coach Jim Schwartz decided not to send out his kicker, though, instead going for it on a fourth-down quarterback sneak. It back-fired when the Titans stopped Hill short, finally drawing an epic contest to a conclusion.
Locker finished the game with 378 yards passing and two touchdowns. The Titans succeeded without much of a running game, Chris Johnson managing just 24 yards on 14 carries.