The Tennessee Titans will try to rebound from a tough loss last week when they take on the 1-0 Detroit Lions tomorrow at Ford Field.
This game is also a matchup of conflicting streaks, with the winner exorcising a few nagging demons.
First and most importantly, the Lions have never beaten the Titans.
Tennessee is 4-0 against Detroit since the franchise relocated to Nashville, and with the exception of their 47-10 Thanksgiving Day beat down of the Lions in 2008, all of the games have been decided by five points or less.
If the Titans are to keep this streak alive, then they must eliminate turnovers and run the ball effectively to keep Matthew Stafford and Detroit’s high-octane offense on the sideline.
On defense the Titans must pressure the quarterback much better than they did last week when they registered zero sacks and zero turnovers against Minnesota’s 36-year-old backup qb.
If the Lions are to break this streak then they must make Tennessee one-dimensional on offense Sunday, and they can accomplish this by remaining balanced on offense themselves.
Detroit has a couple of versatile and capable backs in Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah. They combined for 108 rushing yards, 120 receiving yards, and two touchdowns last week against the Indianapolis Colts.
On defense the Lions must start fast in hopes of putting the Titans in an early hole. Tennessee wants to muddy up the game and control the clock with a heavy dose of the run game, and will be able to do so as long as the game remains close.
Detroit’s offense is far more explosive than Tennessee’s, so a high scoring affair gives them a huge advantage.
Other notable streaks on the line
*Detroit is riding a four game win streak dating back to last season.
*Tennessee is in the midst of a five game losing streak dating back to last season
*Detroit hasn’t started a season 2-0 since 2011
*Tennessee hasn’t started a season 0-2 since 2012
One of these teams will have a huge monkey (or two) off their back by late Sunday afternoon.