The Tennessee Titans have stumbled through a miserable start but are hoping to end that by continuing a trend. The Titans are 31st in the league with 248.0 offensive yards per game and their 25 first downs are the fewest. Chris Johnson gained only 17 yards on eight carries during last week's 38-10 drubbing in San Diego, and Jake Locker completed only 15 of 30 passes. That performance was actually an improvement from the season opener for Johnson, who topped 2,000 yards in 2009. The three-time Pro Bowler had a career-low four yards on 11 attempts against New England. Tennessee (0-2) is off to its worst start since dropping six in a row to open the 2009 season. The Titans responded by winning eight of their final 10 that year.
Tennessee has also prevailed in nine of its last 11 home matchups against opponents from the other conference but will face a team that's won five in a row over AFC clubs. The Lions (1-1) are coming off their first trip to the playoffs in 12 seasons but haven't been at their best so far this year. Detroit needed a last-minute touchdown to win its season opener against St. Louis on Sept. 9 and fell 27-19 at San Francisco this past Sunday. The Lions drove inside the 49ers' 25-yard line six times but scored only one TD and went 4 of 5 on field goals.Matthew Stafford, who had 5,038 yards and 41 TDs a year ago, has four interceptions and two touchdowns through the first two games, but the Lions' biggest concern might be their short-handed secondary.
Detroit claimed cornerback Jerome Murphy off waivers from New Orleans on Wednesday after Drayton Florence suffered a broken arm in last week's loss. Chris Houston (ankle), Louis Delmas (knee) and Bill Bentley (concussion) sat out against San Francisco, but Houston and Bentley returned to practice this week. The Lions could get another boost with running back Mikel Leshoure expected to make his long-awaited NFL debut.
Detroit has at least shown some signs of life this season with the win over St. Louis and the solid defensive performance against San Francisco. The Titans have looked consistently bad on both sides of the ball all year, and I don't expect to see their fortunes turn anytime soon.