Instead, the Lions' lost in heartbreaking fashion, and Tulloch was flagged for a pair of personal fouls, the first of which came after Titans offensive lineman Leroy Harris appeared to try and injure Tulloch's knees with a hit after the whistle.
When asked about the incident Monday, Tulloch didn't hide his disappointment and outrage at the actions of someone he considered a longtime friend.
“I've known Leroy [Harris] probably 10-plus years,” he said. “For him out of all people to come at me like that… There are no friends on the field when you play, I understand that, but you keep it between the whistles. There's no place for [cheap shots] after the whistle.”
Tulloch's desire for football to be played without the threat of cheap shots is well known. He expressed similar feelings about protecting players' livelihood and earning potential by eradicating illegal hits when the New Orleans Saints' “bounty-gate” scandal broke.
That's what made Harris' actions, which followed a play late in the first half, so reprehensible to Tulloch -- especially because Harris was a respected former teammate.
"[Harris and I] played college ball together [at NC State],” Tulloch said. “We played at Tennessee together. When the official blew the play, he dove at my knees. I got a family to feed. I play the game clean. I want everybody else to play the game clean, and play within the whistle.”
Tulloch's retaliatory actions, while perhaps warranted by the simple principle of self-preservation, came at a cost. The personal foul he received set up a Titans field goal on the final play of the first half, and the points proved crucial when regulation time ended with the score tied.
While Tulloch said he understands that his actions affected his team, he also asserted his right to protect himself against potential career-ending illegal hits.
"When the whistle blows and somebody goes and takes out your knees, you protect yourself at all cost,” he said. “It happened so fast that I reacted, and I shouldn't have reacted the way that I did. I was just trying to protect myself."
When asked if he spoke with Harris after the game about the incident, Tulloch's answer sent a clear signal that his relationship with Harris may have suffered irreparable damage.
"I didn't have anything else to say to him," Tulloch said. "I got some other words I want to say, but I'm going to hold my tongue and keep it there."
Tulloch's second personal foul came after he made contact with the helmet of Titans' TE Craig Stevens during the overtime period. Tulloch said he regretted the incident, which he described as a “bang-bang play” where Stevens ducked his head after Tulloch had begun his tackling motion. Tulloch said he wasn't sure if he would be disciplined by the league for the play.
"I'll see if I have a FedEx package [the carrier used to deliver letters from the NFL containing fines] here in a couple of days, do my appeals process, and go from there."