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- Mike Vrabel’s aggressive play-calling came back to bite him and the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
- After scoring the potential game-tying touchdown late in their game Sunday against the Chargers, the Titans elected to go for a game-winning two-point conversion.
- The Titans had two attempts to win the game thanks to a defensive penalty but threw incompletions on both plays to lose their third straight game.
Mike Vrabel has made a point to be aggressive in his play-calling as head coach of the Tennessee Titans.
Heading into Sunday, his gutsy calls had worked out alright for the Titans – most notably his decision to go for it on fourth down in overtime against the Eagles back in Week 4, extending a drive that ended with a game-winning touchdown.
But this week with the Titans taking on the Chargers in London, Vrabel’s risky decisions caught up with him, and ultimately lost the game.
After trailing for most of the game, Marcus Mariota and the Titans marched 90 yards down the field to score a potential tying touchdown with just 31 seconds remaining in the game. With the score 20-19 with the extra point pending, Vrabel immediately held up two fingers to indicate to his players they’d be going for the win.
The Titans first attempt ended in an incomplete pass, but the team was initially bailed out by a defensive holding penalty that moved the ball up to the one-yard line. Now even closer to the game-winning conversion, the Titans lined up again, but rather than handing the ball off to one-person wrecking crew Derrick Henry to pick up the score, Vrabel elected to pass yet again.
Mariota’s pass was tipped and ultimately fell incomplete, sealing the win for the Chargers.
THE moment which decided the game!
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) October 21, 2018
After the game, Vrabel stood by his decision to go for the win.
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) October 21, 2018
Vrabel’s eagerness to go for the win is certainly understandable – it’s a message he’s been preaching to his players all season and with the Titans entering the game on a losing streak, could have provided the spark necessary to jumpstart their season.
But when such a move backfires, it’s always easy to start second-guessing things – both the decision to pass on the game-tying extra point and the decision to throw for the win when only a yard was needed.
With the loss, the Titans fall to 3-4 on the season, dropping out of pole position in the AFC South.